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Football is the most popular amateur sport in South America

Football is the most popular amateur sport in South America and is revered by the inhabitants of the continent as a professional sport. Football was first introduced to the continent in the 19th century, as part of the worldwide spread of British culture initiated by the British diaspora and the subsequent acceptance of sport by the region's Anglophile elite. Football was widely regarded as a symbol of modernity and health, replacing older fashion sports like Bochas over time. By the mid-20th century, it was the mainstream mainstream sport on most of the continent.

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The organization of the sport is led by national associations (or associations) and continental confederations, all members of FIFA. Most South American Football Associations are part of CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation). There are a few exceptions: the associations based in the Guianas, which are part of the CONCACAF (North American Football Confederation), and the Falkland Islands. The development of football is also organized by these national and international associations in cooperation with state sports authorities. Each South American country has its own infrastructure for the development of football, which has different success.

The most intense rivalry between two countries on an international level exists between Argentina football and Brazil football. These matches, of which there are over one hundred, are as numerous as the games between Argentina and Uruguay, but are now the most intense in South America. This is not due to political conflicts in the past, but to the fact that these countries are considered the largest footballing nations in America. In the 20th century, there were several conflicts due to this athletic hostility, which in the final of the South American championship in 1946 led to brawls between players, supporters and the police. The Superclásico de las Américas, an annual friendship meeting of the national teams of Argentina and Brazil, took place in 2011 for the first time.

The rivalry between Brazil and Uruguay continued to grow after the 1950 FIFA World Cup finals when millions of Brazilian football fans were traumatized by a 2-1 defeat. In South America, Peru and Chile are also considered traditional rivals. The confrontation between the two nations is referred to as Clásico del Pacífico or Pacific Classic. This rivalry dates back to the 1890s, when the saltpetre war was fought.

In the CONCACAF region two historic "Clásico" meetings should be mentioned. Traditionally dominated by the Mexican national team in North and Central America, CONCACAF tournaments are increasingly competing against their traditional rival and northern neighbor outside the Latin American region, the United States. Mexican resolve is strengthened by events such as the Battle of the Alamo and the American-Mexican War of the 19th century, as well as the treatment of Mexicans living in the United States. Honduras and Costa Rica play since April 3, 1935 in meetings known as Clásico centroamericano or Central American Classic. The two countries that played against each other for the 50th time in January 2011 are relatively balanced in terms of the number of victories, although Costa Rica was the most successful internationally.

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