The Copa Santander Libertadores de América (Portuguese: Copa Santander Libertadores da América ), known simply as the Copa Libertadores and originally known as the Copa Campeones de América (Portuguese: Copa Campeões da América ; English: Champions of America Cup), is an annual international club football competition organized by CONMEBOL since 1960. It is the most prestigious club competition in South American football and one of the most watched events in the world, broadcast in 135 nations worldwide. The tournament is named in honor of the Libertadores (Portuguese and Spanish for Liberators), the main leaders of the South American wars of independence, so a literal translation of its name into English would be the "Santander Liberators of America Cup".
The competition has had several different formats over its lifetime. Initially, only the champions of the South American leagues participated. In 1966, the runners-up of the South American leagues began to join; in 1998, Mexican teams were invited to compete. Today at least three clubs per country compete in the tournament, while Argentina and Brazil each have five clubs participating. Traditionally, a group stage has always been used but the amount of teams per group has varied several times.
In the present format, the tournament consists of six stages, with the first stage taking place in early February. The six surviving teams from the first stage join 26 teams in the second stage, in which there are eight groups consisting of four teams each. The eight group winners and eight runners-up enter the final four stages, better known as the knockout stages, which ends with the finals anywhere between June and August. The winner of the Copa Libertadores becomes eligible to play in two extra tournaments: the FIFA Club World Cup and the Recopa Sudamericana.
The reigning champion of the competition is Brazilian club Corinthians, after beating Boca Juniors 3-1 on aggregate. Argentine club Independiente is the most successful club in the cup history, having won the tournament seven times. Argentine clubs have accumulated the most amount of victories with 22 wins while Brazil has the largest number of different winning teams, with a total of eight clubs having won the title. The cup has been won by 22 different clubs and won consecutively by six clubs, most recently by Boca Juniors in 2001.