While you likely have a favourite professional football team from your home country, there is no denying that world football offers fans just as many thrilling moments – if not more!
As the world’s most popular sport with an estimated 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, football fans will never be let down when it comes to finding a team to root for. Join us as we explore the 4 biggest tournaments in world football.
AFC Asian Cup
Run by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the Asian Cup is an international association football tournament and the second oldest continental football championship in the world.
Established in 1956, the Asian Cup was held every 4 years until the 2004 tournament in China, where after it was held again in 2007 owing to the Summer Olympic Games and the European Football Championship being scheduled for 2008.
Following the 2007 edition which was hosted by 4 nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam – the Asian Cup was once again held every 4 years. To date, Japan has won the tournament 4 times, Saudi Arabia and Iran 3 times, and South Korea twice.
CAF Africa Cup of Nations
Established in 1957, the CAF Africa Cup of Nations is the main international association football competition in Africa and has been held every 2 years since 1968.
While the format of the tournament remained largely unchanged for decades with a maximum allowance of 16 competing teams which provided plenty opportunity for NZ betting, in 2007 the tournament was moved from January to June and expanded from 16 to 24 teams.
To date, Egypt has won the Africa Cup of Nations 7 times, Cameroon 5 times, Ghana 4 times, Nigeria 3 times, and Ivory Coast and DR Congo twice.
First contested in 1916, the Copa América was known as the South American Football Championship until 1975 and is a men’s international football tournament contested between national teams from CONMEBOL.
The tournament determines the continental champion of South America and is the oldest international continental football competition in the world.
Teams from North America and Asia have also been invited to participate since the 1990s and the tournament has since 1993 typically featured 12 teams made up of all 10 CONMEBOL teams and 2 additional teams from other confederations.
To date, Argentina has won the Copa América 10 times, Uruguay and Chile 7 times, Peru 6 times, Brazil 5 times, and Ecuador 4 times.
UEFA Champions League
First held in 1955, the UEFA Champions League is an annual club football competition contested by top-division European clubs to decide the top team in Europe.
Considered as one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football, the winner of the UEFA Champions League qualifies for the following year’s Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA World Cup.
To date, Real Madrid has won the tournament 13 times, Milan 7 times, Liverpool 6 times, Bayern Munich and Barcelona 5 times, and Ajax 4 times.