Playing host to the Copa América for the sixth time, Argentina, champions of the previous edition, capitalized on the fact they were at home to win back-to-back titles. This victory, Argentina’s eighth in the competition, served to draw level with the Uruguayans in number of Cups lifted, since Uruguay also amassed eight titles.
At the old San Lorenzo Stadium, the Argentine squad won all five matches, scored 17 goals and conceded only 3. Managed by Guillermo Stábile, top scorer of the 1930 World Cup Finals, the Argentineans secured the title in the last game, after beating a powerful Brazilian side two to nothing, with a brace by Norberto Méndez.
The 1946 Copa América also marked the retirement of some superstars from the start of the 30’s and 40’s, the likes of Brazilian defender Domingos da Guia and Paraguayan striker Delfin Benítez Cáceres. Prolific striker José Maria Medina, the Cup leading scorer on 7 goals, was one of the rare standouts on the Uruguayan squad, that ended in fourth place.
The two greatest players did not win Copa América. Brazilian player Pelé participated only in the 1959 edition, when he was the best striker (having scored eight goals) and wound up as the runner-up. Argentine striker Maradona played in three Copa América championships, but did not win the title (1979, 1987, and 1989).