ROME – It will be played between Boca Juniors and River Plate, the "Superclasico" of Buenos Aires, the final of the 2018 Libertadores Cup. The Boca Juniors, coached by Guillermo Barros Schelotto (among other things also former Palermo coach), winner of the championship Argentine in 2017, has not won the Libertadores since 2007. The River Plate, coached by Marcelo Gallardo, has instead won the last Libertadores in 2015.
The Copa Libertadores, officially Copa Bridgestone Libertadores, is the South American equivalent of our Champions League. There is a first phase with preliminaries, then there are eight qualifying rounds and then the elimination phase. The tournament includes 47 teams from 10 Latin American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
To qualify are the first of each league. For example, from Argentina, in addition to winning the championship, that is Boca, the first five in the standings took part.
River Plate, second in the league and therefore qualified directly in the group stage of the Libertadores, won the Group D with 12 points in six games. The River has closed in front of Flamengo, Santa Fe (Colombia) and Emelec (Ecuador).
Boca (where formerly the former Lazio Zarate is also playing) came second in Group H behind the Palmeiras and ahead of Atlético Junior (Colombia) and Alianza Lima (Peru). Schelotto's team qualified for the second round only on the last day, beating Alianza Lima 5-0.
At the eighth Boca then eliminated, in order: Club Libertad (Paraguay), Cruzeiro and Palmeiras. The River has instead eliminated two Argentine teams in the second round and the quarterfinals: the Racing Club and Independiente. In the semi-final the River eliminated the Gremio thanks to goals scored away from home: defeated 0-1 in the first leg, the team of Gallardo then won 2-1 away.
The final of the Libertadores, unlike the Champions Cup, provides a trip and a return. The going will be played on November 10 at the Boca home. The return will be played in the home of the River 24. The two games will be broadcast exclusively on DAZN.
The last meeting between Boca and River in Libertadores dates back to 2015. On that occasion, on the return (the first leg ended 1-0 for the River), the match was suspended on 0-0 for the launch of sting spray in the underpass of the stadium against the soccer players of the River. And in the end the River passed that eventually won the Libertadores. And this is why the final of this year will be played without host fans both in the first leg and on the return.
Some numbers on the Libertadores …
- Boca, with the latter, is the club that played the most finals of Libertadores (11) winning 6. The River played 5 finals (this will be the sixth) winning 3 times. Independiente is the team that won the most Libertadores: seven victories out of seven finals.
- The best scorer in the history of the Libertadores is Alberto Spencer (Ecuador, between 1960 and 1972) with 54 goals in 87 games.
- Ever Hugo Almeida (Paraguay) is the player with the most appearances: 113
- At the moment the best scorers of Libertadores 2018 are two Colombians: Wilson Morelo (Santa Fe) and Miguel Borja (Palmeiras) with nine goals
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Source: Blitz Quotidiano