The winners of the Copa Sudamericana get the opportunity to face the Copa Libertadores winners in the Recopa Sudamericana (Southamerican Super Cup) and as of 2010 the winner will qualify to play in the next Copa Libertadores.
The Copa Sudamericana was launched in 2002 as a replacement for the discontinued Copa Mercosur and Copa Merconorte competitions, which in turn had replaced the Copa CONMEBOL, which had in turn replaced the invitation only Supercopa Sudamericana.
The first winners were Argentine side San Lorenzo, who were the holders of the precursor tournament Copa Mercosur.
|In 2003 Cienciano became the first Peruvian|
side to win a major international trophy, beating
River Plate in the Copa Sudamericana final.
Boca Juniors won the tournament in 2004 and 2005 and hold a number of records for the competition. They are the only team to have won it twice, the only team to successfully defend their title and the only team to have appeared in two finals.They beat Bolivian side Bolívar in the 2004 final and Mexican side Pumas in 2005.
In 2006 Pachuca became the first Mexican side to win a CONMEBOL event, beating Chilean side Colo-Colo in the final.
In 2007 Argentine minnows Arsenal de Sarandí won the tournament, the first major honour in the club's history. They beat Club América of Mexico in the final.
After six years a Brazilian side eventually won the tournament in 2008. Internacional beat Argentine side Estudiantes in the final, however Estudiantes recovered to win the more prestigious Copa Libertadores in 2009.
Liga de Quito became the first Ecuadorian side to win the competition, beating Brazilian side Fluminense in the final in a repeat of the epic 2008 Copa Libertadores final.
List of champions
2002 - San Lorenzo (Argentina)
2003 - Cienciano (Peru)
2004 - Boca Juniors (Argentina)
2005 - Boca Juniors (Argentina)
2006 - Pachuca (Mexico)
2007 - Arsenal de Sarandí (Argentina)
2008 - Internacional (Brazil)
2009 - LDU Quito (Ecuador)
2010 - Independiente (Argentina)
2011 - Ongoing
Number of championship teams by nation
Copa Sudamericana at Wikipedia
Copa Sudamericana stats at RSSSF
List of winners at Wikipedia
Copa Sudamericana highlights