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Is the Copa Libertadores better than the Champions League?

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Tim Vickery | 09:42 UK time, Monday, 22 February 2010

There are people who argue that South America's Copa Libertadores is better than the Uefa Champions League. It's a perverse view, often motivated by bitterness - a bit like those who like to claim that The Beatles were over-rated.
 
The Champions League congregates the best players from all over the world - it's where they want to be, and where they need to shine these days in order to be considered truly great. But if Europe's leading club competition is Lennon and McCartney, it doesn't necessarily follow that the Libertadores is Herman's Hermits, as last week made abundantly and gloriously clear.
 
The reigning champions can be beaten in the Champions League - Barcelona can be spoiled and marked and frustrated, as they were by Rubin Kazan of Russia last October. But it's hard to imagine them being ripped apart in the group phase by rank outsiders, as happened to their South American counterparts in the Libertadores last Thursday.

Jose Sosa (left) of Estudiantes and Carlos Solis of Alianza LimaAlianza Lima caused an upset by beating Estudiantes

It is only two months since Estudiantes of Argentina came within two minutes of causing a major upset by beating Barcelona and being crowned world club champions.

Then they got the defence of the Libertadores title they won last year off to a sound start, turning the screws on Juan Aurich of Peru in the second half to win 5-1. With Juan Sebastian Veron backed by Brana to win the ball, Perez to scurry down the right and Benitez with his elegant left foot on the other flank, there is probably not a better midfield in the continent - especially since the elegant Jose Sosa has been loaned back from Bayern Munich.
 
Last Thursday in Peru, Alianza Lima kicked off - and it took Sosa just seven seconds to charge down a forward punt and race away to score. Business as usual.

Alianza had surprisingly won 3-1 away to Bolivar of Bolivia in their first match, but surely they would be out of their depth now. Nothing much was expected of them going into the campaign.

The club had competed in the competition six times since the expansion in 2000 without reaching the knock out stages, and this year they had not qualified as champions of Peru. Giving away an early goal in such inept fashion would surely be an insurmountable blow to their morale.
 
Instead they hit back to win 4-1. Striker Wilmer Aguirre was impossible to mark. The Estudiantes defenders could not catch him to throw sand at his backside as he scored a hat-trick. And this is a player who spent two utterly unremarkable seasons in France with Metz, and spent most of last year on the Alianza bench.

The remaining goal was scored by big centre forward Jose Carlo Fernandez, who put in another impressive display to follow up a superb one the previous week against Bolivar.

Fernandez also spent two seasons in Europe - and came back from Russia and Belgium without a single league goal. In 2009 for Alianza he only managed three in 33 appearances, the last in July. And now in two Libertadores matches he already has three to his name.
 
Suddenly these two players - both of them three months short of 27 - have shot up a level or 10. Theirs is an extreme example, but it is wonderfully illustrative of the capacity the Libertadores has to surprise.

Teams can emerge from nowhere, players can find the key to unlock their natural ability. It all makes the Libertadores a much less predictable competition than the Champions League.
 
The other great virtue of the South American competition is the space it gives to youngsters on the way up - another aspect that was strongly highlighted last week.
 
Libertad have become a force in Paraguayan football over recent years, but have a very small support base. Their strategy is based on producing players and selling them on, and this year's crop looks very promising.
 
Last Tuesday's 4-0 win over Blooming of Bolivia as not a great night for their lanky left-footed striker Pablo Velasquez, so impressive in the three previous games as they fought their way through the qualifying round and then won away to Lanus of Argentina.

But gnat-like little Rodolfo Gamarra, 21, on the right flank was in fine form, greedy but excellent in one-against-one situations. And 22-year-old right wing back Victor Hugo Ayala looks an interesting prospect, curling in crosses like ex-national team right back Arce, and scoring with a ferocious free-kick.

With victory assured, Libertad gave a few minutes to a 16-year-old, Rodrigo Alborno, tall, strong and left footed, who produced a couple moments of breathtaking promise.

James RodriguezBanfield's Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez (right) is one to watch

And talking of strong, well-built players with an excellent left foot, Banfield of Argentina have a magnificent prospect in 18-year-old Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez.

He scored with a nice, clipped finish last Wednesday away to Deportivo Cuenca of Ecuador, after opening his account the week before against Morelia of Mexico.

Rodriguez looks tailor-made for European football, and may well be joining Udinese of Italy in the next transfer window. He is unlikely to be gracing the Libertadores for long.
 
The last three teams in the competition will make their debut this week - three Brazilian heavyweights, Internacional with an impressive squad, and the big two, Flamengo, with Adriano and Vagner Love, and Corinthians with Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos.

With some big names to enjoy, along with the surprise factor and the sneak preview of the up and comers, then perhaps a connection can be made between the Copa Libertadores and Herman's Hermits. As I settle down to follow the action, 'something tells me I'm into something good!'
 
Comments on the piece in the space provided. Questions on South American football to vickerycolumn@hotmail.com, and I'll pick out a couple for next week.
From last week's postbag;
 
In one of your previous articles you briefly mentioned the high influx of Paraguayan players going to Mexican clubs.

As a Mexican, I grew up watching Jose Saturnino Cardozo shine in Toluca but as for other big name Paraguayan internationals, that was it. Now nearly every club in Mexico has a Paraguayan star in their team.

