While regular leagues stick to one country, there are multi-national tournaments, that focus on teams in one region (or continent) and include teams from more than one country. This usually makes things a little more confusing, since sometimes it’s the same teams, and sometime it’s country teams.
So I figured I’d do a short intro to the main multi-national competitions you’ll come across. Or, to be more honest, the popular ones in Europe and the Americas. Since I don’t want (or care) about any others, and no one’s asked me about them, I’ll leave them out. But in case you’re curious, there are many more than I’ve listed below. The ones I have listed are held every year.
1. UEFA Champions League. With 58 member countries eligible for the 32 spots, the Champions League spans the entirety of the European continent. The winner qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. The biggest sporting event in the world, the Champions League draws approximately 178 million viewers. The reigning champions are the Spanish club Barcelona.
2. UEFA Europa league. To be totally honest, I’m not clear on this one. It seems that qualification depends on the country’s UEFA ranking. I believe the top three countries/leagues get 4 spots each, the next five get three each, thirteen get two, and the last eleven get one each. But then there is a whole lot of ‘ifs’ and qualifications and seeding…and then more teams are added…so yeah. If anyone can clear this one up and make it simple, I’d really appreciate it!! You can check out the official format here.
3. UEFA Super Cup. Annual football game between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League. It is a single match, which is held in a neutral stadium, the Stade Louis II in Monaco. Starting in 2013, it will be held in different locations. A.C. Milan have the most wins, with five. The current champions are Barcelona.
4. CONCACAF Champions League. This one is from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. It is 24 teams competing for the win, along with a spot at the FIFA Club World Cup. Until 2011, when the MLS team Real Salt Lake raeched the finals, all finals had been fought between two Mexican teams.
5. The Copa Satander Libertadores de América: Commonly referred to as the Copa Libertadores, is an internation competition between countries in South America and Mexico. There are approximately 38 teams that firght for the cup, with Argentina and Brazil entering five clubs, while the others enter at least three. The winner is eligible for the FIFA Club World Cup and the Recopa Sudamericana. The current champion is the Brazilian club Santos.
6. Copa Bridgestone Sudamerica de Clubes: Commonly known as the Copa Sudamerica. It began in 2002, when Copa Merconorte and Copa Mercosur combined. Currently, there are 47 teams that play for the title, with 8 coming from Brazil, 6 from Argentina, 4 from each of the other countries, plus the defending champion. The winner also qualifies to play in the Recopa Sudamerica. The current champion is the Chilean club Universidad de Chile.
7. Recopa Sudamericana: This is the Spanish world’s version of the Super Cup. The winners of the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamerica. It is two games, with one played at each team’s home field. The current champion is Brazilian club Internacional.
There are also a bunch of FIFA tournaments and cups, as well as a few others, that are held every four years ro so, and I’ll do my best to put up a list of those tomorrow. Honestly, I knew there were a lot, but this is crazy!! No wonder men are always watching sports. They clearly never end!!
- Copa Libertadores a cradle of talent (scissorskick.wordpress.com)
- Three Spanish clubs through, Americans crash out in UEFA Europa League (soccerbyives.net)
- UEFA Europa League 2012: Spanish Sides Dominate Quarterfinals (sbnation.com)
- Real Madrid Football Club completes 110 years (sports.ndtv.com)