The 43rd Copa America gets under way in Argentina on Friday. To mark the occasion has selected 11 of the venerable tournament’s most interesting stats.

1 ticket to the next FIFA Confederations Cup is available to the winners of the competition. Brazil will be hosting that event in 2013 and should they come out on top at Argentina 2011, the runners-up will qualify for the tournament of continental champions, provided that they are CONMEBOL members.

2 non-CONMEBOL members have been invited to take part in this year’s event, an initiative that began in 1993. Guests Costa Rica and Mexico will be vying to win the famous trophy for the first time for the CONCACAF Zone, with El Tri hoping to go one better than in 1993 and 2001, when they lost finals to Argentina and Colombia respectively. Los Ticos received their invitation when Japan withdrew following the tsunami and earthquake that struck the country in March.

5 of the 12 coaches on duty at this year’s tournament were born in Argentina, which has more representation in the dugout than any other country. Sergio Batista (Argentina), Gerardo Martino (Paraguay), Gustavo Quinteros (Bolivia), Ricardo La Volpe (Costa Rica) and Claudio Borghi (Chile) are the quintet in question.

8 cities will be hosting matches at the competition: Buenos Aires, Cordoba, La Plata, Mendoza, Santa Fe, San Juan, San Salvador de Jujuy and Salta. The final will be held at Buenos Aires’ Estadio Monumental, the setting for the Final of the 1978 FIFA World Cup Argentina™.

9 is the number of Copas Americas Uruguay’s Angel Romano appeared in between 1916 and 1926, a competition record. Ecuador’s Alex Aguinaga is next on the list with eight appearances, amassed between 1987 and 2004.

12 referees will be officiating at Argentina 2011, one from each country. Joining them will be 14 assistant referees.

14 Copa America titles apiece have been won by Argentina and Uruguay, the most successful teams in the competition. Next on the honours list with eight titles are Brazil, the winners of the last two editions.

17 is the record number of goals scored in the competition by Argentina’s Norberto Mendez, a star for La Albiceleste in 1940, and Brazil’s Zizinho, a member of the ill-fated squad that lost the decisive match of the 1950 FIFA World Cup Brazil to Uruguay at the Maracana.

34 is the number of Copa America matches in which Chile’s Sergio Livingstone appeared between 1941 and 1953, another all-time high for the tournament.

42 Copas America have been held prior to Argentina 2011, making it the oldest men’s national team competition in the world. The first Copa America took place in Argentina in 1916 and is now being staged by the country for a record ninth time.

364 points have been won Argentina overall, putting them top of the all-time Copa America standings, ahead of Uruguay on 339 and Brazil on 315.