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Copa  América Kicks Off!!

The 2007 edition of the Copa America is steaming up in Venezuala and has alredy seen some shocking results when Peru thashed the 14 time winner Uruguay.

The Copa America is the oldest continental football competition in the world, as the first edition was played in 1916. Uruguay were the first team to clinch the trophy in Buenos Aires.

This year, 2004 winners Brazil will have to defend their trophy, but coach Dunga will have to do without several of the team's usual star players such as Ronaldinho and Kaká.

Argentina, finalists three years ago, do see to have a stronger team with Javier Zanetti, Linoel Messi, Reqilme  and Hernán Crespo.

Copa America is the oldest National Teams tournament in the World, the Copa America was created in 1916, when Argentina decided to organize a soccer tournament to celebrate the first centennial of its independence. With the participation of Brazil, Chile and Uruguay the event attracted the spotlights of that time being decisive for the foundation of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) in the same period. In this way then, the first National Teams competition was created.

Uruguay, one of the greatest Teams of the beginning of last century, ruined the Argentinean party and conquered the first South American title. The tournament´s success made Conmebol schedule the competition for the following years, in each of the four participating countries of the first event. This way, in 1917, the tournament was played again. Uruguay, that once again won the title, also won the Copa America Trophy, created by Conmebol that year.
Since then, the competition happened another 39 times, and now reaches its 42nd edition. Argentina and Uruguay, with 14 titles each, are the greatest winners of the main Tournament in the Americas. Brazil, with 7 triumphs, Paraguay and Peru with 2 trophies each, and Bolivia and Colombia, with one title each are the other winners of Copa America.

In 1975, the competition – known as South American National Teams´ Competition – had its name officially changed to Copa America. In the same year, the tournament stopped being played with only one host. Surprisingly, Peru played the final against Colombia, and conquered the Copa for the first time. In the two following editions, the competition system remained the same and Paraguay and Uruguay win the tournament.

In 1987, the Copa América adopted a single host system, and would be played every two years. In Argentina, Uruguay beat Chile and retains the previously won championship. In the following edition, in 1989, the host, Brazil, broke a non-winning streak of 40 years, and won the Copa America. Since then, Conmebol decided that the tournament would be played in rotating venues, in each of the ten affiliated countries.

Since 1993, the Copa América has been receiving two invitees per edition, looking to take the tournament to the whole Latin America. Mexico and USA, from Concacaf, joined the tournament and already in their first participation, got good results. Mexico, with a nice campaign reached the finals, but ended up being beaten by the strong Argentinean team, twice champion by then. In the following years Japan, Honduras and Costa Rica were some of Conmebol´s invitees.

In 2004, in Peru, the tournament reached its 41st edition, with the presence of 12 countries (ten in South America plus Mexico and Costa Rica). Played between the 6th and 25th of July, the Copa America had an unbelievable final between Brazil and Argentina. In the regular time, the teams tied (2-2) and Adriano scored for Brazil in the additional time. On the penalty shoot-out, Brazil defeat Argentina by 4-2.

Copa America Groups

Group A
Peru     
Venezuela    
Bolivia     
Uruguay

Group B
Brazil     
Mexico    
Chile
Ecuador

Group C

Argentina     
United States    
Paraguay    
Colombia

Offical information and datas from copaamerica.com

 
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