Clubs that Have Played the Copa Libertadores Being in the Second Division

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Recently, Club Patronato de Argentina was champion of the Argentine Cup and will play the Copa Libertadores and the Second Division in 2023

Wilstermann and Tigre player from Argentina

Photos: TW-Wilstermann, TW-catigreoficial

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Clubes que han jugado la Copa Libertadores estando en la segunda división

For the first time in history, Club Atlético Patronato de la Juventud Católica managed to qualify for the 2023 Copa Libertadores. But this is not just a case of debutants in the continental tournament, also of those teams that compete at the highest continental level, but in the second category in their country. Patronato qualified for the 2023 Copa Libertadores by winning the Copa Argentina over Talleres de Córdoba, but his performance in the League was so poor that he was relegated to play in the promotion category.

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As striking as it may seem, this is not the first case of teams playing in the second division in their countries and the Copa Libertadores at the same time. We tell you about other similar cases:

Criciuma (1992)

Currently, the Criciuma club plays in the Brasileirao Series B. This small club from the Santa Catarina region holds the record of being the first Copa Libertadores competitor to play while in a promotion category. This happened in 1992, since the previous year, the team led by the great Felipao (Luiz Felipe Scolari) defeated the powerful Porto Alegre Gremio in the Brazilian Cup final.

In this way, while competing in series B, and finishing in 35th place, already with Levir Culpi in the coaching seat, Tigre de Santa Catarina occupied second place in the group that it shared with São Paulo (champion of Series A ) and the Bolivians San José and Bolívar. In the round of 16, they eliminated Alianza Lima with a double victory and in the quarterfinals they fell at the hands of São Paulo.

Santo André (2005)

Santo André was the second club to play in Serie B and Copa Libertadores at the same time. After becoming champion of the Brazilian Cup in 2004, the team from the state of São Paulo was the fifth representative of Brazil in the international tournament.

However, in the group that it shared with Cerro Porteño from Paraguay, Deportivo Táchira from Venezuela and its compatriot Palmeiras, the team was eliminated in 3rd place with 8 points, just one point behind the verdao and 4 behind the Guaraní.

Paulista (2006)

Champion of the Brazilian Cup in 2005, the team from the city of Jundiaí was the 6th representative of Brazil in the Copa Libertadores. They were last in their group, which they shared with Libertad from Paraguay, River Plate from Argentina and El Nacional from Ecuador, tied at 6 points with the Ecuadorians.

George Wilstermann (2011)

5 years later, history would repeat with the team Jorge Wilsterman that won the Bolivian Opening Tournament in 2010, but at the end of the year he was relegated. Due to this, it had to compete in the Copa Libertadores while trying to return to the highest national category.

The Cochabamba team was last in the group that it shared with Internacional from Porto Alegre, Jaguares from Chiapas and Emelec from Ecuador. The team only got 4 points and a difference of -8 goals.

Palmeiras (2013)

Another new champion of the Copa do Brasil would reach the Copa Libertadores without being in the first division. This time it was Palmeiras, who, with (curiously) “Felipao” Scolari, would win the Cup without losing a game. However, their performance in the League was so bad that they had to go down at the end of 2012. This ended with Palmeiras playing in Serie B and the Copa Libertadores.

In the international tournament, it qualified first in its group that he shared with Tigre from Argentina, Libertad from Paraguay and Sporting Cristal from Peru. In the round of 16, the team lost against Tijuana from Mexico with a 2-1 aggregate.

Santiago Wanders (2018)

For 2018, the turn to play in the promotion category and play the Copa Libertadores was for a Chilean team. Santiago Wanders arrived as champion of the Chilean Cup. Despite its great performance in the cup tournament, in the League it had to play the promotion against Unión La Calera and lost it.

Already in the international tournament, La Verde passed the pre-qualifying phase 2 by beating Melgar 2-1. But, in phase 3, they lost 1-5 on aggregate against Santa Fe de Colombia.

Tiger (2020)

"El Matador" reached the Copa Libertadores after winning the 2019 Argentine Super League Cup. He occupied group B with Palmeiras, Guaraní and Bolívar. Its performance was mediocre, with only 1 point in 6 games.