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Most successful teams in Copa America

Copa America is the primary football tournament contested among national teams from CONMEBOL South America. Here we take a look at the most successful teams in Copa America history.

Last updated: 05.06.2021
Most successful teams in Copa America

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The Copa America is the premier men's football competition in which CONMEBOL national teams compete. It is the world's oldest and longest-running international football competition, as well as the third most popular. The competition determines the South American champions. Teams from North America and Asia have been invited to compete since the 1990s.

Argentina hosted a tournament from July 2 to July 17, 1916, with Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil as the first participants. This so-called Campeonato Sudamericano de Football would be the inaugural edition of what is now known as Copa América, and Uruguay would win it. After an eight-year hiatus, the event was resurrected in 1975 under the name Copa América. CONMEBOL decided in 1986 to have one country host the event every other year and to compete in it every other year. From 1987 through 2001, the 10 members of the confederation alternated hosting the event every two years.

The Copa América Centenario competition was held in the United States in 2016 to commemorate the tournament's centennial; it was the first to be held outside of South America and featured an expanded field of 16 nations from CONMEBOL and CONCACAF.


The Copa America scheduled to be hosted in 2020 was postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak. It was supposed to happen in June but Colombia and Argentina, the hosts, backed out due to the outbreak and Brazil has been chosen to host the tournament. But there’s a high chance of it getting cancelled as players are reluctant to play in Brazil as it is one of the most affected countries in the world. So, here we take a look at the most successful teams in Copa America.

1. Uruguay - 15 titles

They have won the Copa América 15 times, making them the tournament's most successful national team. Their most recent triumph was in 2011. The team has won two FIFA World Cups, including the first in 1930, when they hosted the tournament and defeated Argentina 4–2 in the final. In 1950, they won their second title, defeating host Brazil 2–1 in the final, which had the highest attendance of any football event ever. In terms of population, Uruguay is by far the smallest country in the world to have won a World Cup, with 1.75 million people in 1930.

2. Argentina - 14 titles

Argentina is the only country to have won the Copa América 14 times, second only to Uruguay. In addition, the team won the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1992 and the Artemio Franchi Trophy in 1993. La Albiceleste has competed in five World Cup finals, the first of which they lost 4–2 against Uruguay in 1930. They have won the World Cup twice and lost three in the final. They've also reached the finals of Copa America 15 times and have the most top-four finishes in the competition (35).

3. Brazil - 9 titles

Brazil has won the FIFA World Cup five times, making them the most successful national team in the tournament's history. However, they have won Copa America nine times and lost 11 times in the final. The South American Championship, contested in Brazil in 1949, brought an end to a 27-year period of no official titles. The most recent was in the 1922 South American Championship, which was also held in Brazil.

4. Paraguay - 2 titles

Paraguay has won the Copa América two times and is a regular participant in the tournament (in 1953 and 1979). The national team's most successful period came under the guidance of Argentine Gerardo Martino, who was named South American Coach of the Year in 2007 and led Paraguay to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup for the first time in history (in 2010) and to the final of the 2011 Copa América, where they finished second.

5. Chile - 2 titles

At the 2015 Copa América, Chile defeated Argentina in the final to win their first Copa América championship on home soil. In 2016, they successfully defended their championship at the Copa América Centenario in the United States. Chile had previously finished second in the competition four times. They qualified for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup after winning the 2015 Copa América, where they finished second, behind Germany, in their first appearance.

6. Peru - 2 titles

Peru has twice won the Copa América and five times qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals (last appearing in 2018). It also competed in the 1936 Olympic football competition and advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals. In the 2019 Copa America, they were the runners-up as they lost against Brazil in the final.

7. Colombia - 1 title

Colombia has participated in six World Cups (1962, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2014 and 2018). The team had their greatest World Cup performance in 2014, reaching the quarter-finals and finishing sixth in the overall standings. Its most notable international victory is the Copa América, which it won in 2001 while hosting the tournament in Colombia; it has also finished second in 1975 and advanced to the semi-finals in 1987, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2004, and 2016.

8. Bolivia - 1 title

Bolivia won the Copa América trophy at home in 1963 and finished second in the event they hosted the following year in 1997. After defeating Ecuador 3–2, they went to the quarter-finals of the 2015 Copa América in Chile for the first time since 1997. This also broke a seven-year drought in the Copa América, with their last victory being on June 28, 1997. They have only qualified once, in 1994, after competing in the 1930 and 1950 World Cups.

Ecuador and Venezuela are the remaining teams from CONMEBOL. Both have never made it even to the final of the Copa America. Ecuador’s best performance has been making it to the semi-finals of the tournament twice - 1959 & 1993. Venezuela is the worst-performing nation in South America as they have made it to the semis just once, in 2011. 



15 Copa America titles



14 Copa America titles



9 Copa America titles



2 Copa America titles



2 Copa America titles



2 Copa America titles



1 Copa America title



1 Copa America title



2 x semis



1 x semis

Also Read | All-time top-scorers of Copa America

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