Brazil, the King of Club Soccer in Conmebol

Palmeiras, current champion of the Libertadores, will repeat the final against another brazilian, Flamengo. In turn, in Sudamericana, the protagonists will be Atlético Paranaense and Bragantino. Six of the last eight club soccer finalists in Conmebol are from the South American gigant country.

Players from Atlético Paranaense, Bragantino, Palmeiras and Flamengo

Six of the last eight club soccer finalists in Conmebol are from the Rio de Janeiro country. Photo: IG-athleticoparanaense, IG-redbullbragantino, IG-palmeiras, IG-flamengo

LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano Moreno

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Leer en español: Brasil, el rey del fútbol de clubes en Conmebol

Perhaps it is the reflection of what their team shows in the qualifying rounds for the World Cup, in which they lead the table undefeatedly, or also the economic power of their clubs, but the truth is that Brazil is the lord of soccer in Conmebol in which they prepare to play the two finals of the club tournaments with four representatives.

Not satisfied with having won the 2019 edition with Flamengo, in an exciting final against River Plate of Argentina, Brazil in 2020 placed Palmeiras and Santos in the title match, the first mentioned being the winner. In this 2021, they will win his third consecutive cup as Palmeiras will defend his crown against Flamengo.

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If we move to Copa Sudamericana, the picture is similar this year. Atlético Paranaense, champion of the 2018 edition, will play the final against Bragantino, which, incidentally, is not one of the biggest clubs in Brasileirao. Six of the last eight finalists in these two competitions have been Amazonian.

Total Domain

In Libertadores, the hegemony is such that before the final, the Brazilians only lost one match in the knockout rounds, which Sao Paulo lost 3-0 in the second leg of the quarterfinals. In addition, in the semifinals they arrived 3 of the final 4, in the quarterfinals 6 of 8, and in the second round 6 of 16 but with the important fact that all six advanced. None were eliminated by a club from another country.

In addition, only placing three teams from the same country in the semifinals of Libertadores, is an unprecedented fact for a tournament with more than sixty years of existence (1960). The final will be played on November 27 at the Centenario stadium in Montevideo.

"We are growing. Brazilian soccer is evolving, great players are returning and the local championship is increasingly disputed," international Lucas Paquetá, from Olympique Lyon, and the Brazilian team told Diario El Clarín.

The only Brazilian team that disappointed in Sudamericana was the Gremio, which was only dispatched in the second round by the Liga de Quito of Ecuador. In this contest, neither Santos nor Bragantino started high in the predilections, but one reached the semifinals and the other the final, leaving Libertad de Paraguay on the road.

His rival, Paranaense, in turn, left on the road in the previous stage a historic one like Peñarol from Uruguay. Although in this tournament they only placed four among the best 16, of those 4 they advanced 3 to the quarterfinals and of those 3, 2 to the semifinals, and later to the final. Very effective.

What are the reasons?

The financial situation of the Brazilian clubs and in parallel the development of the lower divisions, are relevant. This is reflected in the arrival of players from Europe such as Dani Alves, Rafinha, Hulk, Diego Costa, Filipe Luis, Douglas Costa, Miranda, Éder and David Luiz, invaluable additions to any other South American club. This is reflected in El Clarin by the Brazilian ESPN commentator, Leonardo Bertozzi. "Brazilian clubs have a greater investment potential, and that is why they get important players"

For Venezuelan soccer columnist and storyteller Carlos Domingues, the explanation is simple. " Brazilian clubs are far above everything that is handled financially in Conmebol, they are forming teams worthy of competing in Europe and if there is no adequate control in that investment, this could compromise said teams in the future," he said.

For the Venezuelan communicator it is striking that in Brazil they have twisted their arm to make room for European technicians, mainly Portuguese. “There are cases like Jorge Jesus (champion with Flamengo in 2019), and Abel Ferreira with Palmeiras , or the Argentine Juan Pablo Vojvoda, strategist of the Fortaleza Sporte Club. There is also Hernán Crespo with Sao Paulo, after being winning the Sudamericana with Defensa y Justicia, and this makes all Brazilian teams powerful on the continent and not only the big clubs but even the most modest ones. That makes them stand out from the rest ”.

Bertozzi added that the power lies in revenue from television rights, advertising contracts and succulent prizes at local tournaments, which unleashes a much more competitive league. "The other South American clubs cannot compete with the Brazilians. A very illustrative example is Atlético Mineiro when they signed Ignacio 'Nacho' Fernández, who was one of the main players of River Plate."

He exemplified this by saying that, in 2019, the first division teams in Brazil pocketed 253 million dollars in transmission rights compared to the 91 million that their Argentine counterparts received in US currency, and we are talking about the country that comes just below.

How to change that reality?

Strengthening the minor divisions, being smart in signings (not necessarily the most expensive ones) and keeping teams that are competitive for some years appear as three alternatives to try in the medium term to stop the Brazilian force in Conmebol.

Domingues considered that it is an economic reality difficult to change. "Even Ecuador and Chile, which are the other more stable teams, are not close to that economic power of the Amazonians and I think we have to get used to it, because if these clubs develop a talented player, they quickly go to Mexico or Europe", ended.

The only thing that is certain for now is that Brazil will raise the tenth cup in the 21st century against eight from Argentina, two from Colombia, one from Ecuador and another from Paraguay .