Argentina and the CONMEBOL Copa América: a love story



The CONMEBOL Copa América, the oldest national team tournament in the world, was first hosted in Buenos Aires in 1916, and coincided with the celebrations for the centenary of Argentina’s declaration of independence. Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay participated in that first edition of the tournament. At first, the competition was called “Campeonato Sudamericano” (South American Championship). However, in 1975, the name definitely 

changed for the one that is currently being used.


Having won 15 titles, Argentina is one of the most winning national teams, as well as Uruguay. The national teams that follow are: Brazil (9); Paraguay, Chile and Peru (2); and Colombia and Bolivia (1).


Some fun facts that stand out about the Albiceleste team are:


  • It is the only national team that has won three times in a row (in 1945, 1946 and 1947). Besides, the team also won three two-time championships (in 1927-1929, 1957-1959 and 1991-1993).
  • The Argentinian player, Norberto Méndez is the top scorer in the history of the tournament, with 17 goals scored in 17 matches played. Another top scorer is Zizinho, who played 16 more games than the Argentinian footballer.
  • Humberto Maschio, who scored nine goals in the 1957 edition of the tournament, is together with Javier Ambrois (Uruguay) and Jair (Brazil), the football players who have scored the most goals in one edition.
  • The two thrashings in the history of the tournament were from Argentina. In 1942, Argentina beat Ecuador 12-0 and, in 1975, the Albiceleste team defeated Venezuela 11-0.
  • After the last edition of the CONMEBOL Copa América and with a total of 34 games, Lionel Messi became the player with the most matches played in the championship, together with Sergio Livingstone (Chile).
  • 17 footballers from Argentina became the top scorers of each edition they had participated in: Julio Libonatti (1921); Juan Francia (1922); Vicente Aguirre (1923); Manuel Seoane (1925); Alfredo Carricaberry and Segundo Luna (1927); Herminio Masantonio (1935); Juan Andrés Marvezzi (1941)José Manuel Moreno and Herminio Masantonio (1942); Norberto Méndez (1945); Rodolfo Micheli (1955); Humberto Maschio (1957); José Sanfilippo (1959); Luis Artime (1967); Leopoldo Jacinto Luque (1975); Jorge Burruchaga (1983); Gabriel Omar Batistuta (1991 and 1995); Lionel Messi (2021).
  • Emiliano Martínez was the only Argentinian goalkeeper to win the Best Goalkeeper Award in the 2021 edition of this tournament.
  • 11 Argentinian players were chosen best players of each edition that they had participated in: Américo Tesoriere (1921), Manuel Seoane (1925 and 1927), Manuel Ferreira (1929), Vicente de la Mata (1937), Adolfo Pedernera (1946), José Manuel Moreno (1947), Omar Sívori (1957), Leonardo Rodríguez (1991), Sergio Goycochea (1993) and Lionel Messi (2015 and 2021).
  • In total, the Argentina national team played 202 games in the tournament, with a total of 127 wins, 42 draws and 33 losses.