Soccer may have been created in England, but the way in which the ‘beautiful game’ is experienced is unique on our continent. Dribbling, partying and joy have been the hallmarks of dozens of footballers who have dazzled the world with their talent. Without going any further, we can name the recent great goal by Richarlison from Brazil against Serbia in Qatar 2022.
However, when we talk about history, the Copa América must be there. This is because this is the oldest national team tournament in the world and the one in which the biggest on the continent have passed, in which eight teams have had the pleasure of lifting the cup.
The story goes back to 1910 when a tournament was organized in Argentina between this local team together with Uruguay and Chile, but this was not considered official. Three years later, the Argentine Association proposed holding a tournament that would bring together some South American teams. This would only be official until 1916, when the southern country celebrated its 100th anniversary of Independence.
In that tournament, Conmebol was founded and Uruguay was the champion of this first edition that was called the ‘South American Championship’. Only in 1917 was it the first time that a trophy was bought to be awarded to the champion and until 1929 it began to be held annually. In 1921, Paraguay joined and five teams were completed with Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil.
Bolivia was the next to join in 1926, the following year Peru did, and in 1939 it was Ecuador’s turn. Colombia debuted only until 1945 and Venezuela did so in 1967. At that time, the participation of the teams was not constant and on some occasions one or two nations were missing.
And as he has had good moments, he has also had bad ones. In 1967 it stopped playing for eight years and then resumed in 1975, when the ten South American teams participated for the first time. It was there that it began to be called the Copa América.
In 1987 it began to be played every two years until 2001, when it was decided to hold it every three years. However, in 2007 it was defined that it would be played every four years like the World Cup. Despite this, in recent years it has undergone modifications due to the pandemic and celebrations such as the centennial in 2016 when it was played for the first time in the United States.
The most champion is the Uruguayan team with 14 titles. Argentina follows with 14 and Brazil with 9. Then comes Paraguay, Peru and Chile with two each. The teams from Colombia and Bolivia complete the podium, with only one trophy.
On the other hand, it should be mentioned that Uruguay is the team with the most participations. It has only stopped playing it in two editions. This is followed by Argentina with 40 participations, Chile with 37, Paraguay with 35, Brazil with 34, Peru with 30, Ecuador with 26, Bolivia with 25, Colombia with 20 and Venezuela with 16.
The countries that have hosted the most times are: Argentina with nine, Uruguay and Chile with seven, Peru with six, Brazil with four, Ecuador with three, Bolivia with two and Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela and the United States with one.
Martín Palermo has been the only player to lose three penalties in the same match. This happened in Paraguay in 1999 against Colombia.
Furthermore, Paraguay reached the final of Argentina 2011 without winning a single match. They tied all three in the first round, in the quarterfinals they beat Brazil on penalties and in the semifinal the same thing but with Venezuela. The final was lost to Uruguay.
For its part, the biggest win was Argentina 12 – Ecuador 0 in 1942.
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