South American Championship of Champions


South American Championship of Champions
South American Championship of Champions
Campeonato Sudamericano de Campeones
Campeonato Sul-Americano de Campeões

The Campeonato Sudamericano de Campeones trophy on display.
Tournament details
Host country  Chile
City Santiago
Dates February 11 to March 17
Teams (from 1 confederation)
Final positions
Champions Brazil Vasco da Gama
Runners-up Argentina River Plate
Tournament statistics
Matches played 21
Goals scored 76 (3.62 per match)
Attendance 830,539 (39,549 per match)

The South American Championship of Champions (Spanish: Campeonato Sudamericano de Campeones, Portuguese: Campeonato Sul-Americano de Campeões) was a football competition played in 1948 and the first continental-wide tournament in the history of the sport. It was played between February 11 and March 17. Vasco da Gama won the competition after earning the most points in the round-robin tournament. This tournament is seen as a precursor of the Copa Libertadores and is considered, along with the Copa Río de La Plata, as an important stepping stone towards the creation of the South American club tournament.[1]

Contents

Summary

Since the early 1910s, Argentine and Uruguayan clubs disputed the Copa Río de La Plata, a tournament played between the national champions of each nation's top national leagues. The great success of this tournament gave birth to the idea of a continental competition.

In 1929, the head executives of Nacional, Roberto Espil y José Usera Bermúdez, idealized a competition between the national champions of each Conmebol member. After analyzing the geographical distributions and distances, Espil devised a proyect in 1946 which also included the runners-up of every national league. However, it was Colo-Colo's head executive, Don Robinson Alvarez Marín, that first put it into practice and hatched the idea in the late 1930s.[2][3] In 1948, Don Luis Valenzuela, as president of the confederation, finally set into motion the antecedent of the Copa Libertadores: the Copa de Campeones.

Vasco da Gama, led by figures such as Augusto, Barbosa, Danilo, Friaça, Ademir and Chico, came away with the trophy after a deciding 0-0 draw against River Plate on the last round of matches. Vasco da Gama had already defeated Lítoral and Emelec 1-0 each, thumped Nacional 3-1, trashed Deportivo Municipal 4-0 and tied 1-1 with the host club Colo-Colo. The competition was as successful financially as it was on the field: the average public attendance per game was 39,549 spectators and the tournament generated a gross of CLP 9,493,483.[4]

The tournament was also the kickoff to the creation of the European Cup in Europe. French journalist Jacques Ferran, present during the competition, was covering the Championship for French newspaper L'Equipe. Ferran became fascinated with the proceedings of the tournament and took the idea to Gabriel Hanot, the editor of L'Equipe, once he returned to Europe. Hanot, in turn, took the envisioned idea to UEFA.[5]

Afterwards

Until 1996, Conmebol did not recognize the competition as an official South American tournament. Vasco da Gama, although always considered the first South American champion, had never asked recognition to the title before to Conmebol. The recognition of it was needed to give Vasco da Gama the right to compete in the Supercopa Sudamericana, a competition which brought together all the past winners of the Copa Libertadores. But in 1996, an archive was rediscovered in Conmebol telling the story of the Copa Libertadores, which stated that the torunament of 1948 was the "embryo" of the Libertadores.

The Vasco executives managed to hold a ballot for the formalization of the title in question and the title of Vasco was recognized and formalized. The vote was almost unanimous with the only dissenting vote coming from Michel Assef, then-President of arch-rivals Flamengo.

Participants

Country Team Qualification
 Argentina River Plate 1947 Primera División champion
 Bolivia Deportivo Litoral 1947 La Paz champion
 Brazil Vasco da Gama 1947 Campeonato Carioca champion[B]
 Chile Colo-Colo Host and 1947 Primera División champion
 Ecuador Emelec Invitee
 Peru Deportivo Municipal 1947 Primera División runner-up
 Uruguay Nacional 1947 Primera División champion

Notes:

  • Deportivo Municipal took part in place of the Peruvian champions Atlético Chalaco.
  • As the champion of Rio de Janeiro state, Vasco da Gama represented Brazil. They were given preference over Palmeiras, the São Paulo state champion, since Rio won the 1946 Championship of State Teams and thus was considered the champion of the stronger league. No national club championship existed then.

Final standings

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Brazil Vasco da Gama 6 4 2 0 12 3 +9 10
2 Argentina River Plate 6 4 1 1 12 4 +8 9
3 Uruguay Nacional 6 4 0 2 16 11 +5 8
4 Peru Deportivo Municipal 6 3 0 3 12 11 +1 6
5 Chile Colo-Colo 6 2 2 2 11 11 0 6
6 Bolivia Deportivo Litoral 6 1 0 5 9 18 −9 2
7 Ecuador Emelec 6 0 1 5 4 18 −14 1

Match results

February 11
Colo-Colo Chile 2–2 Ecuador Emelec Santiago

February 14
Vasco da Gama Brazil 2–1 Bolivia Litoral Santiago

February 14
Nacional Uruguay 3–2 Peru Deportivo Municipal Santiago

February 18
River Plate Argentina 4–0 Ecuador Emelec Santiago

February 18
Vasco da Gama Brazil 4–1 Uruguay Nacional Santiago

February 21
River Plate Argentina 2–0 Peru Deportivo Municipal Santiago

February 21
Colo-Colo Chile 4–2 Bolivia Lítoral Santiago

February 25
Nacional Uruguay 3–1 Bolivia Litoral Santiago

February 25
Vasco da Gama Brazil 4–0 Peru Deportivo Municipal Santiago

February 28
Vasco da Gama Brazil 1–0 Ecuador Emelec Santiago

February 28
Deportivo Municipal Peru 3–1 Chile Colo-Colo Santiago

March 3
Lítoral Bolivia 3–1 Ecuador Emelec Santiago

March 3
Nacional Uruguay 3–0 Argentina River Plate Santiago

March 8
Deportivo Municipal Peru 4–0 Ecuador Emelec Santiago

March 8
Colo-Colo Chile 1–1 Brazil Vasco da Gama Santiago

March 9
River Plate Argentina 5–1 Bolivia Litoral Santiago

March 9
Colo-Colo Chile 3–2 Uruguay Nacional Santiago

March 14
Nacional Uruguay 4–1 Ecuador Emelec Santiago

March 14
Vasco da Gama Brazil 0–0 Argentina River Plate Santiago

March 17
Deportivo Municipal Peru 3–1 Bolivia Lítoral Santiago

March 17
River Plate Argentina 1–0 Chile Colo-Colo Santiago

Footnotes

A. ^ CBD (CBF's predecessor from 1919 to 1979) awarded the Brazilian berth to the 1947 Rio de Janeiro champions because Rio de Janeiro had won the 1946 Brazilian Championship of State Teams.

References

  1. ^ Carluccio, Jose (September 2, 2007). "¿Qué es la Copa Libertadores de América?" (in Spanish). Historia y Fútbol. http://historiayfutbol.obolog.com/copa-libertadores-america-25746. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ La Nación; Historia del Fútbol Chileno, 1985
  3. ^ Esteban Bekerman (2008). "Hace 60 años, River perdía la gran chance de ser el primer club campeón de América". In Perfil.com. http://www.perfil.com/contenidos/2008/03/13/noticia_0054.html. Retrieved May 10, 2008. 
  4. ^ La Nación. Tomo 8, p. 15-16.
  5. ^ Primeira Libertadores - História (Globo Esporte 09/02/2008)

External links


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