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Copa Libertadores

Copa Libertadores

Copa Libertadores

The Copa Libertadores is South America's premier club football tournament. The Copa Libertadores is an annual association football competition organized by CONMEBOL since 1960. It is the second-most prestigious club tournament in the world.

Copa

In 1958, the basis and format of the competition were created by Peñarol's board leaders. On October 8, 1958, João Havelange announced, at a UEFA meeting he attended as an invitee, the creation of Copa de Campeones de America (American Champions Cup, renamed in 1965 as Copa Libertadores), as a South American equivalent of the European Cup, so that the champion clubs of both continental confederations could decide "the best club team of the world" in the Intercontinental Cup.

The first edition of the Copa Libertadores took place in 1960. Seven teams participated: Bahia of Brazil, Jorge Wilstermann of Bolivia, Millonarios of Colombia, Olimpia of Paraguay, Peñarol of Uruguay, San Lorenzo of Argentina and Universidad de Chile. All these teams were domestic champions of their respective leagues in 1959. The first Copa Libertadores match took place on April 19, 1960. It was won by Peñarol, who defeated Jorge Wilstermann 7–1. The first goal in Copa Libertadores history was scored by Carlos Borges of Peñarol. The Uruguayans won the first ever edition, defeating Olimpia in the finals, and successfully defended the title in 1961. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

Final

The first of these titles came in 1972 when Independiente came up against Universitario de Deportes of Peru in the finals. Universitario became the first team from the Pacific coast to reach the finals after eliminating Uruguayan giants Peñarol and defending champions Nacional at the semifinal stage. The first leg in Lima ended in a 0–0 tie, while the second leg in Avellaneda finished 2–1 in favor of the home team. Independiente successfully defended the title a year later against Colo-Colo after winning the playoff match 2–1. Los Diablos Rojos retained the trophy in 1974 after defeating São Paulo 1–0 in a hard-fought playoff. In 1975, Unión Española also failed to dethrone the champions in the finals after losing the playoff 2–0.

Another team rose from the Pacific, as had Cobreloa. Colombian club América reached three consecutive finals in 1985, 1986 and 1987 but like Cobreloa they could not manage to win a single one. In 1985, Argentinos Juniors, a small club from the neighborhood of La Paternal in Buenos Aires, astonished South America by eliminating holders Independiente in La Doble Visera 2–1 during the last decisive match of the second round, to book a place in the final. Argentinos Juniors went on to win an unprecedented title by beating America de Cali in the play-off match via a penalty shootout. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

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