The Copa Sudamericana (English: South American Cup, Portuguese: Copa Sul-Americana), also known as Copa Nissan Sudamericana due to sponsorship reason, is an international football cup competition that started in 2002 played annually by clubs of CONMEBOL and, since 2005, from CONCACAF. It is the second most important competition for South American club teams, the first being the Copa Libertadores. It can be said that the Copa Sudamericana is an equivalent of sorts to the now-defunct Copa Conmebol because It is comparable to the UEFA Cup in European club football competition, with the exception that some teams can play in this tournament and the Copa Libertadores. The winner faces the Copa Libertadores' champion the following year in the Recopa Sudamericana.
The tournament's format has changed since it started but the current format includes a preliminary round, a two-legged first round and the final knockout stages starting from the Round of 16. The tournament has been won by 5 different teams and played 6 times. The tournament has been won by Argentine clubs 4 times and once by a Peruvian and Mexican club. Boca Juniors is the only team to have defended the title. The current champion is Arsenal F.C. of Argentina who won its first international title.
In 2003, the Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan Motors started sponsoring the tournament. Thus, the competition has since been officially called Copa Nissan Sudamericana, much in the style of the Copa Libertadores branding as Copa Toyota Libertadores. Also, Brazilian teams participated for the first time, after refusing to play in the first edition due to scheduling conflicts with the Campeonato Brasileiro.
In 2005, D.C. United of the Major League Soccer, Club América and UNAM from Mexico accepted invitations to play in the tournament. The only South American club competition in which teams from the United States had played before was the rather minor Copa Merconorte, while Mexican teams had already participated in the Copa Libertadores since 1998.
The tournament has been won 4 times by Argentine clubs. The first edition was won by San Lorenzo de Almagro. The second edition was won by Cienciano, the first Peruvian team to win an international title. The two following editions were won by Boca Juniors. Pachuca C.F. won Mexico's first international title in a South American competition. Arsenal won the last edition and won its first major trophy and international title.
The format of the tournament has changed year after year. The current format includes a Preliminary Round, the First Round, and a knockout bracket starting from the Round of 16. 8 teams contest the Preliminary Round with 4 proceeding to the First Round. 28 teams contest the First Round and 14 qualify for the Round of 16. The invitees Boca Juniors and River Plate are directly seeded in the Round of 16. The final has the same rules as the Copa Libertadores; no away goals rule and extra time will be played if the finalists are tied on goals.
|To be played.|
|Arsenal||3 - 2 (A) / 1 - 2 (H)|
Aggregate: 4 - 4
|Pachuca||1 - 1 (H) / 2 - 1 (A)|
Aggregate: 3 - 2
|Boca Juniors||1 - 1 (A) / 1 - 1 (H)|
Aggregate: 2 - 2 (4-3 p.k.)
|Boca Juniors||0 - 1 (A) / 2 - 0 (H)|
Aggregate: 2 - 1
|Cienciano||3 - 3 (A) / 1 - 0 (H)|
Aggregate: 4 - 3
|San Lorenzo||4 - 0 (A) / 0 - 0 (H)|
Aggregate: 4 - 0
|Team||Winners||Runners-Up||Years Won||Years Runner-Up|
|Boca Juniors||2||0||2004 and 2005|
|2002|| Rodrigo Astudillo|
| San Lorenzo de Almagro|
|2005||Bruno Marioni||UNAM Pumas||7|