Copa Libertadores Trivia
It has become increasingly difficult to retain the Copa Libertadores,
mostly because of change in the tournament system. Currently the defending
champion enters in an earlier stage than in previous cups.
Whereas in the first twenty years of its existence (1960-79), a prolonged
dominance for one club was common-place, these days even one successful
defence is a rare occurrence.
The following series of consecutive wins have been achieved:
4 (1972-73-74-75) Independiente (Arg)
3 (1968-69-70) Estudiantes (Arg)
2 (1960-61) Peñarol (Uru)
(1962-63) Santos (Bra)
(1964-65) Independiente (Arg)
(1977-78) Boca Juniors (Arg)
(1992-93) São Paulo F.C. (Bra)
(2000-01) Boca Juniors (Arg)
Other series: Consecutive wins by countries:
4 (1967-68-69-70) Argentina (Racing Club, Estudiantes)
(1972-73-74-75) Argentina (Independiente)
3 (1984-85-86) Argentina (Independiente, Argentinos Juniors, River Plate)
(1997-98-99) Brazil (Cruzeiro, Vasco da Gama, Palmeiras)
2 (1960-61) Uruguay (Peñarol)
(1962-63) Brazil (Santos)
(1964-65) Argentina (Independiente)
(1977-78) Argentina (Boca Juniors)
(1987-88) Uruguay (Peñarol, Nacional)
(1992-93) Brazil (São Paulo F.C.)
(2000-01) Argentina (Boca Juniors)
In 1981-82, Cobreloa (Chi) became the first team to lose consecutive finals.
Their record was broken in 1985-87 when América (Col) lost three finals.
Unbeaten winners are a rare occurrence; it only occurred during the first
twenty years when defending champions only had to play few matches.
All unbeaten winners with their P-W-D-L-F-A records:
1960 Peñarol (Uru) 7 3 4 0 13- 5
1963 Santos (Bra) 4 3 1 0 10- 4 [defending champion]
1964 Independiente (Arg) 7 5 2 0 17- 6
1969 Estudiantes (Arg) 4 4 0 0 9- 2 [defending champion]
1970 Estudiantes (Arg) 4 3 1 0 5- 1 [defending champion]
1978 Boca Juniors (Arg) 6 4 2 0 11- 2 [defending champion]
The record number of consecutive participations in the Copa Libertadores is 15,
held by Peñarol. All clubs to play at least 4 times successive tournaments
are included below:
15 Peñarol [Uru] (1965-1979)
14 Cerro Porteño [Par] (1990-2003)
10 River Plate [Arg] (1995-2004) [*]
Sporting Cristal [Per] (1995-2004) [*]
9 Nacional [Uru] (1966-1974)
8 Nacional [Uru] (1997-2004) [*]
7 Olimpia [Par] (1998-2004) [*]
6 Olimpia [Par] (1972-1977)
Portuguesa [Ven] (1974-1979)
Olimpia [Par] (1979-1984)
América [Col] (1983-1988)
Olimpia [Par] (1986-1991)
Colo Colo [Chi] (1987-1992)
Universidad Católica [Chi] (1995-2000)
5 Cerro Porteño [Par] (1971-1975)
Independiente [Arg] (1972-1976)
Peñarol [Uru] (1985-1989)
Atlético Nacional [Col] (1989-1993)
Barcelona [Ecu] (1990-1994)
Bolívar [Bol] (1991-1995)
Emelec [Ecu] (1999-2003)
Boca Juniors [Arg] (2000-2004) [*]
Cobreloa [Chi] (2000-2004) [*]
El Nacional [Ecu] (2000-2004) [*]
Peñarol [Uru] (2000-2004) [*]
4 Santos [Bra] (1962-1965)
Guaraní [Par] (1965-1968)
Universitario [Per] (1965-1968)
Universidad Católica [Chi] (1966-1969)
Deportivo Cali [Col] (1968-1971)
Estudiantes [Arg] (1968-1971)
Universitario [Per] (1970-1973)
Unión Española [Chi] (1973-1976)
Flamengo [Bra] (1981-1984)
Nacional [Uru] (1991-1994)
Olimpia [Par] (1993-1996)
Grêmio [Bra] (1995-1998)
Peñarol [Uru] (1995-1998)
América [Col] (2000-2003)
[*] Denotes a series in progress.