Even today my favourite club in Mexico, Pumas UNAM, has two Paraguayan players in Dario Veron and Dante Lopez who were vital in winning the league title recently.

cr_getty595.jpgCristian Riveros is one of many Paraguayan players who have moved to Mexico

Why is it that so many players from Paraguay are coming to play in Mexico, and do you think the recent incident with Salvador Cabañas, who to me has been the closest to emulating what Cardozo did in Mexico, discourage Paraguayan players from coming to Mexico?
Rafael Diaz
 
I doubt that the shooting of Cabanas - who I believe has now moved out of the intensive care unit - will have much effect on the trade. Paraguayan clubs need to sell, Mexican clubs have money to buy and the long move north has been good for lots of Paraguayan careers.

The main reason that so many have moved is that Mexican clubs have discovered what a good investment Paraguayan players can be. Some go to Europe, but not that many - perhaps they're frequently not the biggest players around and they can also be a bit shy. But so often they are excellent team players, battlers with increasingly, a good technical level as youth development work has improved in the country.

There are some Paraguayans in Mexico - Cristian Riveros of Cruz Azul is an obvious example, perhaps Edgar Benitez of Pachuca - who could do a good job in Europe. Credit goes to the Mexican clubs for snapping them up.
 
 
For Argentina at the Fifa World Cup 2010, who are the options at right back besides Marcos Angeleri?
Chris Leonard
 
Angeleri of Estudiantes is only just starting his comeback from long-term injury - and we'll have to see if this has affected his pace, which was his outstanding asset. For next week's friendly against Germany his club-mate Clemente Rodriguez has been called up but I really don't see him as a viable option.

Is there anyone better than Zanetti out there? I still wonder, bearing in mind the lack of full-back options on both flanks, whether Maradona will end up going with a back three.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    I dont think many even in South America will claim that the best teams on the continent could consistently match Barcelona or Madrid but the Libertadores is a far more exciting competition with big advantages for teams such as Alianza playing Estudiantes in that travel distances are enormous and there are huge variations in altitude and of course a home South American crowd is afar bigger advantage than any of the theatre audioences in Europe
    I would argue that in future that if the South American economies continue to grow at a far quicker rate than those in Europe as this decade by 2015 the quality gap whcih only exists at the very very top(ie Barca) will also be bridged

  • Comment number 2.

    Tim - I don't have an understanding of the Copa Libertadores enough to make this comparison. The CL however, has become a pretty boring format to be honest. Invariably its the same teams who compete in the last 16, many of whom aren't even champions of their own domestic leagues. I mean when was ther last time clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool actually were 'champions' of their own league? The CL is dominated by TV markets and too many clubs from the big 5 (England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France) get a priveliged entry to the competition and the financial rewards that come with that. In many ways the clubs from the smaller European countries (Holland, Portugal, Denmark, Scotland, etc) would be better setting up their own competition and avoiding the CL.

    Is the Copa Libertadoes structured in the same way to unfairly reward the bigger countries? Is their more competitive 'balance' than the CL?

  • Comment number 3.

    There is a poem from Fernando Pessoa which, in a probably terrible translation, says that "the Tejo is prettier than the river that flows through my village, but the Tejo is not prettier than the river that flows through my village, because the Tejo is not the river that flows through my village".

    Well, the Libertadores is the competition that the teams from my country play, so it must be better than the Champions League...

  • Comment number 4.

    I don'tnot think it as good as europe champion league. you have to look at her histroy. for example the last team i think who had won was in '99 when Brazil won, after a great tournament by Ronaldo, who was a young man then.

    He was greats

    Look, you have some strong men, a kneee butter like adraino and other. but you have a europe that south americansplay here too to make the standard good, but you don ot have a europesman at a copa liberadores to make their standard better.

    think, i like about it

  • Comment number 5.

    @ post 2 - "In many ways the clubs from the smaller European countries (Holland, Portugal, Denmark, Scotland, etc) would be better setting up their own competition and avoiding the CL."

    You could argue this exists already and it's called The Europa League.

    The Champions League is fine. People call it predictable but no team has ever won 2 in a row.

  • Comment number 6.

    @ post 5: The Europa League however, provides significantly poorer financial rewards for these teams and its still a cushion for those big teams than fail in the CL groups (e.g. Liverpool). I think the substance of the point is my view that the European formats are structured in such a way to reward teams from the Big 5 countries.

    No team may ever have won the CL twice in a row but I'm not sure this detracts from the point that it has largely become a competition between the teams from the big 5 countries.

  • Comment number 7.

    Unless you're a supporter of the usual suspects, the CL offers very little in terms of surprise. This mirrors the fact that most European leagues have become too predictable. I think it’s a shame that these competitions together with the Copa America are not shown on open TV in the UK.

  • Comment number 8.

    I think that the comments about the Champions League becoming ever more predictable and, dare I say it, boring are justified. While no club has won it twice in a row, the concentration of financial power in the big three leagues (let alone the big 5) makes it almost impossible for a team outside of these to win the competition. It now seems unthinkable that Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Marseille or Ajax would be able to build the best team in Europe and win the Champions League, or even that a team like Panathinaikos could reach the semis. For a SOuth American example, there was Tele Santana's Sao Paolo in the early 1990's who could, surely have held their own in Europe's top divisions?

