An extract on #champions
The tournament's current format uses a knockout format, though the tournament had a group stage prior to the 2018 tournament. Unlike its European and South American counterparts, the winners of the CONCACAF Champions League do not automatically qualify for the following season's competition.
The competition was originally known as the CONCACAF Champions' Cup when it was first organized in 1962. The title has been won by 28 different clubs, 17 of which have won the title more than once. Mexican clubs have accumulated the highest number of victories, with 31 titles in total. The second most successful league has been Costa Rica's Primera Divisin with six titles in total. Mexican side Amrica are the most successful club in the competition's history, having won the tournament seven times, followed by fellow Mexican-side Cruz Azul with six titles. The most successful non-Mexican club is Saprissa of Costa Rica with three titles. The only four teams to successfully defend the trophy are all Mexican: Amrica, Cruz Azul, Pachuca and Monterrey. The current champions of the competition are Pachuca, who defeated Tigres UANL 21 on aggregate in the final.
The tournament currently employs a 16 team knockout format and is played between February and May. Each round consists of a two-leg home-and-away series with the winner determined by aggregate goal differential. Fifteen teams qualify automatically based on domestic performance, along with the winners of the CONCACAF League, played at the end of the previous calendar year.
Prior to 2018, the tournament had two parts a group stage held from August to October, and a knockout phase held from March to May of the following year. The group stage consisted of 24 teams playing in eight groups of three teams each, with each team playing the other two teams in its group twice. United States and Mexican sides could not be drawn into the same group. The winners of each of the eight groups advanced to the quarterfinals. Each phase of the knockout rounds (quarterfinals, semifinals, finals) consisted of a two-leg home-and-away series with the winner determined by aggregate goal differential. Seeding in the knockout phase was determined by performance during the group stage.
Prior to the 201213 season, the competition had involved four groups of four, with one Mexican team and one U.S. team in each group. A preliminary round was used to reduce the number of teams from 24 to 16.