From 1960 until 2004 (45 editions), 159 teams have participated in Copa Libertadores
(there are 5 other teams which have participated in six preliminary tournaments 1998
to 2003). There are 28 teams with 10 or more participations:
36 Peñarol [Uru]
35 Olimpia [Par]
31 Nacional [Uru]
28 Cerro Porteño [Par]
25 River Plate [Arg]
24 Universitario de Deportes [Per], Sporting Cristal [Per]
22 Colo Colo [Chi], Bolívar [Bol]
21 Barcelona [Ecu]
19 Universidad Católica [Chi], El Nacional [Ecu]
18 Independiente [Arg], Alianza Lima [Per], Boca Juniors [Arg]
17 América [Col], Emelec [Ecu], Deportivo Cali [Col]
15 Oriente Petrolero [Bol], Jorge Wilstermann [Bol], The Strongest [Bol]
14 Millonarios [Col]
13 Universidad de Chile [Chi]
12 Atlético Nacional [Col]
11 Palmeiras [Bra], Cobreloa [Chi]
10 Grêmio [Bra], Guaraní [Par]
By country the teams with most participations are:
Argentina: River Plate, 25
Bolivia: Bolívar, 22
Brazil: Palmeiras, 11
Chile: Colo Colo, 22
Colombia: América, Deportivo Cali, 17
Ecuador: Barcelona, 21
Mexico: América, 4
Paraguay: Olimpia, 35
Peru: Universitario de Deportes, Sporting Cristal, 24
Uruguay: Peñarol, 36
Venezuela: Deportivo Galicia, 9
Peñarol is the team with most final appearances: 9.
Teams with at least 3 appearances are:
9 Peñarol (5 wins, 4 losses)
8 Boca Juniors (5 wins, 3 losses)
7 Independiente (7 wins)
6 Nacional (3 wins, 3 losses)
Olimpia (3 wins, 3 losses)
4 Estudiantes (3 wins, 1 loss)
River Plate (2 wins, 2 losses)
São Paulo F.C. (2 wins, 2 losses)
Palmeiras (1 win, 3 losses)
América (4 losses)
3 Grêmio (2 wins, 1 loss)
Cruzeiro (2 wins, 1 loss)
Santos (2 wins, 1 loss)
Considering consecutive participations in the final (whether won or lost),
Estudiantes (1968-71) and Independiente (1972-75) share the record with 4
participations. But whereas Independiente won all 4 finals, Estudiantes
lost the last one.
Teams with 3 consecutive final appearances are: Peñarol (1960-62), Boca
Juniors (1977-79), América (1985-87), Olimpia (1989-91), São Paulo F.C.
(1992-94). Peñarol, Boca Juniors and São Paulo, lost their third final. Olimpia
only won the second final. Finally, América lost all the 3 consecutive
finals, which is a tournament record.
The first team to lose consecutive finals was Cobreloa (Chi) in 1981 and 1982.
Besides the 20 teams that have won Copa Libertadores, 12 other teams have
been unlucky finalists (in total 32 teams reached the final). This is the
list of unlucky finalists:
4 América (Col) [3 of them consecutive]
2 Barcelona (Ecu), Cobreloa (Chi) [2 consecutive], Newell's Old Boys (Arg),
Deportivo Cali (Col)
1 Cruz Azul (Mex), Internacional (Bra), São Caetano (Bra), Sporting Cristal (Per),
Unión Española (Chi), Universidad Católica (Chi), Universitario (Per)
Six (6) teams appeared only once in the Final and they won it. These are:
Racing Club (1967), Flamengo (1981), Argentinos Juniors (1985), Vélez Sarsfield (1994),
Vasco da Gama (1998), and Once Caldas (2004).
Only one team has a perfect final record: Independiente 7 (7 wins!)
Ten (10)) times the defending champion lost in the final: Peñarol (1962),
Estudiantes (1971), Cruzeiro (1977), Boca Juniors (1979), Peñarol (1983),
Grêmio (1984), Olimpia (1991), São Paulo F.C. (1994), Palmeiras (2000), and Boca Juniors (2004).
In contrast, twice a beaten finalist went one better the next season:
Peñarol (1966, runners-up in 1965) and Olimpia (1990, runners-up in 1989).
Several times the winner of the Copa Libertadores also won their national
championship, thereby obtaining a double.
In all, the double of Copa Libertadores and domestic league has been won on
14 occasions by 8 different teams:
3 Peñarol (1960, 1961, 1982)
2 Santos (1962, 1963)
Nacional (1971, 1980)
River Plate (1986, 1996)
Boca Juniors (2000, 2003)
1 Olimpia (1979)
Argentinos Juniors (1985)
Colo Colo (1991)
It must be said that Santos were winners of Taça Brasil. At that time Brazil
did not have a national championship and the Taça Brasil qualified teams for
the Copa Libertadores.
In 1996 River Plate won the Apertura Championship. In 2000 and 2003, Boca Juniors
Also won the Apertura Championship; the Argentine season is currently divided into
two tournaments, Apertura and Clausura.
Independiente, the record winner (7 titles), never obtained the double.
In the 45 Copa Libertadores tournaments played since 1960, the holders were
eliminated on 33 times (11 times they retained the title and in the first
tournament of course no holders took part).
River Plate is the club who most often eliminated the defending champions: they
managed to do this on 4 occasions, in 1 of which they went on to win themselves.
Olimpia beat the holder, the three times that the won the tournament. Significantly, they
made it twice after 1987, when the rules change (see below).
