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Copa America

Which country has won the most Copa America titles?

3:13 am AEDT 26/1/19
Split Copa America winners
Ahead of the 46th edition of South America's international competition, Goal counts down those who have enjoyed the most success in the tournament

Following the group stage draw earlier this week , the countdown to Copa America's 2019 edition has begun.

Four nations participating in this year's competition are yet to lift the title - including this year's two invited nations, Japan and Qatar, the latter of whom will be making their debut in the competition .

But who has been crowned the champions of South America the most times?

  • Bolivia Copa America

    Bolivia

    Copa America titles won: 1

    Years won: 1963

    Bolivia have lifted the Copa America trophy just once, but it came on home soil and in one of the competition's most memorable tournaments, with 91 goals scored for an average of just over four per game. For a country who have only qualified for three World Cups, their last in 1994 and none of the three seeing them progress from the group stages, it remains their greatest footballing achievement.

    When La Verde hosted the tournament again in 1997, they came close to repeating history, only to be defeated 3-1 by Ronaldo's Brazil in the final. However, Bolivia have generally struggled at Copa America, with their first and second-placed finishes complemented by two runs to the quarter-finals, but little else.

    They did reach the last eight as recently as 2015 though, an incredibly impressive result for a squad with 18 of their players still playing in their homeland - and the only exceptions being just as unknown while plying their trade in Sweden, China, Chile, Italy and Turkey.

  • Colombia Copa America 2001

    Colombia

    Copa America titles won: 1

    Years won: 2001

    Despite their current squad being blessed with a plethora of talent - the likes of Davinson Sanchez, James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao - Colombia's recent Copa America record is rather patchy. Since winning their first and only title in 2001, they have finished third and fourth, twice crashed out in the quarter-finals and didn't even escape the group stages in 2007.

    Their current crop is arguably more talented than the side who were crowned champions of South America at the beginning of the century, too. Inter legend Ivan Cordoba was the star in a 23-man squad that contained 17 players who played their football in their home country.

    Los Cafeteros almost lived up to the billing at the Copa America Centenario too, only for eventual champions Chile to beat them in the semi-finals. Carlos Bacca's strike did secure a 1-0 win over the USA in the third-place play-off, but they will need to sort their managerial situation out if they are to build on that this summer. Colombia have been under Arturo Reyes' interim charge since Jose Pekerman departed after the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

  • Peru World Cup 2018

    Peru

    Copa America titles won: 2

    Years won: 1939, 1975

    It's over 40 years since Peru last won the Copa America, with Hugo Sotil of Barcelona and Teofilo Cubillas of Porto starring in their first triumph since victory on home soil in 1939, under the charge of Englishman Jack Greenwell. 

    La Blanquirroja are enjoying something of a resurgence in recent years, however. Last summer, they qualified for their first World Cup finals since 1982, and they have reached at least the quarter-finals in each of the last eight Copa America tournaments.

    Their current crop contains a balanced mix of youth and experience - with Paolo Guerrero and Jefferson Farfan hoping to guide the likes of Willem II's Renato Tapia and San Jose Earthquakes teenager Marcos Lopez beyond a Copa America semi-final for the first time since their 1975 triumph.

  • Paraguay Copa America 1979

    Paraguay

    Copa America titles won: 2

    Years won: 1953, 1979

    This year marks exactly 40 years since Paraguay last lifted the Copa America trophy, with a squad containing the likes of Romerito, the one-time Barcelona midfielder regarded as Paraguay's greatest ever footballer; Roberto Cabanas, who would go on to play for New York Cosmos and Lyon; and Roberto Fernandez, the goalkeeper best-known for his time at Valencia and Espanyol.

    Their one other success in the competition came in 1953. Former Juventus manager Heriberto Herrera, who guided them to Coppa Italia success in 1965 and the Serie A title in 1967, was the star name from the side that upset Brazil with a 3-2 win in the final.

    Los Guaranies have come close to tasting success since, having reached the semi-finals in 2015 and finished runners-up in 2011. However, they finished bottom of their group in 2016, with only a point from their goalless draw against Costa Rica to show for their efforts.

  • Chile Copa America 2016

    Chile

    Copa America titles won: 2

    Years won: 2015, 2016

    After finishing as runners-up in the competition on four occasions, Chile finally claimed that elusive Copa America title in the sweetest way possible by lifting the trophy on home soil in 2015. La Roja then retained their crown 12 months on at the Copa America Centenario - beating Argentina on penalties after a goalless final for the second year running.

    The talismanic ways of an in-form Alexis Sanchez were key to both successes, who claimed the Golden Ball Award in 2016. Alongside him were the superb performances of Claudio Bravo, Gary Medel and Arturo Vidal, the latter two riding a wave of confidence after securing moves to Barcelona and Inter respectively following their impressive displays at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

    With the majority of Chile's star players finding themselves out of favour at the moment, the chances of them winning their third Copa America on the spin are deemed unlikely. But, with 10 of their 11 most capped players still active, all of those previous winners, and the majority of their two-time triumphant team still intact, they remain contenders

  • Rivaldo Copa America trophy

    Brazil

    Copa America titles won: 8

    Years won: 1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2007

    Despite being the most successful team in the history of the World Cup, Brazil are only third on the list for Copa America wins - and they are some way behind those ahead of them. It's particularly surprising given they have consistently produced some of football's greatest ever players, with Pele himself never having even lifted the trophy.

    Brazil looked set to dominate the competition for years to come when they won four of the five editions played between 1997 and 2007, with Brazilians claiming the Golden Boot in three of those triumphs - Ronaldo in 1999, Adriano in 2004 and Robinho in 2007.

    That success 12 years ago was their most recent, however, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism going into the 2019 edition. With a squad containing the likes of Neymar, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus, the host nation are one of the favourites for the competition. After all, they have won every Copa America tournament they have hosted.

  • Simeone Copa America

    Argentina

    Copa America titles won: 14

    Years won: 1921, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1937, 1941, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1991, 1993

    Despite producing two of the greatest players to ever play the game in Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, the majority of Argentina's 14 Copa America titles came before the two of them had even been born. Only twice have they been crowned champions of South America since, and neither of those triumphs included either of their most iconic players.

    The likes of Gabriel Batistuta and Diego Simeone were key to their two successes in the 1990s, the former top-scoring in 1991 with six goals to earn a move to Fiorentina. He would also bag a brace in their 2-1 win over Mexico in the final just two years later, which was the last time Argentina lifted the trophy.

    They have come close in recent years, however. Messi and co. have lost four of the last five Copa America finals, with three of those coming in penalty shootout heartbreak. They will certainly hope Messi ends his time away from the national team to try and avenge those defeats then, and it looks like the Barcelona maestro could well be set to return

  • Uruguay Copa America 2011

    Uruguay

    Copa America titles won: 15

    Years won: 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1935, 1942, 1956, 1959, 1967, 1983, 1987, 1995, 2011

    As well as being the smallest country (by population) to have ever won the FIFA World Cup, Uruguay is also the smallest country to have won Copa America, making their status as the most successful team in the history of the competition even more spectacular.

    More than half of their successes came at the beginning of the 20th century, with two of them sandwiched in between their World Cup successes of 1930 and 1950. Their incredibly talented current generation - which includes the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani - have only lifted the trophy once though, accounting for their only triumph of the last eight editions.

    After placing in Copa America for five tournaments in a row, Uruguay only reached the quarter-finals in 2015 and disappointingly crashed out in the group stages a year later, at the Copa America Centenario. Their underwhelming performances during that celebratory edition of football's oldest international continental competition should see them going into this year's tournament with extra motivation, as they look to add to their 15 titles.

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