South America’s premier club football championship, Copa Libertadores, makes its debut in EA Sports’ FIFA series with a free update on March 3. It’s part of the franchise’s push into South America, giving the continent’s clubs and leagues a larger presence within the game.
Copa Libertadores, also called CONMEBOL Libertadores (for South America’s football federation) will be joined in FIFA’s career mode by the Copa Sudamericana, the continent’s second-most prestigious club championship (think of UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League). Both tournaments have appeared in Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer series in the past.
The FIFA series has also had UEFA and Champions League licensing for the past two years, following the end of a 10-year exclusive pact between that federation and Konami. It looks like CONMEBOL’s tournaments will be getting similar treatment.
Copa Libertadores will have its own 32-club tournament mode, in which players may take familiar names like Argentina’s C.A. Independiente (seven Copa Libertadores titles), Boca Juniors (six), and River Plate (four); Uruguay’s Peñarol (five championships); and Brazil’s Flamengo (two) and Palmeiras (one).
FIFA 20’s career modes will find Copa Libertadores alongside Copa Sudamericana and the CONMEBOL Recopa, a home-and-home series between the winners of both tournaments, as playable fixtures. EA Sports said there would also be Copa Libertadores items coming to FIFA 20’s Ultimate Team.
Copa Libertadores 2020 began on Jan. 21 with qualifying stages, the third of which will begin on Feb. 26. That will determine the last four teams to make group-stage play, which starts in mid-March. Flamengo, Palmeiras, Peñarol, River Plate, Grêmio, Nacional, Olimpia, and Boca Juniors are the top draws in each group. The final is scheduled for Nov. 21 at the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.