The 1987 Copa América established the beginning of a new phase in the history of the competition. After 20 years, the tournament was back to having a fixed venue (in Argentina), had the compulsory presence of all ten Conmebol members, and started being broadcast to Europe and North America. From then on, this Cup began taking place every two years – a sequence only interrupted in 2003, when the tournament was postponed to 2004.
Held in the same cities that hosted the 1978 World Cup Finals (Buenos Aires, Rosário and Córdoba), the 1987 Copa América was won by Uruguay, who had to play just two matches to secure back-to-back titles. As in 1983, champions Uruguay began their participation already in the semifinals, where they beat hosts Argentina (boasting the base of the 1986 World Cup winning team). In the deciding match, they beat a startling Chilean side, that had earned a famous 4-nil victory against Brazil in the first phase. Colombia, of goalkeeper René Higuita and striker Valderrama – voted the best player of the tournament – ended third, confirming the evolution of football in their country.
The first goal in Copa América was scored by a Uruguayan player – José Piendibene scored his goal in the victory over Chile by 4 x 0, in 1916. “The Master,” as he was called, became famous playing for Peñarol.