All clubs to eliminate the defending champions more than once (seasons in
which they won themselves in bold):
4 River Plate [Arg] (1966, 1976, 1986, 1995)
3 Nacional [Uru] (1967, 1971, 1980)
Olimpia [Par] (1979, 1990, 2002)
2 Boca Juniors [Arg] (1977, 2000)
Grêmio [Bra] (1983, 2003)
Independiente [Arg] (1964, 1984)
Peñarol [Uru] (1982, 1987)
There are 15 teams who eliminated the holders once.
It should be pointed out that from 1960 until 1987, the team eliminating the
holders had a fifty-fifty chance of winning the tournament, as holders entered
Copa Libertadores only at the semifinal stage.
Elimination of holders by country:
Argentina 13 eliminations (River Plate 4, Independiente 2, Boca Juniors 2,
Estudiantes 1, Argentinos Juniors 1, San Lorenzo 1,
Vélez Sarsfield 1, Racing Club 1)
Uruguay 6 eliminations (Nacional 3, Peñarol 2, Danubio 1)
Brazil 5 eliminations (Grêmio 2, Santos 1, Vasco da Gama 1, Palmeiras 1)
Paraguay 3 eliminations (Olimpia 3)
Chile 2 eliminations (Cobreloa 1, Colo Colo 1)
Colombia 2 eliminations (América 1, Once Caldas 1)
Ecuador 1 elimination (Barcelona 1)
Peru 1 elimination (Universitario 1)
- No team has been able to perform this feat in consecutive seasons.
- Twenty-two times (22) the team who beat the holders eventually won that year’s
tournament; this happened 14 times until 1987 and only 8 times since 1988
(when the format was changed).
- Ten times (10) the holders were beaten in the final (6 times before 1988).
- Four times (4) the team who beat the holders lost in the final (all before 1988).
- The three tiemes that Olimpia beat the holders, they also won the tournament.
- The two times that Boca Juniors beat the holders both happened in the final.
Supercopa – Copa Conmebol
There were two other main club tournaments, that are no longer played: from 1988
to 1997 the Supercopa and since 1992 to 1999 the Copa Conmebol.
A club was able to participate in both Copa Libertadores and Supercopa in the same year
(as the Supercopa was a tournament for former winners of the Copa Libertadores winners),
and until 1994 it was also possible for clubs to participate in Copa Conmebol
and the Copa Libertadores.
Finally, Libertadores and Supercopa winners played for the Recopa.
Twice the double Libertadores-Supercopa was won:
Olimpia (1990) and São Paulo F.C. (1993).
Two teams have won the Copa Libertadores and Copa Conmebol, but not in the same
year: São Paulo F.C. and Santos. As in 1994 São Paulo F.C. won Copa
Conmebol and was Copa Libertadores runner-up, CONMEBOL ruled that if a team
is qualified for the Copa Libertadores it may not enter the Copa Conmebol in
the same year (obviously this rule only concerned Copa Libertadores holders).
Copa Merconorte – Copa Mercosur
From 1998 until 2001, other two tournaments were played, in which clubs that
participated in Copa Libertadores were also engaged: Copa Mercosur and Copa Merconorte.
No team ever won a double: however, in 1999 Palmeiras won Libertadores and was
Mercosur runner-up and in 2000 Palmeiras was runner-up in both tournaments.
Since 2002 a new tournament, Copa Sudamericana, takes place during the second half
of the year. Teams can participated in both tournaments (Libertadores and Sudamericana)
on the same year. So far, no team has won the double.
From 1960 until 1987, Copa Libertadores was played mostly in groups. Only the
finals and in some years the semifinals were played home and away; and even in
those cases when teams were tied on points (no matter the goal difference, no
away goals rule, no extra time) a third match was played. Therefore penalty
shootouts were a rare event and happened only 3 times. When the system was
changed in 1988 (a first round in groups and then a knock-out tournament with
no third matches anymore) penalty shootouts became a more frequent event, in
particular since there is no away goals rule nor extra-time.
