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  1. #26
    I’m in England but it won’t be on TV here. The only Brazilian football here is some fairly sporadic coverage of league games on BT Sport but no-one has bought the rights for the Libertadores or the Sudamericana.

    I shall be watching on my laptop. Let me know if you want a decent link.

  2. #27
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    Betting websites will provide the most reliable links, I would imagine.

    And yes, Ezequiel Barco is one of my favourite players right now. He's not quite on the level of Sergio Agüero when he was at Independiente, completely humiliating defenders who were in many cases basically twice his age, but he's not an awfully long way off. He reminds me a lot of Erik Lamela at the same age, with the difference that Lamela was playing with the weight of the world on his shoulders - chucked into a key attacking role at a club (River Plate) who were on their way to being relegated for the first time in their history, and therefore with an absolutely unimaginable amount of pressure, even if none of the fans thought it was his fault - whereas Barco is in a team who are at the top of their game right now. Independiente play the most joined-up attacking football in Argentina at the moment, and it's testimony to them that they're operating at this level just over three months after losing Emiliano Rigoni to Zenit St. Petersburg in August (European football watchers will now know Rigoni as the current leading scorer in the Europa League). A vital player out, and after a bit of a wobble at the start of the season when they struggled to put away chances regularly (but kept creating them) they've now got even better, if anything. And Barco, at his tender age, is the first choice penalty taker among other responsibilities. I think that speaks volumes for his quality.

  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Betting websites will provide the most reliable links, I would imagine.

    And yes, Ezequiel Barco is one of my favourite players right now. He's not quite on the level of Sergio Agüero when he was at Independiente, completely humiliating defenders who were in many cases basically twice his age, but he's not an awfully long way off. He reminds me a lot of Erik Lamela at the same age, with the difference that Lamela was playing with the weight of the world on his shoulders - chucked into a key attacking role at a club (River Plate) who were on their way to being relegated for the first time in their history, and therefore with an absolutely unimaginable amount of pressure, even if none of the fans thought it was his fault - whereas Barco is in a team who are at the top of their game right now. Independiente play the most joined-up attacking football in Argentina at the moment, and it's testimony to them that they're operating at this level just over three months after losing Emiliano Rigoni to Zenit St. Petersburg in August (European football watchers will now know Rigoni as the current leading scorer in the Europa League). A vital player out, and after a bit of a wobble at the start of the season when they struggled to put away chances regularly (but kept creating them) they've now got even better, if anything. And Barco, at his tender age, is the first choice penalty taker among other responsibilities. I think that speaks volumes for his quality.
    I have some better ones if you don’t mind Brazilian commentary. No sign-up required.

    I would imagine the European vultures are already hovering over Barco just as Barcelona seem to be closing in on Grêmio’s Arthur. It pisses me off that these days I only get to see these players for a season or so - in Arthur’s case about 20 games and for Vinícius Jr a few starts and numerous substitute appearances - before they disappear. Neymar stayed at Santos for 5 seasons.

    Anyway, thanks for the info about Barco. Really looking forward to the second leg.

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Yep, cracking stuff from both sides. I'd say Independiente just about deserve their lead, but might regret not having been able to extend it. Is Paolo Guerrero going to be back for the second leg, cantagalo? Bit odd how FIFA extended his ban by ten days at such short notice, which is why he missed this leg ...
    FIFA has just announced that Guerrero will be suspended for a year until November 2018 which sounds harsh, to say the least.

    Not only will he miss the second leg but also the World Cup. His contract at Flamengo ends in August 2018 so, unless the Peruvian FA’s appeal is successful, he probably won’t play for them again.

  5. #30

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    English, Spanish, or Portuguese commentary are all good. The one language I try to avoid is Russian because the announcers never deviate their rate, pitch, or volume and when I get buried with work I look up the TV only to find that 5 goals have been scored. Anyway, if you could PM me your starting point for a link, that would be great. I doubt the wifi in the hotel will be very good since I'm staying in cheap places and I don't know how busy I'll be at night. But it's worth having an option. If I miss it, I will watch when I get home.

  6. #31

  7. #32
    Started off at a hell of a pace. Everton has missed a good chance for Flamengo.

  8. #33
    1-0 Flamengo. Lucas Paquetá. Game on.

  9. #34
    Penalty! Confirmed by VAR. Can Cesar do it again?

    No. Scored by Barco. Lot of bottle for an 18 year old. 1-1.

  10. #35
    Finished 1-1 and a deserved title for Independiente.

    I think Rueda went for broke too early bringing on Vinícius Jr and improvising Everton at left back. Flamengo looked far less balanced and Diego, who so often looks a class apart in domestic games, again failed to impose himself in a big game. The best bit of the second half was the brilliant run and chip by Gigliotti and an even better goal-line clearance by Juan. Overall, Flamengo showed themselves to be a limited side who probably overachieved in reaching the final.

