In the 32nd edition of the Copa América, held for the last time ever without a fixed venue, Uruguay established themselves once again as the powerhouse of the continent, clinching their 12th South-American title to match Argentina, the most prolific winner until then. The Uruguayan squad, a.k.a Celeste, boasting new talent, put on a brilliant performance, eliminating Chile and Venezuela in the first phase and Brazil in the final, after a victory in Montevideo and a draw in Salvador, Bahia. Amongst the young champions, the standouts were Enzo Francescoli and Carlos Aguilera. Another key player on the team was goalkeeper Rodolfo Rodríguez.
Brazil, coached by Carlos Alberto Parreira, also presented outstanding players, the likes of Leão, Mozer, Júnior, Sócrates, Careca and Renato Gaúcho. Argentina, depleted of their top players, was ousted in the first phase for the third time by Brazil. As a consolation prize, the team led by coach Carlos Bilardo did beat their bitter rivals 1-nil to put and end to a 16-year drought without a victory over their neighbors.
Japan was the only country from outside the American continent to be invited to participate in Copa América. The Japanese team played in the 1999 tournament, hosted by Paraguay, and will play again in 2011, in Argentina.