Ranking the 10 best South American football clubs right now

Ranking the 10 best South American football clubs right now

South American football might not be on par with European football, but it has produced numerous world-class talents. South American fans are some of the most passionate football fans globally, and some of the best south American football clubs have produced the greatest players in the world.

Best South American football clubs
Jonathan (left) of Sao Paulo battles for possession with Richard of Independiente during the Copa CONMEBOL Sudamericana match on October 1, 2022, in Cordoba, Argentina. Photo: Hernan Cortez
Source: Getty Images

Football is the most popular sport in South America and one of the most popular globally. There are a lot of football enthusiasts and spectators in South America. Several illustrious European clubs have dominated world football throughout the years, but American teams have also made their mark. Here is a list of the top 10 best South American football clubs.

Top 10 Best South American football clubs

10. Santos

Most popular football clubs in South America
Players of Brazil's club, Santos, pose for a picture at the Urbano Caldeira stadium in Santos, Brazil, on May 24, 2022. Photo: Paulo Pinto
Source: Getty Images

Santos of Brazil is the tenth-best South American football club. Santos is one of Brazil's most illustrious clubs. They have won the national championship eight times, the Copa Libertadores three times, and the Copa de Brasil once.

It has also given the world such greats as Robinho, Neymar and the great Pele. Despite Neymar's departure to one of the most famous clubs, Barcelona, there is still enough youthful potential to compete with the top teams in Brazil, one of the best south American national football teams.

9. Corinthians

Most famous south American football clubs
Players of Corinthians FC after the first leg match of the final of Copa do Brasil 2022, at Neo Quimica Arena on October 12, 2022, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Ricardo Moreira
Source: Getty Images

Corinthians can claim the title of Brazil's most successful club as well. They have got the silverware in the drawer to back them up.

There have won seven Brasileiro championships, two Libertadores championships, and one FIFA World Club Cup. Ronaldo, Mascherano and Tevez are notable athletes who have worn this club's colours.

8. River Plate

Best football clubs in Latin America
Enzo Perez (24) of River Plate and teammates walk onto the field at Estadio Mas Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on October 5, 2022, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: Daniel Jayo
Source: Getty Images

With 36 league titles and 4 Libertadores, River Plate is the most successful team in Latin America, but they haven't had much luck in the last decade.

Many talented players, such as Ortega, Saviola, Crespo, and others, have left River Plate for Europe. Still, Di Stefano began his career with the club and became a household name worldwide.

7. Boca Juniors

Best South American national football teams
Players of Boca Juniors applaud fans after winning a match against Velez Sarsfield at Estadio Alberto J. Armando on October 2, 2022, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: Daniel Jayo
Source: Getty Images

Even though Boca Juniors, River Plate's bitter rival, has won fewer league titles (27) than River (33), they have excelled on the continental scene by winning four Libertadores.

According to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, they are the finest South American club of the 21st century. Burdisso, Tevez, Palacio, and the great Maradona are just a few players who hail from this area.

6. Penarol

Best South American soccer clubs
Peñarol FC players celebrate after scoring during a match against Corinthians at Arena Corinthians on April 29, 2021, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Alexandre Schneider
Source: Getty Images

Penarol has dominated Uruguayan football for years, winning 50 league titles and 5 Copa Libertadores. Despite a rich history, Penarol is currently in a slump because they have not won a continental championship since 1987 (they were runners-up to Santos in 2011). Incontrovertibly, Ghiggia, who eliminated Brazil from the 1950 World Cup with the game-winning goal, is the most well-known player associated with Penarol.

5. Colo-Colo

Best South American football team
Chile's Colo Colo star Juan Martin Lucero (R) celebrates after scoring a goal against Peru's Alianza Lima at the Monumental Stadium in Santiago on April 13, 2022. Photo: Martin Bernetti
Source: Getty Images

Colo-Colo is one of Chile's top clubs, with a rich history of 32 league championships, 11 cup victories, and a Libertadores Cup victory.

Colo-Colo is an influential team crucial in developing many Chilean national team players. They are known for playing an up-tempo, attacking brand of soccer.

4. Olimpia

Best South American national football teams
Fans of Paraguay's Olimpia wait for the start of the Copa Sudamericana football tournament at the Defensores del Chaco stadium in Asuncion on June 30, 2022. Photo: Norberto Duarte
Source: Getty Images

Like many other clubs here, Olimpia can reflect on an illustrious history. The club's apex came in 1979 when it won the League, the Libertadores, the Copa Interamericana, and the Intercontinental Cup. Roque Santa Cruz, the current captain of the national team and the top scorer for Paraguay, is the city's most well-known native son.

Olimpia holds the record for most Primera División championships with 46, including a remarkable six-season unbeaten streak. Olimpia is the only club from Paraguay to win a CONMEBOL championship. They have done so on multiple occasions: three times in the Copa Libertadores and four times as runners-up, twice in the Recopa Sudamericana, and once in the Intercontinental Cup.

3. Atletico Nacional

Best football clubs in Latin America
Fans of Colombia's Atletico Nacional cheer before the Copa Sudamericana football match at the Atanasio Girardot stadium in Medellin, Colombia, on February 5, 2020. Photo: Joaquin Sarmiento
Source: Getty Images

They have won seven league crowns in the last decade, which helped the club rise to prominence as a critical force in Latin American soccer. Rene Higuita, a famed goalkeeper known for his sweeping style and dribbling abilities despite his position, got his start with this team.

Atletico Nacional is one of the best south American soccer clubs and the most successful team in Colombian history. It has won a whopping 24 domestic titles between the League, the Copa Colombia, and the Superliga Colombiana (17 league victories and 5 Copa trophies).

2. Independiente

Most popular football clubs in USA
Players of Independiente del Valle celebrate with the trophy after winning the final of Copa Ecuador 2022 at Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa on November 8, 2022, in Quito, Ecuador. Photo: Franklin Jacome
Source: Getty Images

With 16 Primera titles and 9 National Cups, it is one of Argentina's most illustrious clubs. As a club, they have seven Copa Libertadores titles to their name (a record number of times and the only club to win it four times in a row).

Independiente has won multiple trophies, including three Copa Interamericana, two Supercopa Sudamericana, two Intercontinental Cups, and one Recopa Sudamericana. They have more awards than any other Argentinian club. It recently declined to a low point, only to recover and flourish under Hugo Moyano. It's becoming as menacing as it was in the past.

1. Sao Paulo

Most famous South American football clubs
Players of Sao Paulo celebrate during the match between Sao Paulo and Fluminense at Morumbi stadium on June 29, 2016, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Alexandre Schneider
Source: Getty Images

Famous Brazilian club, Sao Paulo, topped our list of the top 10 best South American teams. When it comes to football in Latin America, Sao Paulo is unrivalled.

It is one of the five Brazilian clubs in history that have never been relegated: 22 league championships, 6 Brasileiro championships, 3 Copa Libertadores championships, and 1 Copa Sudamericana championship.

They also won one Copa CONMEBOL, one Supercopa Libertadores, one FIFA World Club Cup, and two intercontinental cups. One Copa Masters CONMEBOL title and two Recopa Sudamericana titles have been won by this club. In addition to its plethora of trophies, it is the country's second-most valuable sports franchise.

Like Europe, South America is a hotbed of great football. The best South American football clubs currently rank well among the world's most successful clubs and have produced the best skilled and top players now playing in European clubs.

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