There have been nine (10) penalty shootouts in the final of the Copa Libertadores:
1977 Boca Juniors - Cruzeiro 5-4 (10 penalties)
1985 Argentinos Juniors - América 5-4 (10 penalties)
1989 Atlético Nacional - Olimpia 5-4 (18 penalties)
1992 São Paulo F.C. - Newell's Old Boys 3-2 (9 penalties)
1994 Vélez Sarsfield - São Paulo F.C. 5-3 (9 penalties)
1999 Palmeiras - Deportivo Cali 4-3 (10 penalties)
2000 Boca Juniors - Palmeiras 4-2 (8 penalties)
2001 Boca Juniors – Cruz Azul 3-1 (8 penalties)
2002 Olimpia – São Caetano 4-2 (8 penalties)
2004 Once Caldas – Boca Juniors 2-0 (8 penalties)
Other shootouts (between brackets the number of penalties taken):
1987 América - Deportivo Cali 4-2 (8) First Round - Group 2, playoff
1988 Newell's Old Boys - Bolívar 3-2 (10) Second Round
1989 Millonarios - Bolívar 4-3 (10) Second Round
Sol de América - Unión Atlético Táchira 3-2 (10) " "
Olimpia - Boca Juniors 7-6 (18) " "
Olimpia - Internacional 5-3 (9) Semifinal
1990 Vasco da Gama - Colo Colo 5-4 (10) Second Round
Olimpia - Atlético Nacional 2-1 (12) Semifinal
Barcelona - River Plate 4-3 (9) "
1992 San Lorenzo - Váldez Sport Club 6-5 (16) Second Round
Barcelona - Cerro Porteño 4-3 (9) Quarterfinal
Newell's Old Boys - América 11-10 (26) Semifinal
1993 Cerro Porteño - Olimpia 4-2 (9) Quarterfinal
1994 Vélez Sarsfield - Defensor Sporting 4-3 (10) Second Round
Minervén - Emelec 4-2 (8) " "
Atlético Junior - Colo Colo 4-3 (10) " "
Vélez Sarsfield - Atlético Junior 5-4 (12) Semifinal
São Paulo F.C. - Olimpia 4-3 (10) "
1995 Emelec - Cerro Porteño 5-4 (10) Second Round
River Plate - Vélez Sarsfield 5-3 (9) Quarterfinal
Atlético Nacional - River Plate 8-7 (16) Semifinal
1996 Universidad de Chile - Defensor Sporting 7-6 (16) Second Round
Barcelona - San José 4-2 (9) " "
1997 Grêmio - Guaraní 2-1 (10) Second Round
Peñarol - Millonarios 3-2 (9) " "
Cruzeiro - El Nacional 5-3 (9) " "
Racing Club - River Plate 5-3 (9) " "
Racing Club - Peñarol 3-2 (10) Quarterfinal
Cruzeiro - Colo Colo 4-1 (7) Semifinal
1998 Colón - Olimpia 2-1 (9) Second Round
Peñarol - Alianza Lima 3-1 (7) " "
Barcelona - Cerro Porteño 4-3 (10) Semifinal
1999 River Plate - L.D.U. Quito 5-4 (10) Second round
Palmeiras - Corinthians 4-2 (8) Quarterfinal
2000 Atletico Mineiro - Atletico Paranaense 5-3 (9) Second Round
Corinthians - Rosario Central 4-3 (10) " "
Bolívar - Nacional 5-3 (9) " "
Palmeiras - Peñarol 3-2 (9) " "
Palmeiras - Corinthians 5-4 (10) Semifinal
2001 Palmeiras – São Caetano 5-3 (9) Second Round
Rosario Central – América 4-3 (16) Quarterfinal
Palmeiras – Cruzeiro 4-3 (14) " "
Boca Juniors – Palmeiras 3-2 (9) Semifinal
2002 São Caetano – Universidad Católica 4-2 (9) Second Round
Peñarol – Montevideo Wanderers 3-0 (7) " "
São Caetano – Peñarol 3-1 (8) Quarterfinal
Olimpia – Grêmio 5-4 (10) Semifinal
2003 Cruz Azul – Deportivo Cali 3-2 (9) Second Round
Santos – Nacional 3-1 (7) " "
Independiente Medellín – Cerro Porteño 4-2 (9) " "
América – Racing Club 6-5 (12) " "
2004 São Caetano – Independiente 4-2 (8) First Round Playoff
Santos – L.D.U. Quito 5-3 (9) Second Round
River Plate – Santos Laguna 4-2 (9) " "
São Paulo F.C. – Rosario Central 5-4 (12) " "
Deportivo Cali – Cruzeiro 3-0 (7) " "
Once Caldas – Barcelona 4-2 (8) " "
Boca Juniors - São Caetano 4-3 (12) Quarterfinal
Boca Juniors – River Plate 5-4 (10) Semifinal
Since 1966 countries entered two teams. In some cases it was the league
runner-up, in others the winner of an end-season tournament or the winner of a cup tournament.
Starting from 2000 the number of teams was increased to 32, therefore some countries entered 3 teams,
and furthemrore, some countries they even entered a fourth team.
Teams that have won the Copa Libertadores, participating as their country's
1976 Cruzeiro [1975 Brazilian League runner-up]
1980 Nacional [1979 Uruguayan League runner-up]
1983 Grêmio [1982 Brazilian League runner-up]
1988 Nacional [1987 Uruguayan League runner-up]
1989 Atlético Nacional [1988 Colombian League runner-up]
1995 Grêmio [1994 Copa Brasil winner]
1997 Cruzeiro [1996 Copa Brasil winner]
1999 Palmeiras [1998 Copa Brasil winner]
2002 Olimpia [2001 Paraguayan League third placed team]
2003 Boca Juniors [2001-02 Argentinian League, third placed in the aggregated table; neither won Apertura or Clausura tournaments]
Cruzeiro and Grêmio twice won the Copa Libertadores, each time without
being the Brazilian champion.
