Decisive in his debut in 2017, Roger sees Botafogo as stronger in the Libertadores: “Screaming difference” | soccer

Decisive in his debut in 2017, Roger sees Botafogo as stronger in the Libertadores: “Screaming difference” | soccer
Decisive in his debut in 2017, Roger sees Botafogo as stronger in the Libertadores: “Screaming difference” | soccer
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1 of 3 Roger was decisive in the last black and white debut in the Libertadores group stage — Photo: André Durão
Roger was decisive in the last black and white debut in the Libertadores group stage — Photo: André Durão

More than seven years later, the Botafogo debut in a group stage of the Copa Conmebol Libertadores. The team faces Júnior Barranquilla, this Wednesday, at 7pm, at Nilton Santos, in the first round of Group D. Anyone who experienced the adrenaline of that moment in 2017 and would give anything to be on the field today is Roger.

Author of a bicycle goal, which paved the way for a 2-1 victory against Estudiantes in the tournament seven editions ago, the former center forward spoke with the ge about the group of “workers” from that season, the sensations experienced in that Libertadores and revealed the love and support for Glorioso, which for him is one of the big favorites for the title in 2024.

“It was a privilege to be able to defend the Botafogo shirt, one of the greatest privileges I have had in my career. Botafogo is in my heart””

— Roger, former Botafogo striker

Great goal, party and start of a great campaign

In 2017, Roger’s Botafogo started the group stage of the Conmebol Libertadores against a South American giant. The team faced Estudiantes, an Argentine team four times champion of the tournament.

The striker had the opportunity to open the way to a 2-1 victory — the second goal went to Rodrigo Pimpão — and in great style. After Bruno Silva’s submission attempt, Roger used a bicycle to blow up Nilton Santos.

The former number 9, who is currently a multi-champion coach for Athletic, a team from the interior of Minas Gerais that will play in Series C in 2024, remembers that March 14, 2017, fondly.

Botafogo beats Estudiantes in the debut of the Libertadores group stage

— A special debut, right? I remember it as if it were today, Nilton Santos packed, that anxiety, as we had beaten great champions there in the preliminary stages. I had God’s blessing of a beautiful goal, by bicycle. I remember it with great joy.

“I’m going to post this goal today to remember this memory of such a special day for me. It was a goal that really paved the way for us to qualify and continue the good moment we were in in the Libertadores. It really was a remarkable competition for us. Maybe we deserved it better luck”, he said, referring to the elimination of Grêmio, champion of Liberta, in the quarter-finals.

Pre-Libertadores momentum is a positive point

Just like in 2024, when the team eliminated Aurora and RB Bragantino, Botafogo had to go through the preliminary stages of the continental tournament seven years ago. At the time, the opponents were more traditional in the continental tournament: Glorioso eliminated Colo-Colo and Olímpia, both champions of America.

According to Roger, due to the difference in the characteristics of the opponents and the squads, the preliminary phase was more important for the 2017 team.

“I think it made all the difference for the 2017 group, we play these games against big, traditional teams, Libertadores champion teams. I think it made all the difference for us to reach the group stage very strong.”

2 of 3 Roger praises the “soul” of the 2017 group — Photo: AFP
Roger praises the “soul” of the 2017 group — Photo: AFP

— Of course, the ideal would be not to go through this, the ideal would be to enter the group stage directly so you can have peace of mind, especially in investments, in signings. But for that specific group, I think it made all the difference for us to reach those quarter-finals, for us to play such a tough, strong Libertadores. It was essential to go through these difficult phases and overcome them. It gave confidence to our fans too, to us athletes. But it was also important for this group in 2024. It’s not easy to remove RB Bragantino, a team that makes a big investment. I’m sure Botafogo will come in strong just like we did in 2017.

“Stark difference” between the casts

Beautiful, Camilo, Pimpão It is Roger on one side. Tche Tche, EdwardLuiz Henrique and Tiquinho Soares from the other. The 2017 season team, led by Jair Venturatook Alvinegro to the quarter-finals of the Libertadores, a phase in which they were defeated by Grêmio in a balanced confrontation.

It is not known how far the 2024 Botafogo, led by Fábio Matias and Artur Jorge, will reach in the tournament, but he believes that the current team is much superior.

— There is a big difference between the projects. This SAF issue has changed the face of Botafogo a lot. We were a team of workers, of players who had already been successful at some point in their careers and we happened to be together in that squad format. Jair Ventura was very happy at that moment, he went after warriors who were hungry.

3 of 3 Roger considers Botafogo in 2024 to be stronger than in 2017 — Photo: Vitor Silva/Botafogo
Roger considers Botafogo in 2024 to be stronger than in 2017 — Photo: Vitor Silva/Botafogo

“But there is a stark difference. Today Botafogo has one of the greatest strengths in Brazil, with enormous, absurd investments. The 2024 team is more flashy than the 2017 team. But our 2017 group had soul, spirit and a leader (Jair Ventura) who had the group in hand. However, today’s Botafogo is very strong in Brazil and South America. It is a team that will come to win and is one of the favorites in the Libertadores”.

Pain, fans and white love

Roger Silva calls himself a bit of a Botafogo native because of what he experienced with the team in 2017, when he scored 17 goals for Glorioso. And he experienced not only the moments of joy, but also the sadness, such as the elimination in the 2017 Libertadores and the loss of the Brasileirão title in 2023.

Despite what happened last season, Roger says he is confident in the team and projects good things this year, in which he hopes the black and white fans will scream “He’s a champion” from their throats.

— I watched (Botafogo) last year and suffered a lot. I couldn’t believe what was happening. The fan deserved that title. Being champion of the Brazilian Championship would change the team’s status. But the best is yet to come. I’m going to really hope that this team can lift such a special title for this fan who deserves it — he concluded.

Having spent time at Internacional, Corinthians, São Paulo, Palmeiras, Fluminense, Ponte Preta and other clubs, Roger is currently a football coach. He manages Athletic, where he was twice champion of Mineiro do Interior (2022 and 2023). Recopa Mineira (2023) and Troféu Inconfidência (2024).

Watch: all about Botafogo on ge, on Globo and on sportv

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Decisive debut Roger sees Botafogo stronger Libertadores Screaming difference soccer

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