Football is loved by people all over the world, but you can find the most enthusiastic fans in South America. Here football is more than a game, it’s like religion, with football players sometimes treated as gods. It’s especially true for players of the best football clubs in South America.
Football was introduced first in Argentina in 1867, then in Brazil a few years later. The game gained its biggest popularity in these countries, which are also great powers in the world of football. Brazil is the most successful team in history with winning the world cup five times, but Argentina and Uruguay have world cup titles as well. The biggest clubs in South America are not only great teams with huge fan bases and long history but also birthplaces of young talents who often end up in big European clubs. The rivalry between the biggest clubs is really tense whenever they meet in local leagues or during international cups.
Brazil teams in the best football clubs in South America
We start our list with Santos, the club where Pele played in most of his career. He led the team to two Libertadores titles in 1962 and 63. The team called ‘Os Santasticos’ also won 22 other titles in the 1960s, including five Brazilian titles. It was an outstanding team whose success wasn’t repeated for a long time. After the team’s last win in 1968, fans had to wait until 2002 for the next victory. Santos had a superb team in more recent years as well, with players like Neymar and Robinho. Their team won the Brazil Cup in 2010, and the best players were signed by top European clubs, Real Madrid and Fc Barcelona.
Another great Brazil team is Corinthians which claims to be the biggest club in the country. It won the national championship seven and the cup three times. They also reached international successes, after winning the FIFA Club World Cup in 2010. Then they repeated their result two years later after beating Chelsea in the final. The club is the second most supported team in Brazil with 30 million fans, but it’s popular all over the world. Their stadium, Arena Corinthians hosted six games in the 2014 World Cup including the opening game. No wonder, many superstars join the club before or after their European career from Ronaldo to Carlos Tevez.
The famous duo from Argentina
One of the biggest rivalries exists between two Argentine clubs, River Plate and Boca Juniors. Both clubs are based in the capital, Buenos Aires, though two different parts of the city, quite far from each other. Their results are very similar. While River Plate won 36 times the Primera Division and 12 times the cup, Boca had 34 and 13 titles in these competitions. The match between the two clubs is the Superclasico, which is one of the biggest and fiercest derbies in the world. In River’s stadium, the El Monumental, which is the country’s biggest stadium, 70, 000 fans can watch the game live and millions follow it from the TV.
Both teams are proud to give players to the national team. Which is in the favorites by online sportsbooks in Argentina to win the 2021 Copa America. Stars like Javier Saviola, Gabriel Batistuta and Hernan Crespo played at River. While the academy of Boca has produced players like Nicolas Burdisso, Carlos Tevez or Fernando Gago during the years. Oh, and Diego Maradona played for the club as well. At the moment Boca Juniors is leading the Argentine Primera Division just one point ahead of River Plate, odds will be available for all games on bet365 once the league can continue.
Great teams from other countries in the continent
To demonstrate South America is not only about Argentina and Brazil, let’s see some teams from other places. First here is a club from Uruguay, Penarol, which is the most successful club in the country. It is also the winner of five Copa Libertadores. The club was chosen as the best South American club in the 20th century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. Penarol is only 9th in the new season, but certainly will try to get better under new manager, Diego Forlain.
From Paraguay, the team of Olimpia is the most famous and successful one, with their 43 national titles. They also won three Copa Libertadores and in 1979 managed to achieve a quadruple. They won the Paraguayan championship, the Copa Libertadores, the Copa Interamericana and the Intercontinental Cup. The club’s most famous player was Roque Santa Cruz who played for Bayern Munich, Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City.
We can’t leave out the best football clubs in South America, the Columbian team of Atletico Nacional. The club has emerged to the top clubs in the last decade. They have won 22 domestic titles, and twice the Copa Libertadores so far. Most recently in 2016, when the club was ranked the best football club in the world by IFFHS. Columbia will co-host next year’s Copa America, where their odds to win is 5.50.
Top clubs in South America
Independiente is one of the most historic clubs in Argentina. It has 25 national and a record seven Copa Libertadores titles. Though in recent years it hasn’t achieved such great success. It was even relegated to the second tier, they returned to the top division a year after. The club came back to the top teams after winning the 2017 Copa Sudamericana which is a secondary club tournament.
And finally, we have a Brazilian team of Sao Paulo, which is the most successful team from Brazil with 12 international titles. They also won 21 state titles. The club has never been relegated to the second division since it was founded in 1930. They had their best successes in the 1990s under coach Tele Santana, but they still belong to the top teams in the country. The club has 16 million supporters and it is the second richest Brazilian club behind Flamengo. Online gambling sites in Argentina are also considering Brazil as a favorite in next year’s Copa America. Their odds to win the tournament is 3.25.