Copa America 2024 kicks off on June 20th, and the anticipation is building. Looking back through previous competitions, the list of Copa America winners is somewhat bigger than what one may expect. Given the small nature of CONMEBOL and so few teams competing in the tournament, there are only so many options. However, the top international tournament in South America has a deep history that goes back to 1916. In that year, only four teams competed, as Uruguay took home the inaugural ‘South American Championship.’

The tournament officially adopted the name ‘Copa America’ in 1975, a tournament that marked the 30th edition of the South American Championship. The major change that brought was allowing all 10 teams in the South American confederation to compete. Nine teams played in the group stage, while Uruguay, as the defending champion that year, earned a spot in the semifinals. Peru went on to win its second Copa America, but the first of this new era.

That year, 1975, serves as a benchmark to judge Copa America success in the modern era. Argentina and Uruguay can attribute 12 and 11 of their Copa America titles overall to before this year. Back then, the tournament was much smaller, but it did contribute to several blooming rivalries in South America.

Since 1975, the tournament has been far more unpredictable. Seven different teams have won the Copa America in the last 18 tournaments. Even Mexico, which has had success in the competition, became the first non-South American side to reach the Final, something it has done twice in its history.

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Listing the Copa America winners since 1975

The format of the Copa America has remained similar for the last 50 years. Certain editions featured a final group stage, while the first few tournaments after 1975 had a multi-legged final. Regardless, there has been drama in each of these tournaments. Here is how the last 50 years of Copa America have transpired.

YearWinning TeamRunner-up

Since 1975, Brazil has led the way with five Copa America titles. Uruguay is on four titles, with its most recent coming in 2011 after its 2010 World Cup run. Then, Argentina finally broke its 28-year drought when Lionel Messi won his first major international trophy in 2021. Chile’s successes in 2015 and 2016 were the country’s first trophies, too.

The other three victors, Peru, Paraguay, and Colombia, have been to multiple Copa America finals. Yet, those are their only two since 1975. Overall, Paraguay and Pery have multiple victories, while Colombia’s triumph in 2001 was its best result in the tournament.

There is a notable lack of several teams in the list of victors. Bolivia has not won the Copa America since its lone success in 1963, although it did reach the final in 1997. Then, Ecuador and Venezuela have never appeared in a Copa America Final. Interestingly, that even goes back to before 1975. Perhaps having more games at the 2024 Copa America will give the two nations a means to success.


Copa América 2024

Here are some resources to get you ready for Copa!
Copa América Schedule: Full schedule of all games for the 2024 tournament
How to watch: Information on where to find the games on TV and streaming
How to Stream Learn how you can stream Copa games live in 2024
Key Dates: Learn All the important dates to mark on your calendar
Copa (United States of) América: South America's biggest tournament comes back to the USA
2024 Soccer Calendar: Get the lowdown on what will be a busy year in soccer