Top 10 Best South American Football Clubs

September 2, 2020 By Sourav


Top 10 Best South American Football Clubs

For the average viewers, it’s the competition that appeals to them and not the quality of football played and as such. South America might be the place where some of the most competitive football is played. It might be nowhere near the power and prestige of European clubs but it surely is the hotbed of talent and has acted as a constant source of talent for the elite clubs of the world, Here we countdown the Top 10 Best South American Football Clubs.

Best South American Football Clubs | 2020 Updates

10. Santos

Santos
Santos

At number 10 in the top 10 best South American football clubs, we have Santos from Brazil. One of the most successful and historic clubs of Brazil, Santos has won the domestic titles 8 times, Copa Libertadores three times and Copa do Brasil once.

Not only that, but it has produced some of the greatest football players ever like Pele, Robinho, and Neymar. Though Neymar has left for Barcelona there is still enough young talent to make it among the best teams in Brazil.

9. Corinthians

Corinthians
Corinthians

At number 9 in the top 10 best South American football clubs, we have Corinthians from Brazil. Corinthians now also holds its place as the biggest club in Brazil. And, they surely have the silverware in their cabinet to prove so, seven Brasileirao titles, Libertadores title, and the FIFA World Club Cup (by defeating Chelsea).

Many famous players have donned this club’s colors including Tevez, Ronaldo, Mascherano, and Socrates.

8. River Plate

River-Plate
River-Plate

At number 8 in the top 10 best South American football clubs, we have is River Plate from Argentina. In terms of titles won, River Plate is the most successful club in Latin America with 36 league titles and 4 Libertadores but they have had no big success in the last decade.

River Plate is now like a fallen giant who has provided many good players to Europe like Ortega, Saviola, Crespo, etc but it was di Stefano started his career here but went onto becoming a household name worldwide.

7. Boca Juniors

Boca-Juniors
Boca-Juniors

At number 7 in the top 10 best South American football clubs, we have Boca Juniors from Argentina. The arch-rivals of River, Boca Juniors' impressive title tally might pale in comparison to Rivers with 33 league titles but it is at the continent stage where they have shone with four Libertadores.

The International Federation of Football History and Statistics naming them the best South American club of the 21st century. Over the years, players to have come from here include Burdisso, Tevez, Palacio, and also the great Maradona.

6. Penarol

Penarol
Penarol

At number 6 in the top 10 best South American football clubs, we have Penarol from Uruguay. With 50 league titles and 5 Copa Libertadores, Penarol has been a dominant force in Uruguayan football. Despite their great history, Penarol is yet to bag a title at the continent level since 1987 (finished runner-up to Santos in 2011) so they are in a slump at the moment.

The most famous player to be linked with Penarol is inarguably Ghiggia who scored the winning goal against Brazil in the 1950 World Cup and knocked them out.

5. Colo-Colo

Colo-Colo
Colo-Colo

At number 5 in the top 10 best South American football clubs, we have Colo-Colo from Chile. Thirty-two league titles, 11 cups, and one Libertadores triumph are all testaments to Colo-Colo’s illustrious history and it is one of the best clubs of Chile.

Instrumental in cultivating a lot of local talent for the national side Colo-Colo is a club to be reckoned with which plays Chile’s style of fast and attacking football.

4. Olimpia

Olimpia
Olimpia

At number 4 in the top 10 best South American football clubs, we have Olimpia from Paraguay. Like other teams on the list, Olimpia also has a glorious past. It has amassed 43 league titles and three Libertadores. In 1979, the club reached its zenith of success when it completed the quadruple of League title, Libertadores, Copa Interamerica, and Intercontinental Cup.

It’s most famous export is Roque Santa Cruz, the current captain of the national squad and highest scorer for the Paraguayan team.

3. Atletico Nacional

Atletico-Nacional
Atletico-Nacional

At number 3 in the top 10 best South American football clubs, we have Atletico Nacional from Colombia. A recent surge in their performances has seen those winning seven league titles in the last decade. And, it transforming the club into one of the major powers of Latin football.

