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South American Cup, ‘The Great Conquest’ of Conmebol born from the ‘ashes’ of alternate tournaments

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The immortal Carlos Gardel sang that “twenty years is nothing” and that will surely be felt by the creators of the Copa Sudamericana, when Sao Paulo and Valley Independent jump on the court this Saturday to play the single ending from 2022 and this tournament, risen from the ashes of othertwo decades old.

Specific, twenty years, one month and two days will have “The Great Conquest”as the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) baptized its second major club tournament, when this October 1 Brazilians and Ecuadorians jump onto the grass of the Mario Alberto Kempes stadium, in the Argentine city of Córdoba.

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From the Argentine San Lorenzo, first champion, to Athletico Paranaense, who won in 2021, 20 teams from seven countries (including Mexico, who played four as a guest and won a title) have triumphed in a tournament that relieved the Merconorte and Mercosur Cups and what does it have reminiscences of the Copa Conmebol and the Supercopa Sudamericanaboth also extinct.

Referees for the final of the South American Cup between Independiente del Valle and Sao Paulo

Argentina is the country that accumulates the most victories, with 9 (two for Boca Juniors and Independiente; and one for San Lorenzo, Arsenal, Lanús, River Plate and Defensa y Justicia).

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follows him Brazil, with 5 (2 for Paranaense and one for Internacional, Sao Paulo and Chapecoense); Y Ecuador adds 2: League of Quito and Valley Independent.

Also, there was a Chilean champion (University of Chile), a colombian (Santa Fe), a Mexican (Pachuca) and a peruvian (Scientist).

On the contrary, Uruguay, Venezuela, Paraguay and Bolivia always left empty in the competition and only Bolívar from the latter country reached the 2004 final, although they lost to Argentine Boca Juniors.

From the round trip to the unique final

The August 28, 2002 the South American Cup was born and, from that edition until 2018, it was played in a two-leg finals format.

But since 2019 and up to the present, Conmebol opted for the final to a single match, in search of a greater spectacle and economic benefit for the host countries by concentrating fans in a single city, in the style of the best European competitions.

Precisely one of the finalists of 2022, Valley Independentwas the first champion with that format by beating the Argentine Colón 3-1 in Asunción.

The Ecuadorians and Brazilians from Sao Paulo, also winners of the South American (2012), will therefore play the fourth final under the current system.

A champion in the sky

Of all the history of South American Cupthe most applauded champion and the one with the most unanimous recognition was, precisely, the one who never made it to the 2016 final: the Chapecoense Brazilian.

The tragic plane crash suffered by his delegation when traveling to play with Atlético Nacional, in which only six of the 77 passengers survived, moved the entire football world.

The story of Chapecoense, the team that suffered a plane crash in Colombia

The great gesture -which also remained for the annals of the tournament- was the transfer by Colombians of a title which, they said, did not correspond to them because they had no rival. For this reason, they renounced registering their name in the list of winners in favor of the most cried champion.

The aircraft that moved to Chapecoense crashed while flying from Bolivia and before reaching the José María Córdova airport in Medellín.

In that same Colombian city, but in another aerodrome and in 1935, another sinister took the lives of the ‘Zorzal Criollo’ and its renowned lyricist, Alfredo Le Pera, the same one who wrote for posterity: “Feel / That is a breath the life / That twenty years is nothing…”. (D)

Source: Eluniverso

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