Tuesday , November 24 2020

Is Copa Libertadores more attractive than the Champions League?

Every football fan will vibrate this Saturday with the Copa Libertadores final.

But even those who do not follow the most popular sport on the planet will see what will happen at the Buenos Aires Monument Stadium.

It goes beyond the game, the game, the story.

on a decisive match between River Plate and Boca Juniors In the utmost continental South American tournament, so much expectation is generated that the time of the ball will stop in the Argentine capital to score before and afterwards in football.

This is emotion, tension, rivalry, passion so great that some people say the clash between the river and Boca is the finale of all the finals on planet Earth.

The fact that the show, seen in La Bombonera's first game, shows that Copa Libertadores is "real football," not the Play Station game offered by the Champions League in Europe.

This comment is from South American Football Confederation President Alejandro Dominguez, which reflects the views of a large number of football fans in South America.

"There is nothing like the Libertadores," "In Europe they do not live soccer like here," "They feel what it is like to play at more than 3000 meters above sea level."

These words are repeated over and over when Copa Libertadores coincides with the Champions League football, the tournament that brings together the richest clubs and the most prestigious players in the world.

More attractive?

Maybe South American football has faced Europeans in the past with the missing Intercontinental Cup, winning more titles and more prestige in its prime.

But over time, the old continent heads openly between the two.

By 1994, South American teams won 20 of the 33 duels that were played. Since then, the clubs in Europe have triumphed in eight of the 10 finals that have been played.

This trend was reinforced by the creation of the FIFA World Cup in which the European teams won 10 titles against four South Americans six years ago.

But despite the statistics in South America, there is still the belief that Libertadores is better than the Champions, and if not, at least It is more attractive

One example, they say, is everything that happened in the first stage of the final between Boca and the River.

The fact that there was an Argentine super-class, the pouring rain that prevented football and the magnificent spectacle from living in the Bomboner, with a tie to two included, gave Libertadores a level that was not visible in the 1980s.

– The essence I believe in this is about returning to the state amateur and with pure glory"Said Theo Posso, an Ecuadorian journalist for Directv Sports and Ecuavisa, for BBC News.

"I save this spirit when the player is not only interested in the monetary question, but in achieving sporting glory."


Mario Martinez from Fox Sports in Uruguay and Mario Fernandez of Peru's El Comercial newspaper agree that there is something that goes beyond football to understand the charm of the South American continental tournament.

"This is the theme of mysticism," Martinez said. "Maybe a giant in the economic or historical fall to the weak team that comes and pushes on what the glory means."

"There are economic and distance limitations for the teams, you have to travel a lot, stops, have a lot of difficulty to keep going in the tournament," Posso said.

"All this magical, mystical around the Cup, This makes it so special. "

It also adds an element of higher uncertainty.

Since 2000, there has been Libertadores Copa up to 14 different champions and six of them won the title for the first time in its history.

In addition, there were only two teams – Boca Juniors and Internacional de Porto Alegre who managed to add more than one cup.

During this period the Champions League was won by nine clubs and only one won for the first time.

Two worlds

But there are people who believe that the romanticism created by the duel between the two great rivals of football in Argentina is a mask that temporarily conceals the differences in what is happening on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Compare Copa Libertadores with the Champions in terms of organization, structures, stadiums, people's framework … that's impossible," Martinez admits.

"We are very far away," he said.

"He does not reach his ankles," Posso added while Fernandez thought these were two separate heads.

The difference is in the "systemic, that European football is compared to a magical or football paddock," the Uruguayan journalist said.

"It's not that it's better or worse, but adds a special element ".

"This is a major factor during the game and what the South American fan is accustomed to, Copa Libertadores is very special for this part of the planet," he said.


In favor of the Champions, we are talking about the organization, the collection of wonderful footballers and the prestige that is achieved by raising the famous trophy of Orejona.

There is also a level of awards and that "after the groups there is a tie that the competitive one is not in South America.

"It's impressive to see the global nature of the champions," Posso said. "The way they celebrate Salah's goals in Egypt and have a greater global impact because they are the best players."

For Posso, the constant departure of the most talented players in Europe, Mexico or the Middle East reduces the capacity of clubs with competitive teams.

"There are details that explain this perfectly and that's the fact that Alberto Spencer of the 1960s and 1970s is still the top scorer of the Cup with 54 goals," he said.

"This record is almost impossible to overcome, because in South America no one has stayed for two or three years."


But it is also true that Libertadoris undergoes a transformation process in which the European model is followed in some aspects and the awards for the teams are increased.

An example of this is the determination of a unique place for the end of 2019 or that the two finals are played over the weekend.

Some sectors have shown resistance, considering that this is contrary to the peculiarities of the South American fan.

But seeing the impact that Libertadores has in recent weeks seems to beon change it turned out to be in the right direction.

Starting from the foundation that Copa Libertadores is not the Champions League and that it will be difficult for him to compete economically, there is an element that makes the South American Championship "tournament to see" for the football fan.

"Today soccer is progressing a lot, and the same advances in science make the games win from the changing rooms," said Mario Fernandez.

"That's South American technique." will continue to be a diamond ring for future conquests. And that will never lose the South American footballer, "he added.

It's about improvisation, skidding, dribbling, overflowing and viewing space that nobody can see.

River Boca revived: the dream that the liberators had had several decades ago.

The magic that can happen in football, "beyond what happens once a hundred years," as Posso said.

And this time will be this Saturday at the monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, just in a match with the Copa Libertadores final.

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