Copa Libertadores vs Copa Sudamerican WhatThe Diffence?
Everything You Need To Know About FootballCopa Libertadores vs Copa Sudamericana Whats The Difference?
There are quite a few competitions thatCONMEBOLhosts including theCopa Libertadoresand the Copa Sudamericana.
Have you ever wondered how these competitions are different andwhich one is better?
Contents1The difference between Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana2Number of teams involved3Frequency and duration of the competition4Format of the competition52-legged knockout ties6Away goal rule7Origin of teams8Qualification for the tournament9Number of Matches10Squad size11Loan Player Rules12Rewards For Winning the Competition13Dominance of Teams14Verdict15Is the Copa Sudamericana better than the Copa Libertadores?16ConclusionThe difference between Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana
Both the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana are top South American competitions. However, based on the teams that qualify for both competitions, club sides in the Copa Libertadores are generally stronger than the sides in the Copa Sudamericana.
Heres an in-depth comparison of these two competitions:
TheCopa Sudamericanais contested by54 teamsin total. 44 of them qualify directly from their leagues, while the other 10 sides comprise the best-eliminated sides from the Copa Libertadores.
Up until 2016, the competition used a 47-team knockout format
Meanwhile, the mainCopa Libertadorestournament consists of 32 teams (8 groups of 4). Only 28 of them qualify directly for the tournament.4 extra teams qualify for the group stage from a 19-teampreliminary round.Frequency and duration of the competition
Both competitions are played annuallyas part of the football calendar in South America.
Both the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana are played nearly year-round, usually beginning in February or March, and concluding in November or December.
The qualification rounds for the Copa Sudamericana usually begin about a month before the actual competition starts. For the Copa Libertadores,the preliminary rounds begin in February while the group stage starts in April.
Due to both competitions running concurrently, teams are forbidden from competing in both tournaments at the same time.Format of the competition
Past the preliminary qualifying rounds,both the Copa Sudamericana and the Copa Libertadores employ a group phase and knockout format. Each group consists of 4 teams that will face each other home and away.
For the Copa Sudamericana, only the top-placed team from each group qualifies for the knockouts. They will be drawn randomly against the eight 3rdplaced teams from the Copa Libertadores group stage rounds.
UEFA also uses a similar format. The eight 3rdplaced sides from theUEFA Champions League group stagedrop down to contest for theUEFA Europa League trophy.
The 16 remaining teams in the competition then face off in a knockout format till the final.
The Copa Libertadores follows a largely similar format. However,one key difference is that the 16 teams that qualify for the knockouts comprise the top two teams from each group.
If youre wondering what happens if two teams finish on the same points in the group stage of either competition,you can check out this article for more information.2-legged knockout ties
Both the Copa Sudamericana and the Copa Libertadores use2 legged matches to determine the winner of knockout games. This means each team will play a home and away game.
The final is the only single-legged knockout round of either competition
The finals of both the Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores used to betwo-legged home and away ties. However,Conmebol changed the format to one-legged finalsahead of the 2019 edition of both tournaments.
The reason for double-legged ties in most football competitions is to avoid an unfair advantage to either team. Playing both home and away ensuresboth teams get to perform with the support of their home fans.
Get the latest action in the Copa Libertadores or Copa Sudamericana onFanatiz, where you canstream the latest matches from your devices or TV.Away goal rule
Both competitions implement the use of away goals. This rule will take effect in both competitionsif there is a tie on aggregate after the second leg of the round is over.
This means that the team with more away goals at the end of the tie will progress
For example, the2021 Copa Libertadoressemi-finals between Atletico Mineiro and Palmeiras finished 1-1 on aggregate after the second leg. However, Palmeiras would advance to the final becausethey scored a goal at Atletico Mineiros stadium in the second leg.
UEFA scrapped the away goal rulefor all Champions League and Europa League games from the 21/22 season onwards. However, CONMEBOL has shown no willingness to change this format.
If the teams are tied on aggregate score and away goals after both games,the game will go straight to penalties without extra time.Origin of teams
Both the Copa Sudamericana and the Copa Libertadores are played by teams that originate from amember country of CONMEBOL. This consists of the 10 countries from South America.
Teams from other regions like Europe and North America will have to compete in the continental competition where their country is from, e.g.UEFAandCONCACAFtournamentsQualification for the tournament
Who qualifies for either tournament is mostly determined by their performance in their domestic competitions:Copa LibertadoresCopa SudamericanaLeague PositionChampions to top 6 (depending
on the country)Best performing teams that
dont qualify for Copa LibertadoresCup winnersYesNoPrevious
seasons winnersCopa Sudamericana winners and
Copa Libertadores winnersNo3rdplace teamNoThe 3rdplaced team from every Copa Libertadores
group qualifies for the knockout rounds
Here is a breakdown of each method for qualifying:1 League position
The Copa Libertadores contains the better quality sides due to it being thecontinents premier club competition. Hence, Argentina and Brazil are represented the most at the tournament as they are considered thebest leagues by CONMEBOL.
