The best countries to visit in South America if you’re a football fan

South America is often overlooked by travelers but this beautiful continent boasts so many must-see attractions that it deserves to be high on everybody’s list when they are next planning a getaway. Famous for waterfalls, rainforests, deserts, salt flats, mountain ranges, glaciers, lakes, rivers, and beaches, there’s no shortage of things to see.

But a continent that is home to nearly 400 million people and 12 countries, also boasts history, culture, food, and, most importantly, soccer. South America is home to the Copa América, the longest-running international soccer tournament in the world which was first contested in 1916. The continent also has the most successful men’s national soccer team in Brazil, who’ve won the World Cup a record five times. Soccer is more than a sport in South America and the passion of the fans is legendary. Here’s our guide to the best countries to visit if you’re a football fan.


Biggest Stadium: Mâs Monumental – 83,000

Home to the current World Champions having beaten France in a thrilling final in Qatar 2022, Argentina is a hotbed of soccer and has produced some of the best players the world has ever seen, including Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Alfredo Di Stefano, Mario Kempes, Gabriel Batistuta and more.

The country also hosts one of the biggest games in club football, the Superclásico between Boca Juniors and River Plate, which is widely regarded by many football fans as the biggest derby on the planet. So much more than just a football match, the game is historically a battle of the classes with the working-class fans of La Boca against Los Millonarios (Millionaires) of River Plate, who were seen to have a more upper-class fan base.

Both teams play in the capital city Buenos Aires, home of the Gran Premio Nacional (Argentine Derby) which is held at the Hipódromo de Palermo and is a hugely popular occasion for horse racing betting. But the Superclásico brings not only the city to a standstill but the entire country. If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket to the match it’s an occasion you’ll never forget, but no matter which team you go and watch in Argentina, you’re guaranteed passionate fans and a sporting atmosphere you’ll never forget.


Biggest Stadium: Maracanã Stadium – 78,838

For many people, Brazil is football. The nation has won more world cups than anybody else and is the only country to have participated in every single tournament. They are also the current Olympic Gold Medallists having retained their title in Tokyo in 2020.

Brazil is renowned for its style of play, with creativity, flair and fantastic skills all seemingly part of a Brazilian footballer’s DNA. Over the years the country has produced some of the greatest players in the world, including Pele, Neymar, Ronaldo, Ronaldhino, Romario, Zico, and many, many more. Talent scouts from all over the world are always in attendance at league games, as big professional clubs from Europe and further afield look to snap up the world-class players the country keeps producing.

Flamengo is the most popular club in Brazil and they play in one of the biggest derbies in the world, between themselves and Fluminense. The two teams share the legendary Maracaña stadium but are fierce rivals, and the game is always a sell-out.


Biggest Stadium: Estadio Monumental – 80,000

Peru is at the opposite end of the scale to Brazil and Argentina when it comes to success, but the country is just as infatuated with football as the rest of South America. Its club sides have failed to make much of an impact on the world stage, with only eight teams ever making it into the knockout stages of the Copa Libertadores de América. However, the national team has seen an improvement in performance in recent years, qualifying for the 2018 World Cup and sensationally reaching the 2019 Copa America final.

What makes Peru so unique is that the majority of its major clubs are located in the capital Lima, which means the local population are football mad and there’s usually a derby of some sort every weekend, bringing the city to life.


Biggest Stadium: Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos – 48,665

One of the most popular and famous clubs in the country is Santiago’s Colo Colo, winner of a record 33 Primera titles, and the only Chilean team to have won the Copa Libertadores. While the national team failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, they did famously win the Copa América for the first time ever in 2015 and successfully defended their title a year later.

Chile has produced lots of world-class players over the years, including Alexis Sanchez, Marcelo Salas, Arturo Vidal, and Ivan Zamorano, and it continues to be a rich source of soccer talent. A trip to Estadio Monumental in Santiago will reward visitors with an incredible game day experience, and a sensational view of the beautiful Andes mountains.

South America is a beautiful continent that offers travelers an experience they will never forget. Whichever country you decide to visit you can be sure that football is a language that everyone speaks.