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2019 Copa Libertadores

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    I don't really care. Nominally I've always said it's Botafogo, for the Garrincha connection, but I don't give enough of a toss to look out for results.

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      Sam's really assimilated to Argentina

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        In general, I tend to root against the Brazilian and Argentine sides in the Libertadores and Sudamericana.** Since GolTV in the US did not renew rights to the Brasileirao and I decided not to renew my "gray market" IPTV plan, I don't currently have options to view league matches. When I did watch league matches, I tended to root for whoever was playing more attractive football or the team with players I liked from other leagues.

        When all of those criteria come undone, I will root for a Brazilian team against Boca or based on the uniform. All of this (other than quality of play) is pretty nonsensical, but that sums up most of my fandom.

        **This thinking is partially inspired by a desire to see an underdog do well (even if that underdog is a regular winner in their domestic league--I'm very aware of the hypocrisy involved with rooting for Nacional URU) and partially informed by not liking how many slots are reserved for Brazilian and Argentine sides in CONMEBOL club competitions. Yes, those teams almost always win but the chances to win increase when those two nations get a lot more slots. This scenario makes Colombia's successes a few years back even more impressive: Atl Nacional and Ind Santa Fe won 3 titles when the percentages were not in their favor.
        Last edited by danielmak; 24-10-2019, 22:58.

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            As far as last year's finalists and this year's semi-finalists are concerned, there seems to be an anti-Boca element on here and on other sites which I don't fully understand. Are they hated by neutrals more than River by Argentinians or are the two equally disliked by non-fans? Boca may have played in recent years a style of football which is attritional and defensively mean, but they've done well in the Libertadores despite not winning it and are consistently near the top of their domestic league...plus what I can gather seem to have fans who are loyal and fervent.

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              There was a period when Boca was winning the league non-stop, winning the Libertadores regularly, and (along with River) guaranteed access to the Sudamericana which put more money in their pockets while bumping some smaller clubs out of potential income and by extension, perhaps being more competitive. I think when River has won they have tended to win with a bit more free-flowing style (but Boca fans here might disagree). I have also read some things about Boca's work with their barra brava to let the barra control ticket sales, which may or may not be exclusive to them. Sam can probably say more about that. But I find that to be another reason to dislike the club. If you read WSC, Sporting, your question is also timely because there is a story in the latest issue about putting stars on the teams crest. Boca surpasses all other dominant teams because they put a star on the crest for every title (I think the number listed in the article was 52 or 53). Since Argentina used a semester system for decades that makes it easier for a big club to rack up titles. Of course a club should be proud of its titles but that level of ego even supersedes other dominant sides around the globe (most notably Juve and Bayern). In some sense, those last two teams are equivalent to Boca: their fans love them, glory hunters love them, and everybody else hates them.


              Forgot to say up front that the photo UA posted has a real classic look to it. I guess it could be now or it could be around 1990.

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                It's just been announced that the Libertadores final due to take place in Santiago, has been moved to Lima.

                At least they've kept it on the right continent this year.
                Last edited by cantagalo; 05-11-2019, 22:49.

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                  Originally posted by cantagalo View Post
                  It's just been announced that the Libertadores final due to take place in Santiago, has been moved to Lima.

                  At least they've kept it on the right continent this year.
                  Yeah, I can't see how Chile was going to work given the on-going chaos there. Of course, it seems like that's the case for a larger chunk of countries than in the recent past. I read that Paraguay was likely to be the option but I assume that the Sudamericana already happening there would mean spreading around would be better. Of course, this movement is beyond CONMEBOL's control but moving to a single final means moving this seriously disrupts the planning of fans. If CONMEBOL had kept the two-legged final, these problems could still exist had a Chilean, Ecuadoran, or Bolivian team made the final. And there was still drama last year with a two-leg final.

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                    Does the single legged final make it an easier "sell" to a European TV market, though? I can imagine BT Sport showing it, if nothing else in the hope that Liverpool fans might tune in for a look at who they might play in the World Club Cup (that BT Sport have also got iirc).

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                      Am I right in thinking it will be on at 8 o'clock in the evening UK time? Really looking forward to watching it without falling asleep within the first few minutes.

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                        Making it easier to sell to the European market was one of the reasons Conmebol gave for moving to a single legged final.

