Copa Bridgestone Libertadores is an international soccer competition organized by CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation). The competition consists of teams from 10 countries in South America, and Mexico. It is the most prestigious club competition in South American soccer and is an extremely popular event, with a history of more than 50 years. The winning team will be entitled to enter the FIFA Club World Cup representing South America.
|Year||Winning team||Second place team|
|1998||Vasco da Gama||Barcelona|
|2001||Boca Juniors||Cruz Azul|
|2004||Once Caldas||Boca Juniors|
|2005||Sao Paulo||Atletico Paranaense|
In 1960, the Copa Libertadores made its debut as the Champions' Club Cup, an annual championship to determine the No. 1 team among all club teams from member countries of the CONMEBOL.. Originally, each country was represented by a single team. In 1966, the present system was introduced, whereby the two best teams from each country participated. A seeding system was initiated so that the champion from the previous year could join from the second round. In that same year, the name Copa Libertadores was adopted, commemorating the heroes of independence who freed the countries of the South American continent from Spanish colonial rule. In its early days, the tournament was beset by problems such as financial hardship and the logistics of scheduling games across the vast South American land mass. But this contest among the best club teams rapidly attracted legions of devoted fans. In no time at all, the Copa Libertadores became one of the most important events of the year for all of South America's football clubs.