Copa Libertadores

Copa Libertadores back on track

Detail of the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores Trophy 
© Getty Images
  • Tournament restarts with 16 group-stage games
  • Semi-finals and final to be played in 2021
  • Rio’s Maracana to host deciding game

The Copa Libertadores is back. After a six-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, South America's premier club competition resumes on Tuesday, with four group-stage fixtures.

When the tournament was suspended back in March, the first two matchdays of the eight groups had already been completed, leaving each side with four more games to play in their quest to reach the last 16.

The round of 16, like the quarter-finals, will be played over two legs before the end of the year. The semi-finals, also a two-legged affair, and the final will be played in January 2021, with the decider a one-off match at Rio de Janeiro's legendary Estadio Maracana.

Among those in action when play resumes this Tuesday will be five former champions: Colo Colo and Penarol, who cross swords in Chile; Santos and Olimpia, who meet in Brazil; and Liga Deportiva Universitaria, who will be in Peru to take on tournament debutants Binacional.

This week’s match schedule

Key dates

  • 21 October: Group stage concludes
  • 24 October: Draw for round of 16
  • 25 November to 2 December: Round of 16
  • 9-16 December: Quarter-finals
  • 6 and 13 January: Semi-finals
  • Saturday 23, Sunday 24 or Saturday 30 January: Final
7

The number of teams who have maximum points thus far in the group stage, namely: Independiente del Valle and Flamengo (Group A); Palmeiras (B); Racing Club and Nacional (F); Santos (G); and Libertad (H).

8

The number of goals that top-scorer Fidel Martinez has racked up in this edition with Ecuador’s Barcelona. Behind him in the scoring charts are the Brazilian Luiz Adriano of Palmeiras with four, Peruvian Paolo Guerrero of Internacional and Paraguayans Raul Bobadilla and Rodney Redes of Guarani, all on three.

14

Of the 32 teams in this year’s group stage, 14 have won the Libertadores at least once before. As well as the aforementioned five, those hoping to be crowned continental kings once more are defending champions Flamengo as well as Palmeiras, Gremio, Internacional and Sao Paulo (Brazil); 2019 runners-up River Plate, Boca Juniors and Racing Club (Argentina); and Nacional (Uruguay).

50

The number of players participating teams can register in order to complete this year’s competition. CONMEBOL’s governing council first increased the permitted squad size from 30 to 40 before definitively agreeing on 50.

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