About Copa Libertadores
The Conmebol Libertadores soccer competition is the same as Copa Libertadores de America. It is an annual international club football tournament which has been played since the year 1960, under the CONMEBOL.
This competition is one of the biggest tournaments in the South American football competition. It is important to note that the competition was named after Libertadores, the war legends that led the south American wars towards independence.
If this name Libertdores were to be translated, it would simply be The Liberators of America Cup. In the beginning, the league had a different format and regulations. Initially, the only teams that participated in the competition were the winners of the South American Leagues. As time went by, things changed, and the runners-up in the South American Leagues started to join the league. Mexican teams began participating in 1998.
They started competing in 2000 up to the year 2017. As the competition proceeded, different teams from the south Brazil league were invited to the competition. The number of participants grew from 20 teams to 32 of them. To date, at least four clubs from each member country take part in Brazil and Argentina having more participants in the competition. Brazil has the most participants in the competition. Seven of the clubs come from Brazil while six of the participants come from Argentina.
Currently, the format is that the competition consists of 6 stages that every team has to go through.
The first stage takes place early in February, after this first stage the six qualifying teams join 26 teams in the next second stage. In this stage of the competition, it is divided into eight groups, each group consisting of four participants. Then as the teams proceed on to the next stage, the winners from every eight competing teams clash in the knock out stages. The final of the competition is either held in November or December where the winner of the title automatically qualifies for the FIFA World Cup and of course, gets a slot in the prestigious Recopa Sudamericana competition.
Argentine clubs have proven to be the most successful in this tournament with Independiente of Argentina being the most successful club in the whole competition. This gigantic team has won the trophy seven times. Even though Argentina has the most successful club in the history of Copa Libertadores, Brazil has a large number of clubs winning the tournament. Ten different Brazilian clubs have the title.
Twenty-four teams, in general, have won the competition, 13 of these teams have won it more than twice while six of the clubs have won it two years consecutively. In the 70s, Argentine clubs had dominated the competition. They proved to be champions for three consecutive seasons.
Then in the 1980s came the Uruguayan clubs after several they won their first trophy in 1980 after beating International in the final. Even though Brazil is a football powerhouse, it was only able to win the fourth title in 1981 through club Flamengo led by a legendary star such as Zico, Junior, Leandro amongst the other Galaxy of stars.