    To a degree, the European Cup/Champions League has always been dominated by the larger countries' teams but as talented youngsters are taken from clubs at such a young age from smaller clubs, they have no chance to build a good side. Call me nostalgic, but what I miss most from football over the last 15 years is the 'mystery team' that perhaps just for one season had a squad good enough to beat really big names and pose a real danger in European competitions. I find it particularly sad that Eastern European clubs have suffered so much due to the 'globalisation' of football.

    I suppose the exception to this is Porto under Mourinho. However, even in the few years since that time, rich leagues have gotten richer and smaller leagues are getting smaller. Mind you, people shouldn't really complain, I suppose. Who among us ever said that their team didn't need/want any more money when it was offered? The fact is that as globalisation tends to produce fewer, bigger companies so it produces fewer, bigger clubs. What the answer is, I don't know as it is very difficult to put the Genie back into the bottle.

  • Comment number 9.

    Perhaps one of the reasons that the Libetadores is more unpredictable is due to the unpredictable changes that the teams involved go through each season compared to their European counterparts. If a player shows flashes of brilliance or distinct promise in South America he is frequently signed by a European team or moves to a bigger club domestically, this is not so commonly the case with the European powerhouses.

    If you look at Man Utd, Barca, Milan or Chelsea they are teams built around a long serving core. Key players do move from these clubs but the reason tends to be that the player has fallen out of form, the money is right and a suitable replacement has already been sourced or they have simply started to fade in the eyes of their current manager and another has a higher opinion of their future potential.

    One could argue that Ronaldo was the only player to have left Man Utd against the desire of the manager and without a like for like replacement prepared in many years. Ditto for Barca, they lost a striker of epic brilliance in Eto'o but replaced him with a proven world class scorer (at a league level anyway) in Ibrahimovic. It's almost unheard of for the elite of Europe to lose a player or players in a closed season without it being something the selling club is happy to do.

    As a result, though players come and go at the major European clubs there are no major swings in the balance of power. This arguably leads to a relatively predictable Champions League, not that that is in any way a criticism. I think if you had a situation where all the major clubs lost their two best players every season you would have an equally unpredictable CL tournament as sometimes clubs would replace well, sometimes they wouldn't.

  • Comment number 10.

    its interesting to see most of the European comments which show why the Libertadores is such a magnificent exciting competition.
    But maybe the writing is on the wall for the big Euro clubs in the next few years if this European recession continues.The level of debt they have is unsustainable so maybe we will se Ajax once again producing a team of wunderpibes ready to do what they did in the 70s and 90s as the big guys are hardly able to buy much today.In this transfer window far more players returned to South America than left a trend that may continue if we continue to grow

  • Comment number 11.

    Folk are kidding themselves on if they think the Champs League isnt in danger of becoming stale.. This is the very reason why Uefa are constantly looking at ways of revising the set up.. As it is mentioned frequently it is no longer a champions league and is a tournament for the big boys from the top 3 or 4 countries..

  • Comment number 12.

    I agree the Champions League has become pretty dull and predictable of late. Always the same teams, the same players etc. My favourite European football of late has actually been in the Europa league where you can see teams and players you don't know much about - Shakhtar played some great stuff against Fulham, the German teams (who I don't get to see much of) have been good for the last couple of years, and the football played by an Arshavin-inspired Zenit was magnificent. I suppose what makes this tournament so different every year is that the top sides tend to graduate to the Champs League or, like their South American counterparts, have their top players poached by Champs League sides and slide back to obscurity.

    Back to South America though I notice that Adriano has been linked with a return to Italy with Roma. I know he's been in good form for Flamengo, but what do you think Tim? Would this be a good move for the Emporer and Roma or would he suffer similar problems from his Inter days?

  • Comment number 13.

    8. At 12:33pm on 22 Feb 2010, John Whyte wrote:
    I think that the comments about the Champions League becoming ever more predictable and, dare I say it, boring are justified. While no club has won it twice in a row, the concentration of financial power in the big three leagues (let alone the big 5) makes it almost impossible for a team outside of these to win the competition. It now seems unthinkable that Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Marseille or Ajax would be able to build the best team in Europe and win the Champions League, or even that a team like Panathinaikos could reach the semis.--------------------------------------------------------

    Ya ppl make me laugh, laugh out loud i think feel.

    Think man. Look at ya suprise teams. You mention Porto winning. Wha about Liverpool in 2005, apart from a decent run in 2002 they had never been a CL threat for 20 yrs.

    Monaco also got the final in 2004 with Dado Prso up front, not to mention their semi final appearance in 1998.

    Leverkusen mystified us all with a fantastic run to the final in 2002, where they wer beaten but not outplayed by Real. Did they beat Man Utd and Liverpool en route...yes i fink they did. With Ballack, Berbatoov, Lucio etc. Cheers

    How about PSV in 2005 when everything came together for them, and they missed out on the final with the last kick of da game.mon.

    I've never regarded Villareal of Val;enica as a powderhouse, yet Valencia were finalists 2 years running and Villareal were a penalty kick away from the final in 2006, and would have beat barcelonia in the finale.

    Fink about it, Fanks

  • Comment number 14.

    #18 tomefccam is spot on!
    Yes, the CL has its usual suspects every season, but there's also a good surprise every single time. For #2 Rob04, who complain that non league champions are constantly on the books, well the CL is called Champions League but it has long been a "Best of Europe" league. And if the 4th Premiership team is better than most of the others, be it! The CL could be predictable, but it's still exciting. I always thought Man U were a stronger unit than Milan, but that didn't stop us from having a tremendous game of football. That's what matters at the end, great football games, and the CL knockout stages usually deliver those.

