Copa Libertadores

The Copa Libertadores (Copa Libertadores de América), the tournament between the domestic league winners, was established in 1960. The structure is a combined knock-out and group stage tournament in which the knock-out matches are decided by two-legged ties.

Winners and runners-up

All the winners and runners-up trough the years of the Copa Libertadores.

Season Winner Runner-up
2018 River Plate Boca Juniors
2017 Grêmio Lanús
2016 Atlético Nacional Independiente del Valle
2015 River Plate UANL
2014 San Lorenzo Nacional
2013 Atlético Mineiro Olimpia
2012 Corinthians Boca Juniors
2011 Santos Peñarol
2010 Internacional Guadalajara
2009 Estudiantes Cruzeiro
2008 LDU Quito Fluminense
2007 Boca Juniors Grêmio
2006 Internacional São Paulo
2005 São Paulo Atlético Paranaense
2004 Once Caldas Boca Juniors
2003 Boca Juniors Santos
2002 Olimpia São Caetano
2001 Boca Juniors Cruz Azul
2000 Boca Juniors Palmeiras
1999 Palmeiras Deportivo Cali
1998 Vasco da Gama Barcelona SC
1997 Cruzeiro Sporting Cristal
1996 River Plate América de Cali
1995 Grêmio Atlético Nacional
1994 Vélez Sársfield São Paulo
1993 São Paulo Universidad Católica
1992 São Paulo Newell's Old Boys
1991 Colo-Colo Olimpia
1990 Olimpia Barcelona SC
1989 Atlético Nacional Olimpia
1998 Nacional Newell's Old Boys
1987 Peñarol América de Cali
1986 River Plate América de Cali
1985 Argentinos Juniors América de Cali
1984 Independiente Grêmio
1983 Grêmio Peñarol
1982 Peñarol Cobreloa
1981 Flamengo Cobreloa
1980 Nacional Internacional
1979 Olimpia Boca Juniors
1978 Boca Juniors Deportivo Cali
1977 Boca Juniors Cruzeiro
1976 Boca Juniors River Plate
1975 Independiente Unión Española
1974 Independiente São Paulo
1973 Independiente Colo-Colo
1972 Independiente Universitario
1971 Nacional Estudiantes
1970 Estudiantes Peñarol
1969 Estudiantes Nacional
1968 Estudiantes Palmeiras
1967 Racing Nacional
1966 Peñarol River Plate
1965 Independiente Peñarol
1964 Independiente Nacional
1963 Santos Boca Juniors
1962 Santos Peñarol
1961 Peñarol Palmeiras
1960 Peñarol Olimpia

History

The Copa Libertadores was not the first ever club competition on the continent, in 1948 the South American Championship of Champions was played and involved clubs from seven countries. This competition was, however, only played once and the Copa Libertadores become the first annually held tournament that involved the whole continent (since 1998 has also Mexican clubs been included).

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Statistics

The club that have won the tournament the most times is Independiente with seven trophies (1964, 1965, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1984). Boca Juniors is the team that have reach the finals the most times, eleven in total, once more than Peñarol.

These clubs have won the most titles in the Copa Libertadores, concerning the period 1960-2018.

Table 2. Most won titles by clubs
Club Titles
Independiente 7
Boca Juniors 6
Peñarol 5
River Plate 4
Estudiantes 4
Olimpia 3
Nacional 3
São Paulo 3
Grêmio 3
Santos 3
Cruzeiro 2
Internacional 2
Atlético Nacional 2

The other clubs that has won the cup on one occasion are Palmeiras, Colo-Colo, Racing, Flamengo, Argentinos Juniors, Vélez Sársfield, Vasco da Gama, Once Caldas, LDU Quito, Corinthians, Atlético Mineiro and San Lorenzo.

A comparison between countries show that Argentine clubs has been the most successful through history in the Copa Libertadores.

Table 3. Most won titles by country
Club Titles
Argentina 25
Brazil 18
Uruguay 8
Colombia 3
Paraguay 4
Chile 1
Ecuador 1

Besides the listed countries, clubs from Mexico and Peru has reach the final in the competition.

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Copa Libertadores timeline

1960 The competition is established.
1960 Peñarol become the first winner of the competition.
1961 Peñarol become the first club to win the tournament two years in a row (1960-1961).
1970 Estudiantes become the first club to win the tournament three years in a row (1969-1970).
1971 Estudiantes become the first club to reach four finals in a row (1968-1971).
1975 Independiente become the first club to win the tournament four years in a row (1972-1975).
1979 Olimpia become the first Paraguayan club to win the competition.
1989 Atlético Nacional become the first Colombian club to win the competition.
1991 Colo-Colo become the first Chilean club to win the competition.
1998 Mexico is participating for the first time.
2005 Two clubs from the same country are for the first competing in a final (São Paulo vs. Atlético Paranaense).
2008 LDU Quito become the first Ecuadorian club to win the competition.
2018 Two Argentine clubs are for the first competing in a final (São Paulo and Atlético Paranaense).

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copa_Libertadores