Brazilians seek sixth consecutive Libertadores title – Gazeta Esportiva


Will a foreign team be able to end Brazil’s long hegemony in the Copa Libertadores? The question resurfaces this week, when the group stage of the competition begins, in which seven Brazilian teams begin the fight for a sixth consecutive cup for Pelé’s country.

Palmeiras and Flamengo are the big favorites to reach the grand final, which will be played in Buenos Aires, on November 30th. Alviverde from São Paulo and Red-Negro from Rio have won four titles in the last five years.

Verdão took two trophies to its gallery (2020 and 2021) becoming three-time champions while Flamengo also reached three Libertadores titles after winning in 2019 and 2022.

However, both teams will begin the group stage this week with some problems.

Coach Tite’s Flamengo will not have top scorer Gabigol, recently suspended for two years for making it difficult to take an anti-doping test, although the player denied it, while 17-year-old Endrick, future Real Madrid player and key player in recent friendlies member of the Brazilian team, was injured last Thursday, in the semi-finals of the São Paulo championship, in which he scored the winning goal against Novorizontino.

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As a big favorite, the Red and Black debut this Tuesday in Bogotá against Millonarios in the accessible Group E, which is completed by Palestino from Chile and Bolívar from La Paz, who duel on Thursday in Rancagua.

The situation is theoretically more difficult for Palmeiras, who open Group F against San Lorenzo, on Wednesday, at Nuevo Gasómetro, in Buenos Aires, although the Argentine team is far from resembling the one that won its only title. Libertadores in 2014 and is coming off a defeat to Boca Juniors in the local championship, in which they have almost no chance of advancing to the quarter-finals.

Another Brazilian plays this Tuesday: Grêmio, Libertadores champion in 1983, 1995 and 2017, will face The Strongest at an altitude of 3,650m in La Paz.

Argentine teams run away

Argentine football, always with a strong presence in the Libertadores, does not appear to be a major threat this year to its Brazilian arch-rivals.

River Plate is apparently the only Argentine team in a position to face its historic opponents, but its irregularity raises many doubts.

‘El millonario’ debuts this Tuesday against Venezuelan Deportivo Táchira, a good opportunity to start on the right foot at home, while the other two teams in Group H, Nacional from Uruguay and Libertad from Paraguay, will have a balanced duel on Wednesday.

São Paulo (champion in 1992, 1993 and 2005), which returns to the biggest club competition in South America after a three-year absence, takes to the field on Thursday in Group B against an Argentine team: Talleres, in good form in the national championship.

Fluminense, current champion, will have to work hard to defend its title in a Group A with traditional opponents. The Rio tricolor debuts on Wednesday against Alianza Lima and that same day, in the same group, Colo Colo hosts Cerro Porteño, two teams with experience in the tournament’s history.

Also on Wednesday, Botafogo will host Colombian Junior Barranquilla in Group D, which also includes LDU from Ecuador, and Peruvian Universitario at the Nilton Santos Stadium, in Rio de Janeiro.

Atlético-MG only debuts on Thursday, when they face Caracas at the UCV Olympic Stadium, in Venezuela, in Group G. On the same day, Argentine side Rosario Central hosts Peñarol de Montevideo.

The group stage, which runs until the end of May, classifies the top two from each group for the round of 16, while the third-placed teams play against the second-placed teams in the Copa Sudamericana for a place in the round of 16 of this competition.

The 2024 Copa Libertadores final, in Buenos Aires, on November 30th, does not yet have a defined stadium.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Brazilians seek sixth consecutive Libertadores title Gazeta Esportiva



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