    Regarding Libertadores, it's also a fantastic tournament for its unpredictability and its drama. It has that old 70s European feeling that you have no clue what to expect from the visitors. Obviously it doesn't match CL on ability on shown, but neverthless always a great tournament.

  • Comment number 15.

    What a load of rubbish being spouted about the Champions League being predictable on this thread.

    Can anyone honestly predict who they think the two finalists will be this year then? Get down the bookies then- you'll stand to make some money if it's really that 'predictable'

    Of the last 8 teams that will be left in it, any one of them can win the Champions League.

    No team has ever retained it (although Barcelona, by far the strongest club side in the world have a chance this year)

    FC Porto came from nowhere to win the Champions League in 2004, as did Monaco who were finalists. The likes of Villarreal and Deportivo have made the semi finals in recent seasons, Bayer Leverkusen in reaching the final in 2002.

    The format has hardly changed since 2002. The competition does not 'favour' the top 3 sides from England, Spain, Italy, and Germany- teams from those countries are usually the best teams.

    because you have the strongest teams from the strongest leagues competing, the tournament is much more wide open than it was as the old European Cup from the 1950s-1980s, when Real Madrid won 5 in a row, Benfica 2 in a row, Ajax 3 in a row, Bayern Munich 3 in a row, Liverpool 2 in a row, Milan 2 in a row, etc. Look at the finalists from those years and see how much of a closed shop it was then, and how predictable. Yes, teams like Malmo and Steaua Bucharest occasionally got to the final, but they rarely won.

    The new Champions League may have fewer clubs from smaller countries reaching the final as the old European Cup format aided them in doing so and the best players now usually move to England, Spain and Italy but the Champions league is now harder to win and certainly retain due to the depth of real quality club sides competing. You don't have the old easy quarter final against FC Nobody from Switzerland or CSKA Hopeless from Bulgaria. You can play Inter, Bayern, Real Madrid or Milan at that stage. You don't wait until the semi final or final to face quality like you did in the old European Cup.

    I can't comment on the Copa Libertadores but I wasn't impressed by LDU Quito when they played Man Utd and Estudiantes were not as strong as any of the top 16 teams left in this season's Champions League.

  • Comment number 16.

    I think the champion's league has enabled some clubs from the smaller european league's the ability to grow financially into european power's hence making the champion's league stronger and more exciting then say 10 years ago. In recent years Porto and Lyon and sevilla have become financially strong as a result of playing in the champions league regularly.
    Mr Vickery, Due to Estudiantes and Liga De Quito being very successful in south american competition over the past couple of years, has that made them more financially powerful, in a way that they don't have to sell their best young talent to european leagues to survive?
    P.S your blog's are fantastic!

  • Comment number 17.

    But why do they play behind closed doors?

  • Comment number 18.

    I know very little about the copa libertadores however I do feel I can enter the debate about the Champions League being boring or not. Think about the Liverpool Chelsea rivalries over the past few years, the incredible passing game Barcelona play and the surprises like CSKA Moscow this season who were very unlucky not to win at Old Trafford this season. I agree that more often than not 1st legs are quite poor and there is little that can be done about it however it is still the biggest and most exciting competition in club football.

  • Comment number 19.

    I think the CL is undoubtably a power house and is a an excellent format but the lower teams know full well they are not going to win it but merely take part for making money than their entire season in some circumstance, SPL for example...is this healthy?

    The one big thing lacking here in South America is a marketing genious, if they could agree that the Libertadores is the ''baby'' and cancel all other league, cup games, concentrate tv solely and market it big then with the population numbers and the amazing love for the game here along with the quality on view I believe the Libertadores could well give the CL a run for its money today as an overall product.

    80,000 at the mickey mouse Rio cup final yesterday the marketing possibilities in South America are just incredible......for sure can rival Europe.....

  • Comment number 20.

    The format has hardly changed since 2002. The competition does not 'favour' the top 3 sides from England, Spain, Italy, and Germany- teams from those countries are usually the best teams.

    because you have the strongest teams from the strongest leagues competing, the tournament is much more wide open than it was as the old European Cup from the 1950s-1980s, when Real Madrid won 5 in a row, Benfica 2 in a row, Ajax 3 in a row, Bayern Munich 3 in a row, Liverpool 2 in a row, Milan 2 in a row, etc. Look at the finalists from those years and see how much of a closed shop it was then, and how predictable. Yes, teams like Malmo and Steaua Bucharest occasionally got to the final, but they rarely won.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm sorry to disagree but CL does favour the teams from the big 5 countries because these countries get more entries via their leagues, and the number of teams you get in depends on the size of your TV market. Its not a matter of opinion about whether this happens or not because its structured that way in the first place. In what way does the format not 'favour' teams in these 5 countries, and why are the champions in some leagues such as Sweden and Denmark (who have to pre-qualify) less of a 'champion' than the team who finish 2nd or 3rd in the premiership?

    You may not be able to predict the ultimate winners but you could have a more than reasonable bookies bet that they will come from one of the big 5. You could also have a reasonable punt that most of the teams from these countries will get through their first stage groups. And of all the 'exceptions' or 'surprises' that people have mentioned above, only one (i.e. Porto) is outwith that group of countries.

