The Copa Sudamericana, Portuguese: Copa Sul - Americana, is a South American football tournament for club teams. Organized by the CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana after the Copa Libertadores the second most important competition in the South American club football, comparable to the UEFA Europa League in European football. The qualification is regulated differently in the various South American countries. Often, the master of the Apertura are eligible in the respective countries, whereas for qualification to Copa Libertadores usually takes place between the excretion of Apertura and Clausura champions. But apart from the higher value of the Copa Libertadores, which is after all, held since 1960 and the winner must travel to the FIFA Club World Cup, the Copa Sudamericana is her older counterpart in terms of sport, not after. It was rather introduced to fill the second half with a cross-national tournament because beginning in January Copa Libertadores ends in July at the latest.
In contrast, the Copa Sudamericana will take place between September and December. Thus place at the continental level instead of what is already common practice in most countries of Latin America: the detached from each summer and winter tournament Apertura and Clausura called. How the Copa Libertadores Copa Sudamericana also bears the name of a sponsor. The carmaker Nissan supported from 2003 to 2010 competition, which changed its name in this period, Copa Nissan Sudamericana under the name. 2012 and 2013 it was the tire manufacturer Bridgestone. With the playout 2013 now enters the petroleum company Total on as a sponsor and namesake.
The winners of the Copa Sudamericana plays in the following year against the winner of the Copa Libertadores to the Recopa Sudamericana, the South American equivalent of the UEFA Super Cup and receives since 2010 guaranteed a starting place in the following Copa Libertadores, where it does not already have the national criteria has qualified. In addition, he also passes the following year against the winner of the Japanese League Cup, the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup, the Copa Suruga Bank.
The Copa Sudamericana was introduced in 2002 as a successor to the Copa Mercosur and Copa Merconorte and the discharged until 1999 Copa Conmebol. From 2003, also Brazilian teams played in the competition after they did not participate in the first year due to scheduling conflicts with the national championship.
From 2005 to 2008, the CONCACAF clubs were invited ( the runner-up of the CONCACAF Champions ' Cup and the two masters of the Mexican Primera División ).
D.C. United of Major League Soccer took part in 2005 and was the first U.S. club that in a large South African Competition starred.
Currently the following mode applies. Each round will be played in knockout system with home and away matches. With point- and Torgleichheit the away goals rule applies; to 2007 in the final. If the number of away goals scored equal, follows after the return game immediately followed by a penalty shootout. Since 2008, no longer applies in the finals on away goals. Is there Torgleichstand after return game there is a renewal and thereafter, first as a penalty shootout.
By 2009, all associations except Argentina and Brazil, two starting places in the competition had. As of 2010, this number is increased to three. The Argentine and Brazilian Association may appoint six or eight teams to make the competition more attractive. For this reason, the two top teams Argentine Boca Juniors and River Plate were automatically invited to 2009. In the future, they have to qualify like everyone else. The defending champion will start in addition to the quota and is automatically qualified for the knockout stages.