Brazil’s Flamengo dancing to success

THE COPA LIBERTADORES has reached the last four stage and there’s some real continental heavyweights in there: Boca Junior, River Plate, Flamengo and Grêmio. The semi-finals include two domestic clashes which will guarantee an Argentina v Brazil final, the 15thtime the region’s two biggest football nations have met to decide the destination of the trophy. The all-Brazil semi-final is between Flamengo and 2017 winners Grêmio. … Continue reading Brazil’s Flamengo dancing to success

Copa Libertadores: Last eight dominated by big two nations

WE ALREADY know there will be one Brazilian team in the final of this year’s Copa Libertadores, thanks to two all-Brazil quarter-finals providing an all-Brazil semi-final. There is no danger of a repeat of last season’s domestic squabble but there are a number of big guns left in the competition, including the 2018 finalists, River Plate and Boca Juniors. The last eight includes four heavyweights … Continue reading Copa Libertadores: Last eight dominated by big two nations

Brazilian clubs have to improve financial performance

THERE will be one Brazilian club in the final of the Libertadores Cup this year with four teams in the last eight all meeting each other and the winners of those ties meeting in the semi-final. After a relatively lean spell during which Brazil won just one in five (2017), the South American champions may get their hands on the impressive Libertadores trophy once more. … Continue reading Brazilian clubs have to improve financial performance

Club of the Month: Athletico Paranaense – like a Hurricane

THE 2019 Brazilian Série A season has just got underway and one of the dark horses for the title is the club known as Athletico-PR, the team from Curitiba in the state of Paraná. Athletico-PR was founded in 1924 through a merger of two existing clubs. Curitiba is a city of two million people and has a subtropical highland climate. The city is notable for … Continue reading Club of the Month: Athletico Paranaense – like a Hurricane

The damage being done to Argentina’s football

THE Libertadores Cup final second leg may (or may not) be played in Madrid, giving the game an unprecedented level of profile, and not just because of the adverse headlines that the twice-aborted clash between Boca Juniors and River Plate has attracted. Madrid is not a terrible choice, it is certainly better than any Middle-Eastern or US location – games played in the desert do … Continue reading The damage being done to Argentina’s football

Brazilian clubs to the fore again

TWO Brazilian and two Argentinian clubs will contest the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores at the end of October 2018. Grêmio, the holders, and Palmeiras will face-off against the Buenos Aires duo, River Plate and Boca Juniors. Two enticing ties are in prospect, but the last four line-up is arguably one of the strongest of recent years. Brazilian clubs have won five of the last … Continue reading Brazilian clubs to the fore again

GOTP Notepad: Across the confederations – Champions Leagues

IT IS easy to forget that Europe does not have a monopoly on Champions league competitions. Here’s the latest situation in the other confederations. Libertadores Cup The last 16 starts on August 8 and finishes towards the end of that month. There are six teams from Argentina, six from Brazil, two from Paraguay and one apiece from Chile and Colombia. Holders Grêmio of Brazil are … Continue reading GOTP Notepad: Across the confederations – Champions Leagues

Soccer City: Montevideo – a football heritage site longing for success

IT IS the largest city of the world’s most successful and sometimes overlooked national football team. No, it is not Berlin, Madrid or Brasilia, but Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo. Uruguay is the smallest country to have won the World Cup, it has a population of just over three million and Montevideo accounts for around half of them. According to the Mercer report on the quality of … Continue reading Soccer City: Montevideo – a football heritage site longing for success

Paraguayan surprise packet Guarani will have to “hold back the River”

When we think of South American football, we invariably see Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay as the main players. Indeed, between these three countries, 48 Copa Libertadores titles have been won, with Argentina accounting for almost half of them. Guarani v River Plate, Paraguay v Argentina, Bugre v Los Millonarios Outside the big three, Paraguay accounts for three winners and eight runners-up. The most successful club, … Continue reading Paraguayan surprise packet Guarani will have to “hold back the River”

South American Way: Santos – the club that started the legend

“I compare the Santos 62 team with the national team of Brazil in 70. These are the two best football teams I have ever seen.” That was the view of Benfica and Portugal’s Antonio Simoes, who witnessed, first-hand, the power of the Sao Paolo-based team that was arguably the best in the world between 1962 and 1963. Santos gave us Pele. They have given us … Continue reading South American Way: Santos – the club that started the legend

South American Way: Estudiantes de La Plata, the one-time bogey men

In the mid-to-late 1960s, Argentine football had acquired a dark image. In 1966, the national team left the field at Wembley, after an ill-tempered World Cup quarter-final, to chants of “animals, animals”, a sentiment that was echoed by prickly England manager Sir Alf Ramsey. A year later, violence erupted in the World Club Championship between Celtic and Racing Club of Buenos Aires, with multiple sending-offs … Continue reading South American Way: Estudiantes de La Plata, the one-time bogey men