                        Steveeeeee - it's due to start at 17:00 Brazilian time so yes, 20:00 in the UK. I'm currently in Rio and looking forward to seeing Flamengo v Botafogo tonight. Unfortunately, I won't be here for the final.

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                          I think the single game final was already in the works last season but having the 2nd leg in Madrid on a Saturday probably increased audiences and confirmed some thinking. Although I am a fan of the 2 leg final in South America, I can see why this is a better move from international TV rights. It will be interesting to see what that means for the teams (i.e., Will two teams like Flamengo and River earn more money via TV rights sales than they will have earned filling their own very large stadia?). I assume this final will be played on a Saturday since the Sudamericana will be played on a Saturday and this is a much bigger game. To that point about 2 legs, I wonder if the Sudamericana teams will do better via TV rights. These are two small teams in the grand scheme of things. Both would have had packed stadia but I can't believe TV companies are battling it out to carry Ind del Valle-Colon.

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                            Originally posted by Sporting View Post
                            As far as last year's finalists and this year's semi-finalists are concerned, there seems to be an anti-Boca element on here and on other sites which I don't fully understand. Are they hated by neutrals more than River by Argentinians or are the two equally disliked by non-fans? Boca may have played in recent years a style of football which is attritional and defensively mean, but they've done well in the Libertadores despite not winning it and are consistently near the top of their domestic league...plus what I can gather seem to have fans who are loyal and fervent.
                            Well, 'on here' there's only one Argentina-based poster, remember, and I lean towards River. So that probably distorts things a bit. In Argentina, both teams are strongly disliked by neutral fans, just as both Manchester United and Liverpool are strongly disliked by people who don't support either of them in England, or Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. All that said, anecdotally, we've been asked about this on the podcast a few times and our general consensus is that we do all have the impression that among people who support a team that isn't Boca or River, Boca tend to be the more actively disliked team. Some of that's down to footballing style, probably (River have always had a reputation for champagne football going back to the 1940s and beyond), and a lot of it is down to a perceived bias towards Boca in the main media outlets here (not that they don't also go overboard covering River as well, of course, but the number of commentators, say, who outwardly admit their fandom of Boca gets people a bit wound up). I don't think the barra brava mentioned by danielmak are that big a factor – the barras are a cancer in every club here, and no one's under any illusions that River's are any nicer (although they've tended to have less visible influence at the club under the current directors).


                            Originally posted by danielmak View Post
                            There was a period when Boca was winning the league non-stop
                            It certainly seemed like that from outside, but one of the more surprising bits of Argentine football trivia is that Boca have never won more than two consecutive league titles.

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                              Oh and the final will be on a Saturday, yes. The 23rd, to be precise. Smart money is that one of the UK broadcasters will sniff around and pick it up a few days beforehand at a knock-down price, but if they don't it'll be streamed on the normal betting websites. US posters can of course watch via Fanatiz, and can click this link and use the discount code hopfz to get a seven-day free trial and 20% off their first three months while helping out Hand Of Pod (non-US people can also take up that offer, but you won't be able to watch the Libertadores with it, just various South American domestic competitions including the Argentine Superliga).

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                                My post reminded me to set my cloud DVR to record the Sudamericana final. The US is a bit more complex because BeIN has an English channel, a Spanish channel, and then some overflow channels (all of which are available to stream and look like garbage through BeIN's site, and then some streaming sites include those overflow channels with a subscription to BeIN and the channels usually look good). Anyway, the Sudamericana final will be shown live on the Spanish channel but the English channel is showing the Barca match.

                                Originally posted by Sam View Post
                                It certainly seemed like that from outside, but one of the more surprising bits of Argentine football trivia is that Boca have never won more than two consecutive league titles.
                                I assume the semester system played a role in this fact, so Boca didn't win back to back semesters but certainly would have won 50% over two years, no? So, they might have won the apertura during one year and either the apertura or clausura the next year. I've said it before that I like the semester system for some leagues and perhaps Boca's perceived dominance versus the reality of titles changing can be chalked up to the semesters. In Italy, for example, the semester might be moot since Juve would probably win both and so not as interesting.

                                BTW, since these threads have kind of become catchall for South America, the last time I checked Velez looked to be in the hunt for a Libertadores spot. I don't really follow any teams in Argentina but quite liked that side when Garecha was coaching them and their uniforms are pretty dope. It would be good to see them back in the Libertadores. Will this happen this year, Sam?

