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Copa Libertadores

Palmeiras football player disputing ball during Copa Libertadores game

The Copa Libertadores is the premier club competition for South American clubs, serving as its equivalent of the UEFA Champions League. At present, 38 teams compete in the Copa Libertadores each season, with clubs from Brazil and Argentina having the most participants with six and seven clubs in the tournament respectively. 

There are eight stages in the tournament, with the first one in January, with the final being played in November. The format and competitiveness of the Copa Libertadores makes it an attractive option for betting fans, with a number of odds being offered on matches and other online betting markets by top sportsbooks.

Copa Libertadores Key Teams To Watch

Independiente, from Argentina, are the most successful side in the history of the Copa Libertadores, with seven title wins. However, there are 24 different clubs which have won the tournament at least once, with 13 of them doing so more than once. 

As expected, Brazilian and Argentinian clubs are the most successful in the Copa Libertadores; while Argentinian clubs have the most victories with 25, Brazil is the country with the most number of different winners, as 10 Brazilian clubs have won the title at least once. 

All of these trends make it a little easier for Copa Libertadores betting fans to place their bets and decide which odds look the most attractive, with Brazilian and Argentinian sides being the most popular betting options in the Copa Libertadores betting odds.

How Does Copa Libertadores Works

In the first stage, 12 clubs compete in two-legged knockout ties, with the six winners going on to join the other 26 clubs in the group stage, where there are eight groups of four. The top two sides from each group advance to the knockout rounds, starting from the round-of-16 all the way up to the final. 

Until 2018, all of these ties, including the final, were two-legged affairs, but since then the final is now a one-off match at a predetermined venue. Winning the Copa Libertadores qualifies the winning team to play in the FIFA Club World as the representatives for CONMEBOL, and also qualifies them for the Recopa Sudamericana, a two-legged match against the winner of the Copa Sudamericana, the second-tier competition for South American clubs.

Boca Juniors vs River Plate El Superclassico

Following Independiente, Boca Juniors are the side with the second-most number of title wins (6). Thus, the top two sides in the all-time most winners list are Argentinian, with Peñarol of Uruguay coming third with five wins. In fact, the most number of titles by a Brazilian club is just three, with São Paulo, Grêmio and Santos all having won the Copa Libertadores thrice. However, Independiente’s last win came in 1984, Boca’s in 2007, and Peñarol’s in 1987, showing that there are a number of sides who have won the title in recent years for the first time. 

This makes it slightly difficult for betting fans, but also more exciting if they manage to back the correct team at the best odds. The 2018 final was a memorable one, as it pitted the eternal rivals, Boca Juniors and River Plate, against each other, in a Superclasico final. Even with the second leg having to be played outside Argentina, in Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu, due to fan violence against Boca, it lived up to its billing and River Plate ended up triumphing 5-3 on aggregate.

Flamengo are the current defending champions, picking up their second Copa Libertadores title last season.

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