    At least this year we won't have to watch Chelsea v Liverpool yet again!

  • Comment number 21.

    Tim, I was watching Sky Sports News on Friday and noticed you reporting via phone on the Ronaldinho and Brazil situation. BBC not paying you enough?

  • Comment number 22.

    I think the argument being made is that the Champions League is predictable in its early stages. I have given up on watching the group stages because with one or two exceptions you can choose the two to go through. In the latter stages, it does retain that element of surprise, but only in choosing a winner from the very select European elite.

    Even Italy is lagging begind. The Milan sides now crumble to English opponenents, Arsenal and United beating Milan in recent years for example. The average age of Italian teams is shocking and does not bode well for the future.

    The dominance of English clubs in the last few seasons has been worrying, mainly as it is four clubs that are very strong instead of Spain's two (despite the fact that I believe looking at the entire league, La Liga is just as strong). I think sadly, I couldn't see the likes of Valencia, Monaco, Porto making a final with the current strength of the European footballing elite. The English (and top two from Spain) would simply be too strong over two legs. Football has changed that quickly.

  • Comment number 23.

    Tim in reference to the question about the possible right back for Argentina at the world cup this summer, I wanted to know your opinion Pablo Zabaleta's chances on making the squad and possibly starting. I am a Manchester City fan and a big fan of Zabaleta. He has good positioning, typical no nonsense defending, good going forward and a great cross to him. His only draw back is a slight lack of pace, but it very rarely shows. Why Richards is often picked ahead of Zabaleta is beyond me as he is far more competant and provides alot better build up support to attacks and defends better.

  • Comment number 24.

    At post 20. The number of entries for each country are worked out by the UEFA Co-Efficient score for how well a country's representatives have done in European competition over the years.

    The best teams go through from the group stages. It is not a TV marketing trick.

    In 2005, Man Utd finished bottom of a group with Villarreal, Benfica and Lille. They did not qualify even for the Europa League because their results were not good enough.

    Do you really think the competition would be improved by having say, 3 teams from Spain and 3 teams from Romania, Sweden and Norway? No, of course not. You're saying more teams from 'lesser' countries gives more opportunity for them to qualify- of course it does, but it also dilutes the competition.

    If Swedish teams do better in European competition, they earn an extra place.

  • Comment number 25.

    21 - that's an easy one to answer! No! More moonlighting than bruce willis needed to pay the bills!

  • Comment number 26.

    23 - zabaleta hasn't played under maradona - he was called upfor the last 2 rounds of world cup qualifying, but had to drop out injured.

    maradona has had a look at so many players - for someone to break in from outside at this late stage is unlikely, but not impossible.

  • Comment number 27.

    Champions League has been a business between the Big Four & Barcelona for last few years. I just can't see a team like Bayern, Lyon or PSV winning it in the near future.

    That being said, knockout stages are always as thrilling as ever.

  • Comment number 28.

    Do you really think the competition would be improved by having say, 3 teams from Spain and 3 teams from Romania, Sweden and Norway? No, of course not. You're saying more teams from 'lesser' countries gives more opportunity for them to qualify- of course it does, but it also dilutes the competition
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well I don't know that answer to that one but at least these teams would get access to pots of money that may help them improve their teams over time. In the present format, the same bigger teams invariably get access to the cash. And that makes what more competitive?

  • Comment number 29.

    #3- Like the Pessoa reference, and I think it applies here.

    Libertadores is my favorite tournament overall, even more than the World Cup or the CL, not because it has the highest quality level, the best players, etc, but because the atmosphere is unique and unlike any other on the planet. Always exciting to follow one.

  • Comment number 30.

    My gripe with the CL is not that certain countries are allowed a greater number of representatives than others, but these teams are deliberately kept apart in the group stages. The group stages would be far more interesting/exciting if there was a possibility that teams based in the same country might be drawn against each other. Paranoid fans and journalists would probably yell "Fix!" but then they do that anyway.
    Please explain why the PL Champions should be kept apart from the team who scraped into 4th place in the same league?

  • Comment number 31.

    Another interesting blog, Tim. I do enjoy hearing your thoughts on the seemingly, eccentric South America.

    With you taking a keen interest in youth football, especially U20 tournaments, I was just wondering what became of Celsinho. He appeared to be an outstanding prospect in one of those tournaments, I forget which. I believe he played for Portuguesa, although I could be wrong. Thanks.

  • Comment number 32.

    Great blog Tim,

    I cannot for the life of me understand why people are saying the CL is boring and predictable.

    It has provided many shocks and surprises, Porto in '04, Valencia finalists in '00 and '01.......need I go on.

    Maybe these guys need to stop watching football, by the way if you argue that way, what about the WC.............c'mon!!!!

  • Comment number 33.

    The Beatles are overrated. Where would this great country of ours be without Mick n Keef? Liverpool isn't really part of England either, is it? Next thing you'll be saying Stevie G trips over the penalty box line!!

  • Comment number 34.

    At 30. I think it's good that teams from the same country are kept apart in the early stages of the tournament, in the Champions League.

    It is competing in Europe, it's not a glorified version of a domestic tournament.

    Plus those complaining about teams from 'lesser' nations not getting money, well they get drawn in groups against the likes of Barcelona and Man Utd. That's where their money comes from.

  • Comment number 35.

