Copa Libertadores 2023: Favourites, Disappointments and Other Curiosities from the Group Stage

The group stage of the Copa Libertadores 2023 came to an end. For this reason, in LatinAmerican Post, we tell you everything about this phase of the most important championship on the American continent.

Deportivo Pereira players

Photo: TW-DeporPereiraFC

LatinAmerican Post | Camilo Parra

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Leer en español: Copa Libertadores 2023: favoritos, decepciones, goleadores y otras curiosidades de la fase de grupos

The group stage of the Copa Libertadores has come to an end and only 16 teams are still competing in search of the most important title in South America at the club level. This edition is one of the most emotional in recent years, since, in each game, the parity between the teams is seen, although there are others that definitely lived up to it.

After finding out who qualified for the round of 16, the international media, fans, and supporters of the tournament begin to debate and assume which are the teams that will go further in the tournament and which ones can stay as the keys and names are confirmed.


The Brazilian teams seem to show some favoritism over other rivals, especially Athletico Paranaense and Palmeiras, who barely lost a game in the tournament and qualified without difficulty for the next phase.

As in every tournament, the teams considered great take favoritism in these instances, since the squads, the hierarchy, and history are items that begin to weigh from the round of 16. For this, Flamengo, River Plate and Boca Juniors begin to put their names on this list despite the fact that they did not have their best performance in the group stage.


This edition had several surprises in this part of the championship, since there are several teams that did not enter as important and thanks to their performance they earned recognition from the press and even from their rivals. This is the case of Argentinos Juniors, a team that one day before the end of this phase had already sealed their classification after adding 11 units and winning the group against Independiente del Valle and Corinthians.

Another pleasant surprise was Bolívar's campaign, as he qualified early and beat rivals like Barcelona and Cerro Porteño. In addition, they competed hand in hand to be the head of the group with Palmeiras, a Brazilian club that was the protagonist in the last editions of the competition.

The big surprise of the championship was given by Deportivo Pereira, a Colombian team that qualified for the round of 16 and left out Colo Colo, a Chilean team that is the continental champion. In their first participation in this championship, the Pereiran squad managed to advance to the final phases after scoring 8 points and finishing second in Group F behind Boca Juniors.

You can also read: Opinion: They Want More Games: FIFA Announces Its New Format for the Club World Cup


Corinthians is perhaps the biggest disappointment of the Copa Libertadores. The Brazilian team was among the most expensive rosters in the championship, and their participation in the group stage was disappointing. One date before the end of this part of the championship, they were eliminated after losing to Independiente del Valle in Ecuador. 'Timao' finished third in Group E and will play the Copa Sudamericana.

Cerro Porteño was also another disappointment in the tournament. The Paraguayan team barely added 4 points in 6 games, being eliminated dates before finishing this phase. It is true that he was in a strong group with Barcelona, Palmeiras and Bolivar, but at least he was expected to fight until the last day to qualify for the round of 16.


Paulinho from Atlético Mineiro is the leader of the strikers' table after scoring 7 goals in this part of the championship, he is also the leader in assists with 4. Behind the Brazilian are Dorlan Pabón, who plays for Atlético Nacional de Colombia, and Germán Cano, Argentinian forward in Fluminense of Brazil; both scored 6 goals in 6 games played.

The current scorers of the Copa Libertadores will fight for the golden booty, as the 3 players are still in the race with their respective teams and awaiting their rival in the round of 16 and the path they may have in the final leg of the competition.

Other curiosities

Of the 10 countries participating in the Copa Libertadores, only three do not have representatives in the round of 16: Venezuela, Chile and Peru, as their teams failed to finish in the first two positions in their groups.

Metropolitanos was the only team that lost all its games and failed to add a single unit. The Venezuelan team scored just 4 goals and conceded 11, this team faced Internacional from Brazil, Independiente Medellín from Colombia and Nacional from Uruguay.

It should be remembered that the matches for the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores will be determined during a draw scheduled for July 5 in Luque, Paraguay. In this phase, the first eight of each group will cross against the second. In these duels, clubs from the same country and those that already faced each other in the group stage of the tournament will be able to face each other.

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