The club is fondly remembered as the origin of the legendary goalkeeper Rene Higuita, famous for his sweeping style and dribbling in spite of being a goalkeeper.

2. Independiente

Independiente
Independiente

At number 2 in the top 10 best South American football clubs, we have Independiente from Argentina. It is one of the most historic clubs of Argentina that has won 16 Primera titles and 9 National Cups. They also achieved 7 Copa Libertadores (record number of times and only club to win it four times in a row). Independiente won three Copa Interamericana, two Supercopa Sudamericana, two Intercontinental Cup, and one Recopa Sudamericana.

Its silverware alone makes it the most important club in Argentina. But in recent times, it has declined to the extent of relegation but has again bounced back under Hugo Moyano. And now, it is starting to look as menacing as in its golden days.

1. Sao Paulo

Sao-Paulo
Sao-Paulo

At number 1 in the top 10 best South American football clubs, we have Sao Paulo from Brazil. Sao Paolo is the absolute powerhouse when it comes to Latin football. It also holds its place among the 5 Brazilian clubs that never faced relegation. It has 21 league titles, six Brasileirao, three Copa Libertadores, and one Copa Sudamericana.

They also achieved one Supercopa Libertadores, one FIFA World Club Cup, two intercontinental cups, one COPA CONMEBOL. This club won one COPA Masters CONMEBOL and two Recopa Sudamericana. Apart from such a collection of silverware, it is also the second most financially valuable team of Brazil.

Leave a Reply

  1. Oprolevorter
    oprolevorter July 3, 2019 16:25

    I'm still learning from you, as I'm making my way to the top as well. I absolutely love reading all that is written on your site.Keep the stories coming. I liked it!

  2. Martin Pucciarelli
    Martin Pucciarelli August 19, 2019 11:43

    The list is wrong in my opinion. River Plate and Boca Juniors should be much higher on the list. They are probably the two biggest and most popular clubs in South America. The fact that Independiente is 2nd place is a joke in terms of size and popularity.

  3. Pepe
    Pepe August 22, 2019 21:52

    Sorry mate with all due respect this list is wayy wrong. Don't even mentioning the fact that Boca and River have been the most dominant clubs in international titles in the past 20 years, you can't seriously put Colo Colo and Atletico Nacional above them. First one won only one Libertadores and second two, both of them in matches filled with arbitrarial suspicions, since the referees where phrone to show the red card to their opponents.

  4. Adriano Silva
    Adriano Silva November 4, 2019 17:13

    Flamengo >>> ALL

  5. Philip Minett
    Philip Minett November 23, 2019 16:12

    Flamengo and River Plate, not the dung eaters at Boca...

    1. Fora Boca January 10, 2020 14:38

      River Plate sucks dude!!!
      Guess you didn't watch Libertadores. ??????
      Fora Boca Forever Loser!!!
      ?????

  6. Rodrigo
    Rodrigo December 23, 2019 12:44

    Boca and River not in top 5?
    Flamengo absent from the list?
    Sao Paulo on top?

    This list is a joke.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das December 24, 2019 01:47

      This list is based mainly on the number of league titles that the clubs have achieved to date along with the international titles.
      It is not based upon the current performance of the club.
      Kindly, check the stats of those teams and compare it to the stats of the teams that we have mentioned here to clear your doubt.
      But, thanks for the visit!

  7. Gasa
    Gasa May 6, 2020 19:25

    Great list, I would only trade 1 postion, 2nd is Boca, because they have 3 world titles (same number of So Paulo FC), these are the only 2 clubs in South America that won 3 world titles.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das May 7, 2020 00:53

      It is not only about the world title Gasa. We have made this list by taking into account all the possible records that these clubs have on their favor.
      But yes, we will surely think about your suggestion and soon update this list. And, keep visiting our blog!