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                                  No, Boca have never won more than two in a row. The main beneficiaries of the short championship era have been River, actually. I think they were the most successful side in the league before the short championships began, but they extended the lead somewhat during the 1990s in particular.

                                  Vélez are good at the moment, yes. Gabriel Heinze's showing a lot of talent as a manager, and has got a young team playing good stuff at the moment. It's hard to say whether they can qualify for the Libertadores, given that only the champions will be guaranteed a Libertadores spot (the Copa Superliga at the end of the Superliga season will affect who else goes to the Copa, so it's all a bit up in the air right now). I don't think they can realistically win the league – Lanús, River and perhaps Boca are the most realistic candidates for the title at the current just-over-halfway point – but the improvement since Heinze came in has been enormous. But if they can keep their core together and perhaps sign one or two decent players over the summer break then yes, I can see them getting into a Libertadores spot if they carry their league form into the Copa Superliga.

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                                    So what are Argentinos Juniors doing top?

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                                      They've had a very strong start, largely thanks to a very good defence, but they've got a small squad and in their last few games they've kept some vaguely miraculous clean sheets, which makes me think they won't last the pace, unfortunately. Given this is Argentina we're talking about, I can definitely imagine them managing it, but I think more realistically they'll fade a bit and probably lose a couple of key players over the summer. That being said, they've got San Lorenzo (who are crap) and misfiring Newell's in their next two games, so they ought to at least end the year still in the title conversation (there are four games left before the summer break).

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                                        No midweek football thread so might as well put this here.

                                        Botafogo 0 Flamengo 1

                                        Ugly, ugly game both on and off the pitch. Flamengo won it in the last minute with just about the only clear chance they managed to create against a Botafogo team reduced to 10 men after Luis Fernando was sent off. The defeat sends Botafogo into the relegation zone for the first time this season and their game plan reflected their desperate situation. They attempted (with some success) to break up the game with time-wasting, tactical fouling and a fair amount of violence. Flamengo created very little and I was surprised that Jorge Jesus wasn't bolder after the sending off - four defenders were still marking one or sometimes zero Botafogo strikers. Having said that, it was substitute Lincoln who scored the winner. Flamengo should have the title wrapped up well before the Libertadores final. They have an 8 point lead over Palmeiras who won at Vasco the previous night in another game that did little to enhance the reputation of Brazilian football.

                                        There was also quite a bit of trouble inside and outside the stadium with suspected Flamengo supporters in the home areas being set upon. I'm not sure why they were there as there were spare seats at the Flamengo end and the crowd was only 24,000 with many put off I suspect, by the potential for violence.

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                                          Colon’s bus passing my street...

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                                            Independiente Del Valle wins the Sudamericana, and quite frankly, utterly deserved. One of the nastier counter-attacks I've ever seen, of any team anywhere.

                                            Feel bad for all of the Colon fans, especially the ones with holding pictures or taping pictures of their long-deceased fathers or deceased family members to their shirts, and in this time they could only think of their loved ones who could only dream of making a major final. But Lawd, IdV was a buzzsaw lodged on top of a chainsaw in a sawmill the whole tournament, and especially today.

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                                              First, I have to say that the grounds crew deserved a massive kudos. That was a serous rainstorm and the pitch had puddles deep enough that I wondered if a swimming meet was going to replace the football match. They did some excellent work during the interruption and then again at half-time.

                                              The scoreline obviously flatters IdV to a degree but that last goal was scored because Colon had pushed all 11 players forward. Still, they were deserved winners and I thought the game was exciting. But I do feel sorry for the IdV fans. The single final showed that fans in smaller nations (not that Ecuador is tiny) and of smaller clubs are going to be pinched by the single final. On the plus side, and to somewhat repeat what I wrote already, I was happy to see that both sides played. The single final is always a concern because we end up with some garbage like the Juven-Milan CL final or both Altetico-Real CL finals (and even Liverpool-Spurs). Over two legs there's more opportunity for play to open up. But this was a good one.

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                                                Flamengo warmed up for the week after next with a 3-1 win over Bahia which puts them 10 points clear of Palmeiras who could only draw 1-1 with Corinthians. With only six games to go, the title is just about in the bag.

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