1961 Copa Libertadores

1961 Copa Libertadores

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1961 Copa Libertadores

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The 1961 Copa de Campeones de América was the second staging of the Copa de Campeones, South America's prized football tournament, known today as the Copa Libertadores. Nine teams entered, two more than the previous season, with Venezuela not sending a representative. In order to further enhance the competition, CONMEBOL maintained the criteria of having regional clashes in order to take advantage of the cross-border rivalries

Although Peñarol also won their national league, this became the first and, so far, only time the defending champions did not qualify automatically to the next edition. Nevertheless, the Mayas successfully defended their title by defeating Palmeiras in the final.

Qualified teams


Each match-up was a two-team group stage. Because of the increase in participants, a preliminary group was implemented in the competition, with the rest following the previous season's format. Wins were awarded two points, 1 point for a draw, and no points for a loss. The team with the most points after a home and away game advanced to the next stage.

If the teams still remained tied, goal difference will become a factor. A one-game playoff would be implemented in case the teams are still tied. A draw of lots was to become the last solution to breaking a tie. Controversially, Independiente Santa Fe and Jorge Wilstermann tied on points which would have required a playoff; CONMEBOL, however, scraped the idea and decided that the last semifinal slot was to be given...
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