Catch the Copa América in Brazil
Catch the Copa América in Brazil
Staff writer – April 18, 2019
If you love football (soccer), you absolutely must attend a match in Brazil. Why not visit the CONMEBOL Copa América and catch a lot of exciting matches? Watch 12 teams battle it out in five cities across eastern Brazil.
In addition, you (or your client, if you’re a travel agent) can take this opportunity to explore Brazil by making the Copa América the center of your summer vacation. But make sure you get your match tickets soon, especially if you want group or VIP tickets.
What is CONMEBOL?
CONMEBOL is the South American Football Confederation (in Spanish: Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol), born in 1916. It consists of ten South American football associations, from every country in the continent except for Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.
CONMEBOL puts on the Copa América for men, and the Copa América Femenina for women. The latter takes place approximately every four years (Chile won in 2018).
Ecuador and Venezuela are the only teams that have not yet won the Copa América, while the team with the most wins is Uruguay, at 15.
Back in 2016…
Scheduling of the Copa América is intermittent, and the last tournament, the Copa América Centenario, took place in 2016, hosted by the United States—the first time it was played outside South America.
Playing for Argentina, Lionel Messi was at his best in spite of back problems, scoring five goals. However, Messi wasn’t enough to save Argentina from Chile, who beat them in the finals, winning the tournament for the second year in a row. Before defeating Argentina, Chile crushed Mexico 7–0 in the quarter-finals.
Normally, the Copa América is played by the ten CONMEBOL teams and two invited teams. Because 2016 was the centenario, there were six invited teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean (USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Haiti, and Panama), for a total of 16 teams.
When and Where
The 2019 CONMEBOL Copa América will take place from June 14 to July 7, in five Brazilian cities: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, and Salvador. The opening ceremony will be hosted by Estádio do Morumbi in São Paulo, and the final will take place in the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.
Qatar and Japan are the two invited teams who will participate alongside the ten South American teams. For the first time, neither invited team is from the Western hemisphere.
What to Expect
CONMEBOL plans to put an end to Copa América’s intermittent schedule by following that of UEFA’s European Championship from 2020 on (every four years), so this year’s tournament should be the last one held in an odd year.
Lionel Messi was so frustrated after Argentina’s defeat in 2016 (and in three earlier major tournaments) that he retired from his national team. As he did join them for the FIFA World Cup in 2018, whether or not he will play for Argentina in 2019 remains to be seen.
As fans speculate on who will win this year, Brazil is the favorite—they have Neymar, after all, and they will want to shine on their home turf. Argentina is a close second, but that may depend on whether Messi plays.
You could pick one of the host cities and stay there, enjoying the city’s attractions between matches, or you could travel between cities to attend different matches—and explore more of Brazil!
Brazil is a large country and the tournament’s host cities are some distance apart, but there are good travel options. The distance from Rio de Janeiro to Salvador is 1,211 kilometers (752 miles), and Porto Alegre is about the same distance in the opposite direction. In this case, air travel is probably the best option (Brazil has budget airlines if you want to save money for match tickets and sightseeing).
If you’re traveling between two cities that are closer together, say, Rio and São Paulo, an intercity bus is a better option. Luxury buses are also available (leitos), and these are great if you want an especially comfortable ride. (If you are a travel agent, offer to arrange intercity travel for your client).
Whichever city, or cities, and matches you decide to see, you are guaranteed an exciting time. It’s football in the land of legends! Book your flight tickets and contact StubHub Corporate for your match tickets before they’re gone!