The Euros vs Copa America – Which is the higher standard?

This year football fans are more excited than usual as the Euro 2020 and Copa America football tournaments are the two biggest events of the year. The funny catch is that most South Americans will be able to see more Euro games than Copa America as televisions in the south surprisingly do not own the rights to televise the latter, this year.

Either way, both continents create tons of excitement for their respective football viewers and fans across the globe. This leads many to ask the question: which tournament sets a higher standard?

The entrance path to Wembley stadium, ahead of the upcoming Euro 2020 soccer championship in London, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. The Euro 2020 kicks off on Friday June 11 when Italy face Turkey in Rome. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

An overview of each tournament

Copa America, also named CONMEBOL, is indeed the longest-running international football tournament in the world. Getting its beginnings in 1916 with the Campeonato Sudamericano de Football, held in Argentina, Copa America has had a colorful history. In comparison to Copa America that had many changes in its timeline of when the tournament would be held, the UEFA Euro competition has been consistently held every four years since 1960. The only exception to this rule was in 2020 when it was postponed due to obvious global conditions.

Both competitions have had their fair share of changes, drama, and winnings. Still, to answer our question and determine which one presents a higher standard we must delve into a little more information about both.

Who are the highest profile teams in each tournament?

Euro Cup

  1. Spain

Spain holds 3 Euro titles, won in 1964, 2008, and 2012. They won their first title while hosting the tournament on Spanish ground.

  • Germany

Coming in close in second place is Germany. The German national football team has participated in 12 events and has acquired 2 titles under its belt. Germany also has the most participations to date and they are proposed as hosts for the 2024 event.

  • France

The third in this top three is France. The famous French national football team holds 2 Euro titles, acquired at the events in 1984 and 2000.

France also came out as a runner-up in the Euro 2016 tournament although they have seen two first round eliminations, one in 1992 and one in 2008.

first round eliminations, one in 1992 and one in 2008.

Copa America

  1. Uruguay

Boasting 15 titles, Uruguay is one of the most successful teams in the history of CONMEBOL. You might find it surprising that such a small country would have the most wins, but Uruguay’s team has a great track record for great play and skilled players.

  • Argentina

Argentina holds 14 titles in the Copa America competition. The team also boasts the most top-four finishes in the tournament.

  • Brazil

A lot of amazing things come from and happen in Brazil. And, to add to their fame, Brazil’s football team holds 9 Copa America titles and various other trophies from other international competitions.

UEFA Euro versus Copa America

It won’t be a surprise to find out that both competitions are running concomitantly and football fans from everywhere are struggling to keep up. Yes, Europeans might be keener in watching the Euro tournament, while South Americans have an interest in their respective football competition.

Still, a true fan would most likely try to catch most of the games, and particularly games that feature their personal favorite teams. There is a huge global following for both cups and trying to determine which one holds the highest standard is a difficult task.

Copa, compared to Euro, which has an eligibility of 55 teams with 24 competing each time, there are 11 teams that participate in the competition each edition. Based on this it would stand to reason that Euro has a larger following, and perhaps even a better media coverage.

The fact that the qualified Euro teams also need to go through another qualification process, also indicated that the European competition is more competitive and has higher standards with regards to the competency of each team that enters the tournament.

Probably the biggest indicator of high standard are the 18-month long thorough qualifying and play-off periods that the Euro competition puts its team through. This gives every team, big or small, a fair chance to enter and take the win.

History telling us that Germany, France, and Spain are most times the best contenders to the winning title. In the same way we could consider Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil as the most likely to win the Copa America.

Despite these facts, predicting the winner can be a huge gamble, particularly if you do not always have the time to follow the evolution of your favorite teams.

Football fans in Europe can place a sports bets on their chosen team and soccer fans in the US and Canada can now also place a bet on their predicted team. As it stands, at the time of writing, for this year’s Euro tournament, France seem to have a 7/2 chance of winning, England 11/2, and Belgium is coming in third with a 6/1 chance of taking home the cup.

As for Copa America, it does seem like Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay are at the top of the list.

The answer to the question that kickstarted this article is not so obvious after having measured these two amazing football events against each other. It seems like the Euro 2020 competition is vying for more viewers this year, has more strict qualification rules, and higher winnings.


Although the Euro competition seems to be favored by football fans all over the world, the Copa America is not far behind. As this year’s tournaments are taking place at the same time, it will be interesting to see the ratings at the end of the competitions.