    I don't know if it's still the case today(Champions league is so boring now,I don't really watch anymore). But it used to amaze me how a team that gets knocked out of the competion automatically gets a place in the UEFA (Europa now isn't it?). How on earth can you justify that?
    Obviously, it's about money.

  • Comment number 36.

    Yes because teams from Sweden, Denmark, Scotland and even Holland will be able to put in better performances to up their co-efficient in order to gain auto entry or more places.. please... this is just nonsense.. These are teams who have less than a tenth of the money to spend on transfers that some of the bigger boys pay on one or two players..

  • Comment number 37.

    Hi Tim,

    Back in the UK, it is seemingly taken for granted that Diego Maradona is a poor manager, and that Argentina have no chance of winning the World Cup with him at the helm.

    Would you agree with this appraisal? From this distance, it's difficult to tell; I do, however, find it strange that several Argentine players from some of the best sides in Europe seem unable to command a regular place in an ever-changing side; Fernando Gago, Walter Samuel, Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso (maybe Diego has something against Inter Milan?!)... Also, in spite of his burgeoning reputation, his status as 'God-in-Law', and his projected £40m price tag, I've noticed that Sergio Aguero doesn't seem to start often either - why is that? Perhaps his relationship with Maradona's daughter, and a fear of appearing to have a 'favourite' counts against him? All the while, players such as Jonas Gutierrez, Insua and Pérez appear regularly.

    I'd be curious to hear how some of these less heralded players in the line ups are viewed? By reputation, a line up of Zanetti, Samuel, Heinze, AN Other, Mascherano, Cambiasso, Veron, Messi, Aguero, Higuain would appear to be something approaching Argentina's strongest line up (possibly substituting Tevez or di Maria for one or other of the forward line).

    Out of interest, what would be YOUR preferred line up, should Maradona get the nudge and Argentina called for St. Tim to take the reins???!!

  • Comment number 38.

    15 subterranean

    The idea that Estudiantes could not compete with the likes of Stuttgart,Olimpakos,Bordeaux,Cska Moscu,Fiorentina or Arsenal is ridiculous this is a team full of experience 7 or 8 Argentina internationals who almost beat Barca in the World club final without their current keeper Orion and Sosa.
    Lets put a Libertadores slant on it a match in Europe and the other leg in La Plata and lets see how the Europeans would handle it

  • Comment number 39.

    Hooray, people discussing Libertadores again! Good blog, shame the header invites the same old drone about the champion's (or 2nd, 3rd or 4th placed) league.

    38 - I agree, and imagine european teams without any south americans?

    37 - I also think Maradona has been poor so far, but to rule Argentina out of the owrld cup would be folly. My starting XI:

    Romeo

    Zanetti
    Demichelis
    Samuel
    Heinze

    Banega
    Mascherano
    Di Maria

    Tevez
    Aguero
    Messi

    Too attacking a formation? Probably, and more central focal point up front like Higuain or Milito would provide more balance, and also more in midfield, maybe Maxi or Lucho. I like Cambisso but feel you only need Masch to start. And finally, Heinze has seen better days but experience counts!

  • Comment number 40.

    Obviously that should be World Cup and Romero in goals, (sic) all round!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    Maradona has a decent record doesn't he though? Better than his predecessor in the most recent qualifiers at least. Doesn't matter how much he experiments now and up until June. If he can get it right in the Finals they have some great players. Is Banega not close too? He has been superb every time I have seen him this season for Valencia.

    On the Champions League debate, it is weighted in the big clubs favour, UEFA don't want to risk not having a big club in the competition to make them more money etc. When Liverpool failed to qualify for instance but were put in through a hastily concocted new emergency rule. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike any of the big teams, but you can hardly say the competition is fairly weighted when the actual champions of some leagues have to go through qualifiers. If anything they should all qualify automatically and the clubs in 2nd,3rd,4th place should all have to go through a qualifying round of some sort.

  • Comment number 42.

    First up, if only the champions of each nation were to be entered into the Champions League, I would argue that it would become more predictcable as a competition as the winner would still more than likely be from one of the big 5 nations but those nations would only be providing 5 teams between them.

    TV money from the Champions League has undeniably reduced the level of competition at the top end of Europe's domestic leagues (virtually every league bar a few in Eastern Europe has become a 2-4 horse race). However, even in the hypothetical situation where the Champions League were to add NO TV money and NO prize money to a clubs balance sheet, the finances of clubs in the top leagues would still dwarf those of clubs in the smaller leagues (look at England's domestic TV deal).

    Getting back on the topic of comparing the two continental competitions, the Copa Libertadores isn't limited to just national champions either. The biggest factor in making South American competition so unpredictable is clearly the regular loss of top players to Europe, sometimes even in the middle of the campaign. Yet South American economics still makes for a degree of predictability in that Brazil have contributed 7 of the last 10 finalists.

  • Comment number 43.

    41 - Good points but Maradona's record counts for nothing so far and they were terrible in the 6-1 battering Bolivia gave them, and lacklustre up until the end against Uruguay.

    But...I totally agree, only the form in south africa matters since they have qualified. and I totally agree that Banega has been awesome of late, so good I believe he will light up the world cup.

    As for the CL comments....ignored!!!

  • Comment number 44.

    Having never seen a Copa Libertadores match, I can't comment on what the standard of football is like within the competition from week to week, however, I do have first hand experience of the top league in Bolivia having seen Bolivar who were mentioned in the blog.

