Current Copa Sudamericana official logo, in use since 2015
|Region||South America (CONMEBOL)|
|Number of teams||47 (from 10 associations)|
|Related competitions|| Recopa Sudamericana
Suruga Bank Championship
|Current champions||Chapecoense (1st title)|
|Most successful club(s)||Boca Juniors (2 titles)|
|2017 Copa Sudamericana|
The Copa Sudamericana (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkopa suðameɾiˈkana]; Portuguese: Copa Sul-Americana [ˈkɔpɐ ˈsuw ɐmeɾiˈkɐnɐ]) is an annual international club football competition organized by the CONMEBOL since 2002. It is the second-most prestigious club competition in South American football. CONCACAF clubs were invited between 2004 and 2008. The Copa Sudamericana began in 2002, replacing the separate competitions Copa Merconorte and Copa Mercosur (that before replaced Copa CONMEBOL) by a single competition. Since its introduction, the competition has been a pure elimination tournament with the number of rounds and teams varying from year to year.
The Copa Sudamericana is considered a merger of defunct tournaments such as the Copa CONMEBOL, Copa Mercosur and Copa Merconorte. The winner of the Copa Sudamericana becomes eligible to play in the Recopa Sudamericana. They gain entry onto the next edition of the Copa Libertadores, South America's premier club competition. They also contest in the Supercopa Euroamericana and the Suruga Bank Championship.
The reigning champion of the competition is Brazilian club Chapecoense, who were awarded the title in tribute, following the deaths of 19 members of their team in a plane crash in Colombia en route to the first leg of the 2016 final. 
Argentine club Boca Juniors is the most successful club in the cup history, having won the tournament twice. Argentine clubs have accumulated the most victories with seven while containing the largest number of different winning teams, with a total of six clubs having won the title. The cup has been won by 11 different clubs and won consecutively once, by Boca Juniors in 2004 and 2005.
In 1992, the Copa CONMEBOL was an international football tournament created for South American clubs that did not qualify for the Copa Libertadores and Supercopa Sudamericana. This tournament was discontinued in 1999 and replaced by the Copa Merconorte and Copa Mercosur. These tournaments started in 1998 but were discontinued in 2001. A Pan-American club cup competition was intended, under the name of Copa Pan-Americana, but instead, the Copa Sudamericana was introduced in 2002 as a single-elimination tournament with the reigning Copa Mercosur champion, San Lorenzo.
Having already won the Copa Libertadores and Recopa Sudamericana, Internacional, with goals from Alex and Nilmar, became the first Brazilian team to win the cup, after an unbeaten campaign that includes eliminating their archrivals Grêmio, defeating Boca Juniors at the Bombonera, and then defeating Estudiantes in the final. In 2016, Brazilian team Chapecoense were travelling to the final when the plane carrying them crashed in Colombia. The opponents, Atlético Nacional, asked CONMEBOL to award the trophy to the Chapecoense.
As of 2015 the tournament comprised 48 teams in a knockout format, with 16 sides getting byes to the second round (last 32).
The tournament shares its name with the trophy, also called the Copa Sudamericana or simply la Sudamericana, which is awarded to the Copa Sudamericana winner.
La Otra Mitad de La Gloria
La Otra Mitad de La Gloria (The other half of glory) is a promotional Spanish phrase used in the context of winning or attempting on winning the Copa Sudamericana. It is a term widely used by Latin American media. The tournament itself has become highly regarded among its participants since its inception. In 2004, Cienciano's conquest of the trophy ignited a party across Peru. The Mexican football federation regards Pachuca's victory in 2006 as the most important title won by any Mexican club. Sports Illustrated qualified Arsenal, unlikely contenders for the 2007 edition, as "the underdog that couldn't be stopped".
Like the Copa Libertadores, the Copa Sudamericana was sponsored by a group of multinational corporations. Like the premier South American club football tournament forementioned, the competition used a single, main sponsor. The first major sponsor was Nissan Motors, who signed an 8-year contract with CONMEBOL in 2003.
However, the competition has had many secondary sponsors that invest in the tournament as well. Many of these sponsors are nationally based but have expanded to other nations. Nike supplies the official match ball, as they do for all other CONMEBOL competitions. Embratel, a brand of Telmex, is the only telecommunications sponsor of the tournament. Individual clubs may wear jerseys with advertising, even if such sponsors conflict with those of the Copa Sudamericana.
Clubs in the Copa Sudamericana receive $400,000 for qualifying for the competition. Afterwards, each club earns $90,000 per home match. That amount is derived from television rights and stadium advertising. In addition, CONMEBOL pays $500,000 to the winners.
Records and statistics
As of the end of the 2014 tournament, LDU Quito and São Paulo have played most games in the tournament (50).
|Team||Winners||Runners-up||Winning Years||Runners-up Years|
|Boca Juniors||2||—||2004, 2005||
|Universidad de Chile||1||—||2011||
Winners by country
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