Here is the distribution of Copa Libertadores clubs by league performance:
Brazil, Argentina, and Chile are the only South American countries toadopt a European league format. The other countries play a league system called theApertura and Clausura.
Teams contesting in the Copa Sudamericana are mostly the best performing teams that didnt qualify for the Copa Libertadores through their leagues.
Here is the distribution of Copa Sudamericana clubs by league performance:CountryFirst Qualification RoundGroup StageBrazil6Argentina6Chile4Colombia4Bolivia4Ecuador4Paraguay4Peru4Uruguay4Venezuela4
12 teams from Brazil and Argentina are given straight passage to the group stage of the Copa Sudamericana.4 teams each from the other eight CONMEBOL associations (32 teams in total) will need to play a qualifying round to get to the group stage from which 16 will qualify.
The 4 teams that were eliminated in Copa Libertadores early qualifying rounds will becomeeligible for the group stage of the Copa Sudamericana. This completes the 32-team group stages for the Copa Sudamericana.
There are no slots for cup winners in the Copa Sudamericana. However,CONMEBOL rewards some domestic cup winners with a place in the Copa Libertadores.CountryFirst Qualification RoundSecond Qualification RoundGroup StageBrazilChampions of
Cup winners in these four countries are granted access to the Copa Libertadores if they fail to qualify via their domestic league.
The winners of both the Copa Sudamericana and the Copa Libertadoresqualify automatically for a place in the next seasons Copa Libertadores group stage.4 Third-Place Teams
The 8 third-placed teams from the Copa Libertadores group stagesqualify automatically for the last 16 of the Copa Sudamericana.Number of Matches
Here are the number of matches youll playif you reach the final from the group stagesof both competitions:RoundNumber of MatchesGroup Stage6Round of 162Quarter-finals2Semi-finals2Final1
As such, the maximum number of games you can play for each competition is 13.Squad size
Since both the Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores are organized by CONMEBOL, they have a similar set of rules regarding squad size and player registration.
Each team is allowed to name a list of 30 playersinvolving at least 3 goalkeepers. However, a maximum of 23 players are to be named to the matchday squad. This includes 11 players in the starting XI and 12 players on the bench.Loan Player Rules
Some competitions like thePremier Leagueexplicitly state thatloan players cannot play against their parent clubsin Premier League matches.
However, CONMEBOL does not mention such a rule meaning aloan playercan play against their parent club in both the Copa Sudamericana and the Copa Libertadores.
You can read more aboutloan player rules here.Rewards For Winning the CompetitionCopa LibertadoresCopa SudamericanaNext Seasons Copa
Libertadores Group StageYesYesSuper CupYesYesPrize Money$12,000$500,000
Winning the Copa Libertadores is the highest sporting achievement a club can achieve in South America. Your team will bethe champions of the continent, similar to a European club winning theUEFA Champions League.
The champions of the Copa Libertadores will gain automatic qualification for the next seasons tournaments group stages.
The winners of both the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana will play in theRecopa Sudamericana, CONMEBOLs version of theUEFA Super Cup.
Moreover, both of them will automatically qualify for the group stages of the next years Copa Libertadores.Dominance of Teams
The Copa Libertadores ismainly dominated by Brazilian and Argentinian sides. This includes the likes of:PalmeirasBoca JuniorsRiver PlateFlamengo
The last time a non-Brazilian or Argentinian side contested the final was Ecuadorian sideIndependiente Del Vallein 2016.
The Copa Sudamericana isnt much different, withonly two non-Brazil and Argentine sides participating in the final since 2016: Colombian sideJunior FCin 2018 and Ecuadorian side Independiente Del Valle in 2019.Verdict
Heres the summary of the comparisons between these two competitions:
Knockouts2-legged TiesYesYesAway Goal RuleYesYesNumber of MatchesMaximum of 13Maximum of 13Squad SizeMaximum of 30Maximum of 30QualificationLeague position
Copa Libertadores winnersLeague positionLoan Player RulesCan play
against parent clubQualification For
Copa LibertadoresYesYesQualification For
Recopa SudamericanaYesYesPrize Money$12,000,000$5,000,000Is the Copa Sudamericana better than the Copa Libertadores?
The Copa Sudamericana usually consists of teams with lesser quality compared to the Copa Libertadores. This is because the Copa Libertadores contains:The best performers from CONMEBOL-associated leaguesThe winners of the previous seasons Copa Sudamericana
As such,the games in the Copa Libertadores may be of higher quality compared to the Copa Sudamericana.
The Copa Sudamericana and The Copa Libertadores are two of the best club competitions in South America.
Due to the quality of football shown in the Copa Libertadores, it may be the better competition!
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