  8. Neimar
    Neimar May 16, 2020 21:01

    Wheres Cruzeiro? They have won so many titles

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das May 17, 2020 02:11

      Thanks for your suggestions. We will definitely look into it during our next update.
      And, keep visiting our sports blog!

  9. G A SPENCE
    G A SPENCE May 17, 2020 08:41

    Hi , is there a possibility of making a top ten list of latin American teams who in your opinion would definitely hold their own in the UEFA champions league. It will be interesting to see which team has the quality from your opinion ,who could honestly reach the final.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das May 18, 2020 01:26

      That's a good suggestion, indeed! We will definitely keep that in mind and will try to make this list which you have suggested.
      By the way, what's your own ranking of this list?

  10. Berke
    Berke June 14, 2020 11:15

    This is a horrible list imo. The fact that you put River and Boca so low is unbelievable. And I cant believe you said River are a falling giant. They won 11 trophies in the last 5 years. What more do you except from them?

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das June 15, 2020 00:46

      Do you really think River has the same legacy remaining now as they had around a decade or two back?
      If yes, then I have nothing to say!

  11. Arturo
    Arturo July 3, 2020 10:24

    You need to revise a couple of things. First of all, it is common knowledge that the two biggest teams in Argentina are River and Boca, hence the "superclasico". In fact, they are as well the #1 and #2 teams in South America in terms of international reputation and success.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das July 3, 2020 23:05

      We have made this list according to the number of total trophies won.
      But yes, we will definitely consider your suggestion. And, keep visiting our sports blog!

  12. Mark Silva
    Mark Silva July 29, 2020 08:57

    Boa tarde

    Ao meu ver uma Lista destas sem o principal Clube que o Flamengo est completamente errada.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das July 30, 2020 00:10

      Kindly post your comment in English as we have global readers.
      And, keep visiting our sports blog!

