Which Brazilian Libertadores team is most feared in Argentina?

Endrick celebrates after scoring for Palmeiras over Corinthians. Credits: Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras/by Canon

CONMEBOL Libertadores starts this Tuesday (2), at 7pm, when Flamengo faces Millonarios away from home – sports fans follow the game live, as well as post-round coverage, on ESPN on Star+. This year, seven of the tournament’s eight groups feature a Brazilian team, and, as has been the case in each of the last five editions of the competition, they are favorites to win the title once again.

In terms of individual quality, economic power, collective performance and the hierarchy of their national league, Brazil’s representatives have dominated the continent’s most important tournament in this era and are therefore the best regarded by all their opponents and especially by their long-time rivals, the Argentine clubs.

Buenos Aires will be the city where the grand final will be played and there, at home, the Argentines will try to end Brazil’s run of titles. But they know it won’t be easy. All seven Brazilian teams have arguments and capacity to lift the trophy, but which is the ranking of the most feared by Argentines? ESPN Argentina did the survey and this is the ranking:

7- Botafogo
His campaign in the last Brasileirão aroused a lot of interest in Argentina, as well as the surprise of his drop in performance in the last rounds. It is known that the team has highly prestigious players, but the Libertadores could be complicated for a club with little experience.

6- Grêmio
Just like São Paulo, their shirt is a challenge in itself. After the campaign in the second division, the big comeback came the following year. But now, the absence of Luís Suárez becomes a relief for Estudiantes, the group’s opponents. However, the La Plata team, which knows the Libertadores like few others, is aware that it will be a difficult opponent.

5- São Paulo
Two reasons: its history and the quality of some of its players. The São Paulo team commands respect just for its name and represents a difficulty far beyond its current situation. Furthermore, James Rodríguez is one of the players in this Libertadores that generates the most expectations in Argentina.

4- Atlético-MG
With Gabriel Milito as coach, the team will be watched even more. Since winning the Libertadores in 2013, they are no longer considered a second-rate rival and have entered the group of the most difficult opponents for any Argentine team. Furthermore, they knew how to beat River Plate and Boca Juniors in the recent past. They have top-notch players and were one of the teams everyone wanted to avoid in the draw. It was Rosário Central who had this bad luck.

3- Fluminense
The current champion should always be elevated in this type of ranking. Furthermore, their title further cemented Brazilian hegemony, as this is a club that had never managed to stand out in the Libertadores. In 2023, they thrashed River, eliminated Argentinos Juniors and beat Boca in the final. They know how to beat Argentine opponents and will arrive stronger.

2- Palm trees
The most concrete reason for the classification given to the São Paulo team is the “cupeiro spirit” that they have developed in recent years. The team played in the semifinals of the last four editions and, in two of them, became champions. In 2020, they eliminated River de Gallardo, which increased the opponents’ respect for Abel Ferreira, as the Portuguese coach demonstrated that he understood how to play in this tournament. Although they were eliminated in the last edition’s semi-final against Boca and have fewer individual variations this year, the team is, without a doubt, one of the big favorites for the title.

1- Flamengo
The reasons why the Rio team are the main favorites to win the Libertadores are many and varied, but there is one that stands out: their enormous amount of individual talent. Flamengo has a squad made up of players who could stand out in European football. The already star-studded team, which included Agustín Rossi, Léo Pereira, Everton Cebolinha, Giorgian De Arrascaeta and Pedro, was reinforced this year with Nicolás de la Cruz, who was Argentina’s best player for a few seasons. Furthermore, they are coached by Tite, a coach who is highly respected in the country. Without a doubt, they are the team that no one wants to face in this World Cup.

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The article is in Portuguese

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