    Although I don't wish to disrespect the Copa Libertadores as I am sure it is a great competition in its own right, the standard of football that I witnessed from a top Bolivian team was terrible. I can understand that they are obviously not one of the big teams in the competition and may not be representative of the talent put on show from clubs such as Corinthians or Flamengo, but I think as a general rule the Champions league clearly contains the greater quality of player and I think the depth of talent within the competition means that any team is capable of winning the competition if they put a good run together.

  • Comment number 45.

    Tim,

    With Brazil having a population over 4 times larger than the next biggest South American nation and also an economy that is considerably stronger than the others, is it inevitable that, in the long term, Brazilian clubs will completely dominate the Copa Libertadores? I know population and economics don't always mean success in a sport (or China and the USA would dominate world football) but Brazil has that final necessary ingredient of being football mad.

    Brazil are already becoming dominant in terms of representation in the latter rounds of the Libertadores. Perhaps the larger number of big clubs in Brazil is a saving grace, dividing the enourmous fan base into a greater number of chunks? The worst thing that could happen for the Libertadores might, therefore, be financial success - potentially allowing a few clubs in Brazil to gain significant ground over their rivals financially, build stronger squads to dominate their domestic league and create a Brazilian 'big four' like we see in the Premier League. As in England, this could then potentially start to concentrate the fan base around this smaller group of clubs (I recall you mentioning in a previous article that you've witnessed an increasing number of European shirts being worn in brazil over the years, indicating the potential for fans to become 'glory hunters'). The cycle of success could be hard to break.

  • Comment number 46.

    tbh i think the CL is predictable and you can predict who is most likly to be in the final these days easy barca,man u,real(now),chelsea and i think the group stage is a waste woaste of time needs to go straight nock out i think it would cause more upsets.

  • Comment number 47.

    Just because it's more unpredictable to win the Copa Libertadores compared to the CL doesn't mean it's a better cup. The german bundesliga or the russian premier league are more unpredictable compared to the EPL but everyone knows it isn't of such a higher standard.

    Besides, in Europe, at least you have teams from 5 big countries who compete for a price. I'm sure within 5 years Brazil & Argentina will completely dominate the Copa Libertadores. Will it be as 'boring' as the CL? Of course not. Not every country can or should win a continental cup, especially when you got more then 50 countries in it like Europe.

    There are still at least 10 teams who can easily win the CL which is still a big pool of clubs. To say it's predictable is totally wrong (at least for now).

  • Comment number 48.

    Wahey, another mention of Los Pumas... maybe you should write about the Mexican League as well Tim and the BBC will pay you more?

    Pity the Libertadores isn't on at a more work-friendly time for us Europeans, I'd love to watch, just to see some unfamiliar names for once. The overkill on the importance of Champions League games often puts me off before a ball has even been kicked. And obviously having 4 teams qualifying from one country whilst champions from other leagues don't is extremely unfair.

  • Comment number 49.

    Tut tut 47..this is the view of the little islander. Did you read the blog?? Alianza Lima beat Estudiantes, a team from Peru conquering the Argentines! Read about the heroics of Ecuadorian football in the last 10 years.

    Plus, you should never underestimate the Russians! Their football is different but they have good teams, it has become more exciting since the rise of Zenit and Kazan but beore this the league frequently, and predictably, fell to Muscovite hands.

    And Germany was quite predictable, and potentially still will be, due to Bayern Munich being easily the greatest side historically. Last season was special with Wolfsburg claiming the crown but normal service has been resumed this time as Leverkusen battle it out with Munich and Schalke.

    Similar to the standard of Paraguayan football, The Bundesliga is relatively improving, and fast.

  • Comment number 50.

    #34 I was not suggesting compulsory groupings, merely leaving the possibility open. Yes, it is a European competition but it also supposed to be for "Champions"...

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi Tim,

    Interesting debate, both competitions are entertaining, but like everything else in life have their pros and cons.

    The Champions League contains the cream of European football with a few surprise packages thrown in.

    But teams usually face each other most years and tactically cancel out the game. The usual suspects are also touted to win the competition, which usually happens.

    The Copa Libertadores is going through a stage of being a 'fresh product' and contains surprise packages, the rise of new footballing nations, new heros and different winners most years.

    Both tournaments have talented managers and individuals who can ignite the match with a moments genius, but also nullify the opposition.

    However, I still believe the quality and depth of the Champions League means it is the elite club football trophy.

    All the best,
    TDT
    www.thedirtytackle.blogspot.com
    www.manonplatform13.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 52.

    If Copa is a 'fresh product', having started in 1960, then what is the champions league?
    (rebranded in 1992, previously European Cup which began in 1955)

  • Comment number 53.

    The Libertadores offers brand new talent, hungry players who give it their 110% in very competitive games. After the group stages the Libertadores becomes the best tournament to watch. Don't get me wrong, the CL has the best players in the world (in value at least)but these players arent hungry anymore and usually offer very boring matches, specially this season 90% of the group stage matches were as entertaining as watching the House of Lords on a saturday afternoon. Something that shouldn't happen when you have players who are worth more than a whole South American team put together. The Libertadores gives you premium warrior football from players who want to make it to Europe and get paid the big buks, the CL offers great tactics, expensive players and great games SOMETIMES.
    Does anyone remember BOCA Juniors dancing tango around Real Madrid some years back? talking about the 200 million dollar Real Madrid.