  13. Ian Quimey
    Ian Quimey August 23, 2020 08:35

    This ranking is wrong at several levels. First of all, Boca has won six Libertadores, just one less than Independiente. Both have won 18 international titles since conmebol foundation, and if you take the most relevant of these, Boca has one more Intercontinental cup that compensates for the Libertadores Independiente have more.
    Secondly, you said that Independiente has won 16 league titles and River Plate 33. That is also wrong. River Plate has won 34 professional leagues and 2 in the amateur era, whereas Indepediente has 14 professional leagues and 2 in the amateur era. There is still a debate if we should count the amateur titles as legitimate, but what is surely whitout criteria is to count them for one team but not for the other. Therefore, Boca's 28 professional and 6 amateur leagues are not as tally as you think in comparison with River's leagues.
    Besides that, you wrote is somehow returning under to the golden days. I cannot disagree more. Ever since Independiente's latest league in 2002 the have not been not even a little near of winning it again, even playing in the second divisition during the 2013-14 season after years of bad campaigns and it's not likely that they will do it sometime soon given it modest economic power. If you reproach Peñarol for not winning the Libertadores since 1987, you can put Independiente above because it hasn't won the cup since 1984, and participating in it only four times over the last 30 years, in 1990, 1995, 1996, 2003 y 2018.
    But above all that, not even the most unreasonable Independiente supporter could consider his club biggest than Boca and River, undoubtly the most important argentinian clubs, and it is quite unusual to see Independiente beating one of them in a league match since the 21th century beginnig.
    As argentinian myself, argentinian football is what I can make comment the most, nevertheless if you put Peñarol in the ranking you should the same with Nacional, which has won 3 Libertadores and 3 Intercontinental cups, and along with Peñarol itself, Sao Paulo and Boca the clubs that have been world champions more often (and yes, the FIFA count Intercontinental cups at the same level of the currently World Club Cup). Furthermore, Nacional has the stadistical performance of the Libertadores history, taking into account average points per match.
    A few more details.
    _You chose Sao Paulo as the biggest south american club for winning 21 county leagues and six Brasileiraos (national leagues). Nevertheless, you did not even put Palmeiras in the ranking, the biggest brazilian league winner with 10 titles, nor Corinthians, the biggest Sao Paulo state league winner with 30 titles. Moreover, Sao Paulo hasn't won the national competition since 2008 and its last county titles was in 2005. As a matter of fact, county or state leagues are more like a pre-season competition nowadays, and is not reasonable to take them into account because while Sao Paulo (with Palmeiras, Corinthians, Sao Paulo and Santos), Rio (with Flamengo, Fluminense, Vasco da Gama and Botafogo) and to a lesser extent Minais Gerais (Cruzeiro, Atletico Mineiro) and Rio Grande do Sul (Gremio, Internacional) ' state league could be a little competitive, the rest of the country leagues usually do not even have clubs in the first division.
    _You use a completely unclear criteria, and it is hard to tell how yoy weigh state leagues and cups (only in Brazil case),national leagues, national cups,continental cups (Libertadores), less relevant international titles (Supercopa, Sudamericana, Recopa, Copa Conmebol, Interamericana, Copa Master, Copa Leoz,etc.), world titles (Intercontinental and World Club Cup), amount of supporters, economic power and best players icons.
    _Clearly you are not very fond of south american football, and I do not blame given that over the last 30 years or so it has become more a source of talent than a a competition itself. However, it wasn't like that, and clubs as Boca or River are above in the football history of the nowadays trendy teams as M.City, PSG or Chelsea. I suppose that the intention of this ranking is not to make a list of all the great footballers that played for these teams, nevertheless I humblely offer you some help
    _Rivelino is far more representative for Corinthians than Tevez or Mascherano, and was an important part of the best team of the History (Brazil 1970)
    _Obdulio Varela, the 1950 Uruguay captain and Alberto Spencer, the highest scorer of the Libertadores history by far, are as important for Peñarol as Ghiggia
    _There would not be the Clockwork Orange nor the Barcelona would be the same if there was not for "La Máquina" ("The Machine") the River Plate team in the 40s. You mentioned Higuita as a Atletico Nacional icon, and even though he was a fine goalkeeper, he is nothing compared to Amadeo Carrizo, one of if not the best goalkeeper of history. All of La máquina players were the best of its time, and above all of them Angel Labruna is River biggest legend
    _In latest decades, Paredes, Samuel, Batistuta, Banega, Gago and Bentancur made a careers after defending Boca colour. Palermo, its highest scorer, scorer in the last minute the goal Argentina needed for classify to the 2010 world cup. Others of the Boca idols are Silvio Marzonlini, the best left back from the 60s, Rattin, midfield player captain of Argentina team all along the 60s, Rojitas (Maradona childhood's idol) and Riquelme above them all
    _No doubt, Ricardo Bochini is the biggest Independiente legend, and sadly one of the most underrated footballers of all time, yet even so, he was not less that his contemporary Plstini or Cruyff