  11. #36
    Sam, I’ve just read a match report by Tim Vickery in which he says that Barco is off to Atlanta United. Why would he want to go there?

  12. #37
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    Our US-based posters will be able to explain better than I can, but essentially MLS is starting to look at itself - and Atlanta are quite vocally leading this charge - as something of a finishing school for Latin American youngsters. They know they can't compete if the big European clubs come calling, but they also know that if they can beat those clubs to a deal by a few months, they can offer more in wages than the player is getting in Argentina. Their sell to Barco himself (and his agent) will be something like, it's a growing league, European clubs know you already and will continue to track your progress here, so come and get a taste of life in a new culture, learn to adapt, and play under an Argentine manager with several other players who speak your language.

    There's also, you know, the financial security of his family and himself to consider. He's not from a rich family. Top players in Argentina earn a decent amount compared with the general populace but aside from when Boca break the bank to bring back a Tevez or a Riquelme they're not on insane money (and even then, Riquelme played one year of his contract for free when he came back to Boca, because he wanted the move). Why wouldn't a 17-year-old want to take Designated Player wages if they're offered to him? Sure, he could wait around another six months and see whether Internazionale or Benfica or an English club (he's on record as saying he'd love to play in the Premier League one day) come calling. He could also break his leg in training and see that chance go down the toilet.

  13. #38
    That’s interesting. I haven’t heard of any young Brazilian players being targeted by US clubs yet.

    I completely understand the financial imperative and I’d imagine he’ll be assured of more game time there. I had the same reaction to this story as I have when average to good Brazilian players disappear to China or the Middle East, spend a few years there and assure the future of their families. From my admittedly limited viewing of Barco (the two games against Flamengo!), he looks a lot better than that. I hope it’s just a staging post for him.

    We could treat this as a sort of controlled experiment and in five years time compare the career trajectories of Barco and Vinícius Jr.

  14. #39
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    Haha, that'd be interesting. He'll be joining Madrid in mid-2019, right? They've paid one hell of a lot of money for him.

    Barco is the best player in his position(s) since Erik Lamela broke through at River Plate, in my opinion, and might be the best Argentine attacking player since Agüero came through at Independiente (although he's not quite in Agüero's level - Agüero really was something else). If the upcoming World Cup were in 2020 rather than in six months' time, I think Barco would have a very real chance of getting into the squad.

  15. #40
    It hasn’t been decided yet. The earliest is July 2018 (when he’s 18) but it could be January 2019 or June 2019.

    It sounds harsh but I’ve been underwhelmed by his (mainly off the bench) performances this year. Of course he’s only 17, but I can’t help but think that his stellar performances at youth level were at least partly due to his early physical development. He has been unable to establish a regular place in a pretty mediocre Flamengo team - unlike Barco at Independiente.

    Of course, I reserve the right to delete this post when in five years time he is acknowledged as a world superstar.

  16. #41

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    And Orlando wants Jonatan Maidana, as well.

    Atlanta also signed a Venezuelan defender and a couple more Newell's players, the latter 2 to their reserve team.

    If anyone is going to chase Brazilians, it would be Orlando, as their owner also (I think) owns a chunk of Fla or Flu. It's how they got Kaka, he knew him.

  17. #42

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    I'm late to this party since I was traveling, home for a couple days, and then arrived to visit some family for Christmas.

    First, I thought this was an enjoyable final. I was a bit more impressed by the first leg than the second but on the whole both teams showed up to play. If Flamengo had won Rueda would have had one hell of an 18 month window of continental victories, but I think Independiente deserved the title by a hair.

    About transfers to MLS, I don't watch the league but the larger cities will be very good for players from Latin America. I think the life adjustment would be much less unsettling. The problem is that the quality of play will not be conducive to footballing development. Although there are multiple reasons for the failure of the US to qualify for the World Cup, I think one of the main reasons is that too many of the US's top players play in MLS and the competition is weak. I'm surprised that the money would be better in MLS than with a larger side in Argentina or even a side in Brasil. The problem with Brasil would be development given the constant rotation of coaches that means winning is going to be prioritized over and against youth development. But the competition is going to be much higher quality. Another option would be Mexico where development and finances seem to be balanced (I don't watch a ton of Liga MX so I'm only speculating about the development angle).

    As usual, I'm way behind on my domestic viewing but I expect we'll soon know the participants in the 2018 Libertadores and Sudamericana.

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by danielmak View Post
    As usual, I'm way behind on my domestic viewing but I expect we'll soon know the participants in the 2018 Libertadores and Sudamericana.
    You are behind! The draws have already taken place for both competitions. Libertadores action starts in 4 weeks time but I thought I’d delay starting a thread until it’s actually 2018.

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