Even though the Copa América took place last year (and usually takes place every four years) with Chile winning the final on penalties, the championship is taking place once again this summer in order to celebrate the centenary of CONMEBOL (the South American Football Confederation). 2016 marks the very first time the soccer tournament will be hosted outside South America. It will take place in the United States with the first game kicking off this evening with the USA playing Colombia in Santa Clara, California.Soccer is going to be a huge deal on both sides of the Atlantic this summer with Euro 2016 running from June 10 to July 10 in France. 24 teams are going to compete in the tournament for the first time, having been expanded from the 16 team format used since 1996. How do the numbers behind the two events measure up?
Each tournament will see one of the world’s two most valuable players compete. Argentina’s Lionel Messi was selected as the player of the tournament in the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa América and he is valued at about $134 million. Cristiano Ronaldo, his La Liga rival, is the top scorer in the European Championship. Including qualifying, the Portuguese forward has scored 23 goals and he is valued at approximately $123 million. Out of all teams competing in both tournaments, Germany have the most expensive squad, valued at just under $630 million. When it comes to the numbers that really matter though, Uruguay have the most impressive trophy cabinet. They have triumphed 15 times in the Copa América while in Europe, Germany and Spain boast three wins each. (see chart below)
Statistics and facts on UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is the administrative body for association football in Europe and parts of Asia. It is one of the six confederations of FIFA, the global governing body for football. UEFA was founded in June 1954 in Switzerland and initially consisted of 25 associations. Membership doubled by the early 1990s and today it consists of 54 national association members. As of 2013, UEFA had over 400 employees, although the number tends to rise in the years when the European Championships take place. In the 2012/13 season, the organization’s total revenue was just under 1.7 billion euros.
The top-ranked UEFA club competition is the UEFA Champions League, which has run annually since the 1992/93 season and is contested between the top 1-4 teams of each country’s domestic league. It is a successor to the European Cup held from 1955 to 1992 which only took place between the top team of each country. The Champions League is themost lucrative annual competition for UEFA as it generated revenue of 1.4 billion euros in 2012/13, accounting for over 80 percent of the organization’s overall revenue in that season. Real Madrid are the most successful team in the history of the competition, having lifted the trophy a total of 10 times. The club has also made the most appearances in the competition, taking part 45 times since its inaugural season in 1955.
UEFA’s second, lower-ranked annual club competition is the UEFA Europa League. The competition, founded in 1971 and given its current format in 2009, takes place between domestic cup winners and high-placed domestic league teams. The competition made total revenue of 242 million euros in the 2012/13 season, with 218 million euros alone generated through television broadcasting rights. To date, four teams have won the title a total of 3 times, whilst Sporting Lisbon are the club with the most appearances in the competition.
UEFA’s main competition for men’s national teams is the UEFA European Football Championship, with the first finals being held in 1960. The competition is held every four years, with similar competitions run at women’s and youth levels. The tournament was originally called the UEFA European Nations Cup but changed to the current name in 1968. The European Championships are very lucrative for UEFA and the most recent tournament in Poland and Ukraine in 2012 generated total revenue of around 1.4 billion euros. The 14 European Championships so far have been won by nine different national teams. Germany and Spain each have won three titles, whilst France has claimed two championships. The competition has grown significantly since the first five tournaments in which only four teams took part. In EURO 2016 in France, a total of 24 teams will take part, with over 50 games being played in a month-long tournament across 10 host cities. The format will be changed further for EURO 2020 as the competition will be held in multiple cities all over Europe to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the tournament. It was announced on September 19, 2014 that the final and semi-finals would be held at Wembley Stadium in London.
This chart provides key numbers about the Copa America and Euro 2016.
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