Also some of the teams that defended the Copa Libertadores title were not
national league champions (or even runners-up). These teams would not have
played in the Copa Libertadores had they not been the defending champions:
1965 Independiente [1964 Argentinian League runner-up]
1969 Estudiantes [1968 Argentinian League runner-up]
1970 Estudiantes [1969 Argentinian League, 5th place]
1973 Independiente [1972 Argentinian League, 11th place]
1974 Independiente [1973 Argentinian League, 4th place]
1975 Independiente [1974 Argentinian League, 7th place]
1978 Boca Juniors [1977 Argentinian League, 4th place]
1993 São Paulo F.C. [1992 Brazilian League, 6th place]
Note: In every case "Argentinian League" refers to the "Campeonato Metropolitano".
Note: Home and away matches played in group stages are treated as "cup match" ties.
Highest win in one match: 1970 1st Round Group 2: Peñarol - Valencia (Ven) 11-2
Highest aggregate win: 1963 1st Round Group 2: Everest (Ecu) - Peñarol 0-5
Peñarol - Everest 9-1
Peñarol win 14-1 on aggregate
Most goals in game: 1970 1st Round Group 2: Peñarol - Valencia (Ven) 11-2
Total 13 goals
Most goals in tie: 1963 1st Round Group 2: Everest (Ecu) - Peñarol 0-5
Peñarol - Everest 9-1
Peñarol win 14-1 on aggregate, total 15 goals
If a third play-off match is considered as part of the tie, the record is:
1965 Semifinal: Santos - Peñarol 5-4
Peñarol - Santos 3-2
Peñarol - Santos 2-1 (in Buenos Aires)
Peñarol win 9-8 on aggregate, total 17 goals
Highest win: 1993 São Paulo F.C. - Universidad Católica 5-1
Highest aggregate win: 2003 Boca Juniors – Santos 2-0
Santos – Boca Juniors 1-3
Boca Juniors win 5-1 on aggregate
Most goals: 1966 Peñarol - River Plate 2-0
River Plate - Peñarol 3-2
Peñarol - River Plate 4-2 [aet] (in Santiago de Chile)
Peñarol win 8-5 on aggregate, total 13 goals
1976 Cruzeiro - River Plate 4-1
River Plate - Cruzeiro 2-1
Cruzeiro - River Plate 3-2 (in Santiago de Chile)
Cruzeiro win 8-5 on aggregate, total 13 goals
If we only consider finals settled over two legs the record is:
1963 Santos - Boca Juniors 3-2
Boca Juniors - Santos 1-2
Santos win 5-3 on aggregate, total 8 goals
1993 São Paulo F.C. - Universidad Católica 5-1
Universidad Católica - São Paulo F.C. 2-0
São Paulo F.C. win 5-3 on aggregate, total 8 goals
Most goals in one match: 1966 Peñarol - River Plate 4-2
1993 São Paulo F.C. - Universidad Católica 5-1
Total 6 goals
Sporting Cristal (Per) holds the record of 17 consecutive matches unbeaten in
the Copa Libertadores:
Cristal's series: 17 - 8 - 9 - 0 - 29-15
(-) 17.02.62 Lima Sporting Cristal - Nacional 0-1 Round 1 Group 2
(1) 20.02.62 Lima Sporting Cristal - Racing Club 2-1 " "
(2) 24.01.68 Cochabamba Jorge Wilstermann - Sporting Cristal 0-1 Round 1 Group 2
(3) 28.01.68 La Paz Always Ready - Sporting Cristal 1-4 " "
(4) 15.02.68 Lima Universitario - Sporting Cristal 1-1 " "
(5) 19.02.68 Lima Sporting Cristal - Jorge Wilstermann 2-0 " "
(6) 24.02.68 Lima Sporting Cristal - Always Ready 1-1 " "
(7) 02.03.68 Lima Sporting Cristal - Universitario 2-2 " "
(8) 17.03.68 Guayaquil Emelec - Sporting Cristal 0-2 Round 2 Group 2
(9) 20.03.68 Caracas Deportivo Portugués - Sporting Cristal 1-1 " "
(10) 25.03.68 Lima Sporting Cristal - Peñarol 0-0 " "
(11) 28.03.68 Lima Sporting Cristal - Deportivo Portugués 2-0 " "
(12) 01.04.68 Lima Sporting Cristal - Emelec 1-1 " "
(13) 10.04.68 Montevideo Peñarol - Sporting Cristal 1-1 " "
(14) 26.02.69 Lima Sporting Cristal - Juan Aurich 3-3 Round 1 Group 2
(15) 01.03.69 Lima Sporting Cristal - Santiago Wanderers 2-1 " "
(16) 03.03.69 Lima Sporting Cristal - Universidad Católica 2-0 " "
(17) 06.03.69 Lima Juan Aurich - Sporting Cristal 2-2 " "
(--) 11.03.69 Santiago Universidad Católica - Sporting Cristal 3-2 " "
Although unbeaten during the 1968 edition (5 wins and 7 draws in 12 matches),
Cristal were eliminated as runners-up of their second round group.
Two other teams managed 14 consecutive matches unbeaten in the Copa Libertadores:
América (Col) and Newell's Old Boys (Arg). Both teams have a similar record,
although Newell's is better by goal difference.
