Copa América Centenario is a special edition of the tournament to commemorate one hundred years of its journey. This is also the first edition to take place outside South America since its inception, featuring 16 teams than the usual 12. The winner, however, will not receive an invitation to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, as Chile has already qualified by winning the 2015 edition. As the oldest international continental football tournament gets underway, we look back the previous and current records and trivia –
- Copa América Centenario will employ rules like its previous edition with quarterfinal and semifinal matches to be decided on penalties if the game is tied after 90 minutes. Only the final heads to extra time, with a minor change approved by FIFA, happening in the game for the first time. What change?
- If the first is Paulo Valentim in 1959 against Uruguay, who is the second in 2016 against Panama? What is the list about?
- Since 1993, CONMEBOL invites exactly two teams from other confederations every year to participate in the Copa América. Why?
- What trophy is awarded to the runner-up of the competition since the 1997 edition, with a small national flag attached on one of its sides?
- Who is the only player from I-league to play in Copa América Centenario?
- He is Boca Juniors’ all-time top scorer with 236 goals to his name. This prolific striker entered the Guinness Book of World Records for a particular feat against Colombia in 1999 Copa América that he would definitely like to forget. Who is he and what are we talking about?
- What was unusual about Paraguay’s performance in the 2011 edition, where they finished as a runner up?
- What bizarre incident delayed the Colombia vs Paraguay match at Rose Bowl on 8th June, 2016 by a few seconds, which stunned the two present captains and the officials?
- Uruguay is the winner of most number (15) of trophies, with Argentina coming a close second (14). A total of 8 out of 10 regular CONMEBOL members have won the Copa America at least once. Which are the two countries who never lifted the trophy?
- Since Argentina decided to withdraw from Copa America 2001 in Colombia three days before the beginning because of death threats, a team from CONCACAF were invited, who reached by an airplane provided by Colombian Air Force with barely enough players. They went on to defeat Brazil in the knockout stage and Uruguay in the third place match to finish a record 3rd in their only Copa appearance. Which team?
- The four subs rule. Each team is entitled to have one extra substitute than the usual three, if the final heads to extra time.
- Lionel Messi. Messi became the second player after Paulo Valentim to score a hat-trick after coming off the bench in Copa América.
- CONMEBOL consists of 10 regular teams. To have a 12 member group stage with three groups of four teams, they started inviting two teams from 1993 to have a better tournament structure.
- Copa Bolivia. This silver trophy is presented to the runner-up of the competition since the 1997 edition, where Bolivia lost to Brazil in the final. The trophy has a small Bolivian flag attached on one of its sides.
- Sony Norde. This Mohun Bagan midfielder was the top goal scorer for the club in the 2014-15 I-league season.
- Martin Palermo. He became the only player in the world to miss three penalties in a single game. The first one rebounded off the crossbar; second one went sailing over while the third was saved by Colombian goalkeeper Miguel Calero.
- Paraguay reached the final without winning a single game. They played three draws in the group stage, and their only two wins in the knockout stages came in penalty shoot-outs.
- The coin landed on its edge. Yes, however low the probability might be, defying all odds, this stunning incident happened just a week back.
- Venezuela and Ecuador. Both the teams’ best finish at Copa America is the fourth place.
- Honduras. Their player Amado Guevara was selected as the best player of the tournament.