Copa Libertadores

South American association football tournament for clubs

CONMEBOL Libertadores or Copa Libertadores (Libertadores Cup) is a football competition between the best club teams in South America. The teams are qualified based on how well they did in the national tournament. The last year winner has assured participation. The tournament is run by Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL).

Schedule change

Copa Libertadores is played annually. It usually happens between the months of February and November (South American summer and spring). Its winner is qualified for the annual FIFA Club World Cup.

Libertadores starts in January with the worst classified team of each country playing for to be a part of the "Main Draw". In February, the Main Draw begins. It is made up of 8 groups with 4 clubs in each group. Each team plays 6 games. They play three home games and three away games. The top 2 clubs in every group advance to the next round. A total of 16 clubs play in the playoffs.

The better qualified clubs in the Main Draw take advantage of playing the second game of each round of the playoffs at home. Libertadores goes on with clubs playing home and away, round after round till the Finals.

Differences change

Unlike European club competitions, the Copa Libertadores, in the past, did not use extra time or away goals to decide a tie. Starting with the 2005 event, CONMEBOL began to use the away goals rule, with the extra time used only in the final matches.