América's series: 14 - 7 - 7 - 0 - 18-6
(-) 16.03.80 Quito Universidad Católica - América 4-2 Round 1 Group 4
(1) 19.03.80 Bogotá Independiente Santa Fé - América 1-1 " "
(2) 26.03.80 Guayaquil Emelec - América 1-2 " "
(3) 30.03.80 Cali América - Universidad Católica 1-0 " "
(4) 02.04.80 Cali América - Emelec 4-1 "
(5) 16.06.80 Buenos Aires Vélez Sarsfield - América 0-0 Semifinal Group A
(6) 02.07.80 Cali América - Internacional RS 0-0 " "
(7) 10.07.80 Porto Alegre Internacional RS - América 0-0 " "
(8) 18.07.80 Cali América - Vélez Sarsfield 0-0 " "
(9) 16.03.83 Cali América - Deportes Tolima 1-1 Round 1 Group 3
(10) 27.03.83 Lima Alianza Lima - América 1-2 " "
(11) 30.03.83 Lima Universitario - América 1-1 " "
(12) 13.04.83 Ibagué Deportes Tolima - América 0-2 " "
(13) 24.04.83 Cali América - Universitario 2-0 " "
(14) 27.04.83 Cali América - Alianza Lima 2-0 " "
(--) 06.07.83 Porto Alegre Grêmio - América 2-1 Semifinal Group A
Newell's Old Boys' series: 14 - 7 - 7 - 0 - 21-8
(-) 26.02.92 Rosario Newell's - San Lorenzo 0-6 Round 1 Group 1
(1) 03.03.92 Rosario Newell's - Coquimbo Unido 3-0 " "
(2) 06.03.92 Rosario Newell's - Colo Colo 3-1 " "
(3) 09.03.92 Santiago Universidad Católica - Newell's 1-1 " "
(4) 25.03.92 Buenos Aires San Lorenzo - Newell's 0-1 " "
(5) 31.03.92 Coquimbo Coquimbo Unido - Newell's 1-2 " "
(6) 03.04.92 Santiago Colo Colo - Newell's 1-1 " "
(7) 10.04.92 Rosario Newell's - Universidad Católica 0-0 " "
(8) 29.04.92 Montevideo Defensor Sporting - Newell's 1-1 Second Round
(9) 06.05.92 Rosario Newell's - Defensor Sporting 1-0 " "
(10) 13.05.92 Rosario Newell's - San Lorenzo 4-0 Quarterfinal
(11) 20.05.92 Buenos Aires San Lorenzo - Newell's 1-1 "
(12) 27.05.92 Rosario Newell's - América 1-1 Semifinal
(13) 03.06.92 Cali  América - Newell's 1-1 "
(14) 10.06.92 Rosario Newell's - São Paulo F.C. 1-0 Final
(--) 17.06.92 São Paulo  São Paulo F.C. - Newell's 1-0 "
 Newell's won 11-10 on penalty kicks.
 Newell's lost 2-3 on penalty kicks.
From 1960 to 2002, 115 stadia have staged Copa Libertadores matches.
The top-10 list is:
1 Centenario (Montevideo, Uru) 337 matches - 70000 spectators
2 Los Defensores del Chaco (Asunción, Par) 241 matches - 48000 spectators
3 Nacional (Lima, Per) 230 matches - 46000 spectators
4 Nacional (Santiago, Chi) 197 matches - 77000 spectators
5 Pascual Guerrero (Cali, Col) 134 matches - 45000 spectators
6 Hernando Siles Suazo (La Paz, Bol) 131 matches - 47000 spectators
7 Olímpico Atahualpa (Quito, Ecu) 117 matches - 45000 spectators
8 Antonio Liberti "Monumental River Plate" (B.Aires, Arg) 114 matches - 77000 spectators
9 Modelo (Guayaquil, Ecu) 92 matches - 48000 spectators
10 Nemesio Camacho "El Campín" (Bogotá, Col) 73 matches - 50000 spectators
won most easily
Copa Libertadores finals have always been played in home and away matches
(furthermore from 1960 to 1987 a third match could be played). But on only
5 occasions both matches were won by the same team:
1963 Santos [3-2 and 2-1 against Boca Juniors]
1969 Estudiantes [1-0 and 2-0 against Nacional]
1986 River Plate [2-1 and 1-0 against América]
1998 Vasco da Gama [2-0 and 2-1 against Barcelona]
2003 Boca Juniors [2-0 and 3-1 against Santos]
the Libertadores without a previous title
From 1973 to 1997 it was possible that the champions of Uruguay did not qualify
for the Copa Libertadores. At the end of the season a mini-tournament, called
Liguilla, was played, usually between the top 6 teams from the league. The
winners of the Liguilla qualified for the Copa Libertadores; and if the
champions were not either winners or runners-up of the Liguilla, they played
off against the Liguilla runners-up for the second place in the Libertadores.
In 1987 Defensor was the champion; but Wanderers won the "Liguilla" and
Nacional (which had been regular season runner-up) finished second.
Nacional then defeated Defensor and also played the Copa Libertadores 1988,
without winning either League or Liguilla.