  14. Ian Quimey
    Ian Quimey August 23, 2020 08:35

    This ranking is wrong at several levels. First of all, Boca has won six Libertadores, just one less than Independiente. Both have won 18 international titles since conmebol foundation, and if you take the most relevant of these, Boca has one more Intercontinental cup that compensates for the Libertadores Independiente have more.
    Secondly, you said that Independiente has won 16 league titles and River Plate 33. That is also wrong. River Plate has won 34 professional leagues and 2 in the amateur era, whereas Indepediente has 14 professional leagues and 2 in the amateur era. There is still a debate if we should count the amateur titles as legitimate, but what is surely whitout criteria is to count them for one team but not for the other. Therefore, Boca's 28 professional and 6 amateur leagues are not as tally as you think in comparison with River's leagues.
    Besides that, you wrote is somehow returning under to the golden days. I cannot disagree more. Ever since Independiente's latest league in 2002 the have not been not even a little near of winning it again, even playing in the second divisition during the 2013-14 season after years of bad campaigns and it's not likely that they will do it sometime soon given it modest economic power. If you reproach Peñarol for not winning the Libertadores since 1987, you can put Independiente above because it hasn't won the cup since 1984, and participating in it only four times over the last 30 years, in 1990, 1995, 1996, 2003 y 2018.
    But above all that, not even the most unreasonable Independiente supporter could consider his club biggest than Boca and River, undoubtly the most important argentinian clubs, and it is quite unusual to see Independiente beating one of them in a league match since the 21th century beginnig.
    As argentinian myself, argentinian football is what I can make comment the most, nevertheless if you put Peñarol in the ranking you should the same with Nacional, which has won 3 Libertadores and 3 Intercontinental cups, and along with Peñarol itself, Sao Paulo and Boca the clubs that have been world champions more often (and yes, the FIFA count Intercontinental cups at the same level of the currently World Club Cup). Furthermore, Nacional has the stadistical performance of the Libertadores history, taking into account average points per match.
    A few more details.
    _You chose Sao Paulo as the biggest south american club for winning 21 county leagues and six Brasileiraos (national leagues). Nevertheless, you did not even put Palmeiras in the ranking, the biggest brazilian league winner with 10 titles, nor Corinthians, the biggest Sao Paulo state league winner with 30 titles. Moreover, Sao Paulo hasn't won the national competition since 2008 and its last county titles was in 2005. As a matter of fact, county or state leagues are more like a pre-season competition nowadays, and is not reasonable to take them into account because while Sao Paulo (with Palmeiras, Corinthians, Sao Paulo and Santos), Rio (with Flamengo, Fluminense, Vasco da Gama and Botafogo) and to a lesser extent Minais Gerais (Cruzeiro, Atletico Mineiro) and Rio Grande do Sul (Gremio, Internacional) ' state league could be a little competitive, the rest of the country leagues usually do not even have clubs in the first division.
    _You use a completely unclear criteria, and it is hard to tell how yoy weigh state leagues and cups (only in Brazil case),national leagues, national cups,continental cups (Libertadores), less relevant international titles (Supercopa, Sudamericana, Recopa, Copa Conmebol, Interamericana, Copa Master, Copa Leoz,etc.), world titles (Intercontinental and World Club Cup), amount of supporters, economic power and best players icons.
    _Clearly you are not very fond of south american football, and I do not blame given that over the last 30 years or so it has become more a source of talent than a a competition itself. However, it wasn't like that, and clubs as Boca or River are above in the football history of the nowadays trendy teams as M.City, PSG or Chelsea. I suppose that the intention of this ranking is not to make a list of all the great footballers that played for these teams, nevertheless I humblely offer you some help
    _Rivelino is far more representative for Corinthians than Tevez or Mascherano, and was an important part of the best team of the History (Brazil 1970)
    _Obdulio Varela, the 1950 Uruguay captain and Alberto Spencer, the highest scorer of the Libertadores history by far, are as important for Peñarol as Ghiggia
    _There would not be the Clockwork Orange nor the Barcelona would be the same if there was not for "La Máquina" ("The Machine") the River Plate team in the 40s. You mentioned Higuita as a Atletico Nacional icon, and even though he was a fine goalkeeper, he is nothing compared to Amadeo Carrizo, one of if not the best goalkeeper of history. All of La máquina players were the best of its time, and above all of them Angel Labruna is River biggest legend
    _In latest decades, Paredes, Samuel, Batistuta, Banega, Gago and Bentancur made a careers after defending Boca colour. Palermo, its highest scorer, scorer in the last minute the goal Argentina needed for classify to the 2010 world cup. Others of the Boca idols are Silvio Marzonlini, the best left back from the 60s, Rattin, midfield player captain of Argentina team all along the 60s, Rojitas (Maradona childhood's idol) and Riquelme above them all
    _No doubt, Ricardo Bochini is the biggest Independiente legend, and sadly one of the most underrated footballers of all time, yet even so, he was not less that his contemporary Plstini or Cruyff

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