The 4 teams that will aspire to obtain the highest soccer tournament in Latin America have something to be excited about. Let's see everything about each one.
It consists of three Brazilian teams and one Ecuadorian, which are divided into two keys to see which will be the possible finalists. Photos: IG-flamengo, IG-palmeiras
LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla
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Leer en español: Todo sobre los semifinalistas de la Copa Libertadores 2021
It is already known who the semifinalists of the Copa Libertadores 2021 are. It consists of three Brazilian teams and one Ecuadorian, which are divided into two keys to see which will be the possible finalists. The semifinals will begin on September 21 and 23 (first leg) and will end on September 28 and 30 (second leg).
The grand final will be at the Centennial of Montevideo, a single match, on November 27. The dispute will take place between Flamengo (Brazil) and Barcelona Sporting Club (Ecuador), and will determine the first finalist. The second will come out of the dispute between Palmeiras and Atlético Mineiro, both Brazilians. Now, we tell you the profile of each of the candidates.
Probably one of the favorites to go to the final. The team led by Renato Portaluppi was the one that won this contest in the 2019 edition, so it will seek to repeat the conquest two years later. They have every reason to do so, as they maintained a base over the years.
Its main figures include defender Filipe Luís, midfielders De Arrascaeta, Diego or Éverton Ribeiro, and striker Gabriel Barbosa, better known as Gabigol. However, that's not all: in the quest for the title, they recently made some really stellar hires.
Flamengo ???????? hizo oficial la llegada de Kenedy, extremo izquierdo de último paso por Granada. Chelsea, dueño de su ficha lo cede a préstamo con opción de €10M.— Ataque Futbolero (@AtaqueFutbolero) August 18, 2021
Mientras tanto esperan anunciar a Andreas Pereira, que llega desde Manchester United.
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They are two Brazilian players, coming from big Premier League clubs: Kenedy and Andreas Pereira. The first, 25, comes from Chelsea, after several loans in the league in England and Spain. The second, also 25 years old, comes from Manchester United, after loans in Italy and Spain. Both arrive on loan and will stay until June 2022, to obtain this cup.
The level of all these players is really very high and they have many variations in all positions. However, they will have to cope with the pressure of being one of the competition's top favorites.
Barcelona Sporting Club
One of the great surprises of this contest. The Ecuadorian team, led by Argentine Fabián Bustos, is the only one who qualified for this instance that is not a native of Brazil. Since its inception in the group stage, this institution showed a high level of play, especially in its offensive facet.
In this regard, there are several high points. One of them is Damián Díaz, an Ecuadorian nationalized Argentine midfielder. The same happens with Matías Oyola, Díaz's compatriot, who also decided to take that nationality after being one of the most beloved emblems by the fans for several years.
To that, we must add the great performance of other offensive soccer players, such as Michael Hoyos or Emmanuel Martínez. Undoubtedly, he is not the maximum candidate to go to the finals, but, if he maintains regularity in the offensive section and achieves greater solvency in defense, he could surprise.
Let's continue with the Brazilians. Something interesting happens here, because, from the outset, Atlético Mineiro appeared as the top candidate to obtain the trophy, since it had been reinforced with luxury names. However, some ups and downs of performance in several important games, such as against Boca Juniors, put that supremacy in question.
For example, within the squad, they have names relevant to international soccer. Among them, the defenders June Alonso and Mariano; the flyers Allan, Matías Zaracho, Alan Franco, Nathan, and Ignacio Fernández; and forwards Hulk and Eduardo Vargas. That is to say, all professionals with great talent.
Now, they generated a "bomb" in the market with the incorporation of another great striker: Diego Costa, from Atlético Madrid. With a value of 6 million euros according to Transfermarkt, it will arrive to reinforce the lead for what continues in the Libertadores, so the squad is still improving.
As we have mentioned, in the round of 16 he showed weaknesses in his game mechanism, although they recovered in the quarterfinals, against River Plate. They will have to revalidate the work together, so as not to believe that only with good players can they obtain a trophy of this caliber. Those led by Cuca are also strong candidates to win it.
Finally, we have the team that will seek to revalidate the trophy they won in the last edition. The club led by Abel Ferreira will seek the two-time championship, where the winning base from last year remained. This can be seen line by line, as they have solid resources to demonstrate a great level.
For example, the defenders Gustavo Gómez and Jorge stand out; the flyers Zé Rafael, Danilo Barbosa, Lucas Lima, Gabriel Menino, Felipe Melo and Matheus Fernandes; or the forwards Rony, Luiz Adriano and Dudu. In other words, players who have proven to be up to the task of this event.
They will have a very difficult dispute against Mineiro in which they will have a double-edged sword: recent experience. On the one hand, they have "friction" in these decisive crashes, where a mistake can be left out. This can help them neutralize the greats of the next opponent. However, that pressure can also work against them, as everyone expects them to revalidate the title.