In the Copa Libertadores 1988, the first two teams from each group qualified
for the second round, and Nacional qualified as runners-up behind América
de Cali (Colombia) - so, without winning their group. In the group
stage, Nacional lost 1-6 against Millonarios of Bogotá - the worst-ever
defeat suffered by the eventual winners. In the second round, Nacional
eliminated Universidad Católica of Santiago de Chile, who had been
undefeated in the group stage, after two draws - Universidad Católica
were eliminated while still undefeated. Nacional progressed and eventually
won the Copa Libertadores 1988.
So Nacional won the Copa Libertadores without being Uruguayan champion, nor
"Liguilla" champion, nor winning its first round group.
Furthermore, following their triumph they won a series of other international
honours: the Toyota Cup, against PSV, on penalties and after equalizing the
match in the last minute of extra time; the Recopa, against Racing Club; and
the Copa Interamericana (against Olimpia of Honduras).
Two teams, both from Brazil, have participated in Copa Libertadores while not
belonging to their domestic league First Division.
The first time it happened was in 1992; the previous year Criciúma won the
Copa Brasil, a tournament open to teams from lower divisions, thereby qualifiying
for the Copa Libertadores. Criciúma played in 1992 in the Brazilian Second Division
and was promoted to First Division in that season. In Copa Libertadores they made
a good campaign winning their First Round group which included fellow Brazilians
São Paulo F.C., and Bolívar and San José from Bolivia. In the Second Round Criciúma
eliminated Sporting Cristal from Peru. Their fairytale ended in the Quarterfinals
when São Paulo F.C. proved to be too strong for them (eventually São Paulo F.C.
won Copa Libertadores that year and the next). Until now Criciúma has not qualified
again for Copa Libertadores, but they proved that even a "minor" team can play the
"major" ones successfully.
Eight years after, in 2000, Juventude also played in Copa Libertadores as
previous year Copa Brazil winners. Juventude played in 1999 in the Brazilian First
Division but were relegated at the end of the season. By the time Copa Libertadores
2000 was played the Brazilian League had not started yet but Juventude were due to
play in 2000 in the Brazilian Second Division. However Juventude's campaign in Copa
Libertadores was not good as Criciúma’s, as they were eliminated in First Round
after finishing third in their group behind qualifiers Palmeiras (Brazil) and El
Nacional (Ecuador), and just ahead of The Strongest (Bolivia).
In 2000, a Brazilian team qualified for the Copa Libertadores 2001 by virtue
of reaching the final of an unofficial championship (the Copa João Havelange)
as a second division team. However, as they were promoted as reward for their
campaign, São Caetano played in the Copa Libertadores 2001 as a first division side,
and eventually reached the second round of that tournament. One year later in 2002,
they made it better by reaching the Copa Libertadores final.
Plate: finals in years ending in 6
River Plate is one of the greatest teams from Argentina; they have won more
Argentine Leagues than any other team and they are the Argentine team with most
participations in Copa Libertadores. But for many year success eluded them.
In 1966 they played their first Final. Against Peñarol from Uruguay
they lost the first leg by 0-2 but then won the second leg 3-2. At that time goal
difference did not count, so a playoff was necessary. In Santiago de Chile, River
Plate were leading 2-0 at half time, but in the second half Peñarol equalized,
and then won 4-2 after extra time.
In 1976 River was back in the Final and the story repeated itself, this time
against Cruzeiro from Brazil. River lost the first leg 1-4 and won the second leg
by 2-1. As 10 years before a playoff was necessary and again it was in Santiago de
Chile. This time Cruzeiro was leading 2-0 before River equalized, but in the 88th
minute Cruzeiro scored their third, winning the Copa Libertadores.
Ten years later, in 1986, River qualified for their third Final. This time
their rivals were América from Colombia, who had lost the previous year's
Final against another Argentinian team and were seeking revenge. Unfortunately for
them, this was the time when River ended their curse. River won the first leg at
América's ground by 2-1 and then in their Estadio Monumental won again by
1-0, finally becoming Libertadores champions.
From 1987 until 1995 River participated 5 times and despite having a great team
they never made it to the Final. But in 1996 they qualified for their fourth
Final. And as 10 years before América were their rivals. And again River
won: having lost the first leg in Cali 0-1, River Plate won 2-0 in Buenos Aires.
So a Final every 10 years and in those years ending on number 6. It would seem
a safe bet to place River Plate in the Copa Libertadores Final of 2006.
champions don't compete
In 1985 Argentina modified their football season calendar: since that year, the
season begins in the second half of a "calendar year" and ends in the first half
of the next "calendar year". At that time the Copa Libertadores was played in
the second half of the year so there was no problem for Argentina. But in 1989
the CONMEBOL decided that Copa Libertadores will start in the first half of the year.
That was a problem for Argentina.
