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CONCACAF Champions League

CONCACAF Champions League
Football Tournament
Founded1962 (Champions Cup)
2008 (Champions League)
RegionNorth America,
Central America, Caribbean
Number of teams24
Current championsMX Monterrey (1st title)
Most successful clubMexico Cruz Azul
MX América
(5 titles each)
Current season2011 � 12 Champions League

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The CONCACAF Champions League is the annual international club football championship for teams from the CONCACAF region (North America, Central America, and the Caribbean).

Prior to 2008, the competition was known as the CONCACAF Champions' Cup, though it was frequently cited as simply the Champions' Cup. The tournament was originally a chain of round robin series, culminated by a final stage, in which four to six clubs would compete in a double round robin series to determine the continental champion. Throughout a majority of the tournament's existence, the competition varied in formats before 2008, when the tournament uses its current format.

Today, the tournament mirrors a format much like its sister tournament, the UEFA Champions League. The Champions League begins in late July with a two-legged preliminary round, played between 16 different teams. The eight surviving teams join the eight seeded teams in the group stage, in which there are four groups consisting of four teams each. The four group winners and four runners-up enter the Championship Round, which either begins in late February or early March. The Championship Round begins with a two-legged quarterfinals and semifinals, which culminates with a two-legged final, held in late April. Since the Champions League era began in 2008, the competition has been heavily dominated by Mexican Primera Division teams, who have won every Champions League to date. Until 2011, when Major League Soccer team Real Salt Lake reached the finals, each CONCACAF Champions League final had been an all-Mexican affair. The winner of the CONCACAF Champions League qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup.

The title has been won by 27 different clubs, 11 of which have won the title more than once. The all-time record-holders are Cruz Azul and América, who have won the competition five times each. Mexico's Primera División is, by far, the most successful league, amassing 27 wins in the tournament. The Mexican Primera División also holds the record for most apperances in the final of both the Champions Cup and Champions League as well as the highest number of winning clubs.

In the Champions' Cup era, the second most successful league has been Costa Rica's Primera División, while in the Champions League era, the second most successful league has been the United States and Canada's Major League Soccer.

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