Therefore, A.F.A. (Argentina Football Association) ruled that the two teams that
occupied first and second place at the halfway point of the 1988/89 season will be
Argentina's representatives in the 1989 Copa Libertadores. And so Racing Club
and Boca Juniors participated in the 1989 Copa Libertadores, both being
eliminated in the Second Round. Eventually, Boca Juniors finished the domestic season
in 2nd place (but did not qualify for 1990 Copa Libertadores after losing against
River Plate in the "Liguilla") and Racing Club faded in the second half of the season
most unlucky team
Without any doubt América from the city of Cali, Colombia is the most
unlucky team to have participated in the Copa Libertadores. They lost all 4 Finals
which they reached, 3 of them consecutively (1985, 1986, 1987, 1996).
In 1985 they lost on a penalty shootout against Argentinos Juniors. The first two
legs were won 1-0 by the hosts, and the third match on neutral ground ended 1-1 after
extra-time. In the shootout, goalkeeper Vidallé stopped De Avila's kick, which
was América's fifth and the ninth of the series. Then Videla scored for Argentinos,
and América lost 4-5.
One year later, América were beaten categorically by River Plate. River won
both legs of the Final (2-1, 1-0), and América became the second team to lost
two consecutive Finals.
The next year proved to be the most unlucky. For the last time, the Finals were played
without counting goal difference; so a third match was to be played if the two teams
were tied on points after the two legs. Against Peñarol, América won 2-0 at
home and then in Montevideo they scored first in the 19th minute. It seemed that it
was over. But Peñarol tied the match in the 58th minute, and then 4 minutes from
time scored a second goal, winning the match 2-1. So a third match had to be played
in Santiago de Chile. Because of the rules América had the advantage of playing
for the draw (they were ahead on goal difference 3-2). The match was tied in extra
time, América substitutes were already calling for the game to end, when Aguirre
scored for Peñarol in the 119th minute. Believe it or not, América had lost
their third consecutive Final, in what was possibly the most dramatic Final of the
entire history of the Copa Libertadores. The irony was that with the rules for 1988
(and ever since), after the second leg América would have won the tournament.
Finally, in 1996 all was set for a revenge against River Plate. This time América
won 1-0 in Cali. But a week later in Buenos Aires Hernán Crespo scored twice, and
América lost their fourth final.
other rules they wouldn't have been won
Since 1960 and until 1987, Finals were played without counting goal difference;
only points were taken in account. If after the two matches both teams were tied
on points a third match on neutral ground had to be played. If the third match was
tied, then and only then goal difference was considered; if there was no goal difference
a penalty shootout took place. In 1988 when the format of the Copa Libertadores was
changed, the rules changed: the third match was abolished and goal difference was
considered; and if both teams tied after the two legs a shootout had to take place;
no extra-time, no away goals rule. These are the rules until now.
So, if the actual rules (and an away goals rule) had been in effect since the Copa
Libertadores began, those teams wouldn't have been champions:
1962 Santos [against Peñarol 2-1(away), 2-3(home)]
1965 Independiente [against Peñarol 1-0(home), 1-3(away)]
1968 Estudiantes [against Palmeiras 2-1(home), 1-3(away)]
1973 Independiente [against Colo Colo 1-1(home), 0-0(away)]
1981 Flamengo [against Cobreloa 2-1(home), 0-1(away)]
1987 Peñarol [against América 0-2(away), 2-1(home)]
If an away goals rule had existed since 1988, the following teams wouldn't have
1999 Palmeiras [against Deportivo Cali 0-1 (away), 2-1 (home)]
2000 Boca Juniors [against Palmeiras 2-2 (home), 0-0 (away)]
2004 Once Caldas [against Boca Juniors 1-1 (home), 0-0 (away)]
It is worth to note that with an "away goals" rule, in 2004 Once Caldas wouldn’t have
made it to the Final: in the Second Round against Barcelona they drew away 0-0 and 1-1 at home,
eventually qualifying through a penalty shootout.
players with different success
Argentinian back Francisco Sá (b. 25.10.46) is the most succesful individual
player. Sá won the Copa Libertadores 6 times: 4 times with Independiente (1972, 1973,
1974, and 1975) and 2 times with Boca Juniors (1977 and 1978).
On the other hand, Colombian forward Anthony De Avila (b. 21.12.63) lost 5 Copa
Libertadores finals: 4 times with América (1985, 1986, 1987, 1996) and 1 time with
Barcelona (1998). To make things worse, in 1985 he missed the penalty kick during the
Final shootout that denied América the triumph.
most succesful coach
The Argentinian coach Carlos Bianchi is the most succesful one in Copa Libertadores history. Bianchi
coached the winners 4 times: Vélez Sarsfield in 1994 and Boca Juniors in 2000, 2001 and 2003.
It is interesting to note that in 3 of his championships he won them at the same stadium: Morumbi
(Sao Paulo, Brazil). In all those opportunities (1994, 2000 and 2003) the away final was played at that stadium.
He lost his fifth final in 2004.
Prepared and maintained by José Luis Pierrend for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
Author: José Luis Pierrend (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last updated: 11 Sep 2004
(C) Copyright José Luis Pierrend and RSSSF 1999/2004
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.