  • Comment number 54.

    I have only seen a couple of Libertadores games in South America (both of them Colo Colo v Boca a couple of years ago). Both of them were fast-moving, exciting and the result unpredictable. The crowds wre knowledgeable and enthusiastic and it was all great entertainment. Admittedly I did see Pumas in 2005 play absolutely abysmal football, but the away teams did ok (Maracaibo, Nacional and Internacional of I remember rightly), all with different styles of play.

    It is a great competition, and I am glad the Mexican teams are part of it.

    As for Paraguayans in Mexico - I have a soft spot for Darío Verón as he has been a rock in Pumas defence for six years now. Possibly the best I have seen recently was Paolo Da Silva playing for Toluca, and now of course at Sunderland.

    Not only are Paraguayans doing well in Mexico, but so are other players from the South American nations. Suazo (Chile) of Monterrey comes to mind, Maldonado (Venezuela) of Atlante, Itamar (Brazil) of Tigres... One or two have also made successful moves from Mexico to Europe, such as Christain Benítez (Colombia?) from Santos Laguna to Birmingham.

  • Comment number 55.

    Interesting post Pikolin. Christian "Chucho" Benitez is Ecuadorian, he's doing well for Birmingaham, but has only scored twice.

    Usually, a forward would be criticized in England for this but he has been so creative and always looks dangerous. It's generally accepted there will be more tocome from him as Birmingham have played very well since his introduction.

    There is the Colombian Hugo Rodallega at Wigan Athletic. He also played in Mexico with Necaxa and was very impressive there.
    He has a strike ratio of about 1 in 3 for Wigan, and though he is more prolific than Chucho, perhaps he is more one-dimensional and less skilful.

    Still, another South American import from Mexico is doing well in the Premiership, and the potential can be further fulfilled.

  • Comment number 56.

    Firstly, as a new subscriber, Tim your blogs fill holes in my life i never knew I had. Now that's out of the way I can make a meaninful comment on a very relevant topic.

    Sorry to cop out but I agree with pretty much both sides arguing for and against the predicability of the champions league (can't comment on the Cope Libatores i'm afraid). It's predicatble in that you will get the same teams rapping quite aggressively on the champions league trophy cupboard door every year but within that elect few you get some spanking matches. Its understandable why we're complaining but really what's happening is that we're seeing some of the most highly trained sportsmen on the planet go up against each other on a semi-regular basis trying to better each other (no matter how over paid, arrogant, dim whitted they are).

    However, I would say that "champions league" as a name is sham. So here's a solution to the people who think that its too closed off for the rest of the continent outside England, France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
    You genuinely make it a champions league. Or at least the top two from each country. I realise that the leagues are of vastly different standards but over the years surely you would see money being put into smaller leagues because of making it more egalitarian, therefore enhancing the quality of the once lowly leagues.
    It would be a long term jim'll fix it job i admit. It would also solve this terrible misnomer of believing finishing 4th in a league is an achievement for clubs as big as Liverpool and Arsenal. Since when is finishing 20 points (maybe an exaggeration) off 1st place a success? That is my main issue with football at the moment "the race for 4th place".
    Frankly if the Copa de Libertores is as raw and unpredictable as it sounds i would rather watch that but thats only because European based players have had the fun of playing football for a living beaten out of them.

    1st post over. Thankyou (sorry it was an essay)

  • Comment number 57.

    can we keep the talk on this thread to s.american football pls ...

    it is definately more interesting the Copa Libertadores because you never know what is going to happen, one or two good young players coming through can change a mediocre team into a quality team in the realms of s.american international club competitions.

    In Chams Legaue never would you see Real Madrid turned over 4-1 by Rapid Vienna ... but that is literally what the alianza v estudiantes game was like. Peru club football generally improving all round as well....

    Although Brazil and Argentina have dominated in the past , it seems that other nations are making a stand ...

  • Comment number 58.

    I must be mad and realise i am in a minority (of probably 1) but maradona has done a good job since taking over.....

    i could only imagine that all the posters suggesting he hasnt hadnt watched the dire performances pre maradona trust me they were hopeless and even more disjointed.

    Having such a massive player base is a blessing in one way but difficult when you takeover halfway through a campaign, i have a sneaking suspicion theywill do better than most think

  • Comment number 59.

    hey Tim,

    just wondering what the situation will be like for Pato Abbondanzieri when he arrives at internacionale porto allegre. will he be the first choice keeper? was it a good signing for them? and who can Boca get to replace him?

  • Comment number 60.

    Hi Tim,

    I was wondering what you would think would be the outcome of the last eight of both the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores playing in a direct europe vs americas knockout system?

  • Comment number 61.

    I think those of you that think the CL is getting boring, don't remember how dull the European Cup could be. One team from your country going straight into a knockout phase which could see you out of the thing in October. There is not much interest in the competition once your nations team is eliminated, and to be honest most would only be watching hoping they get eliminated anyway. Do you think United fans would be watching Chelsea next year, hoping the "English" team wins?

    The common complaint about the teams not even being champions, only came about during the years of frustration that United fans had as they failed to make an impact as English champs until 1999, then seeing Liverpool and Chelsea have an immediate impact when they qualified.

    It simply not true to say that the same teams dominate. Simply expand the timeline and you will see that the core of top European teams, is unchanging, but there is an ebb and flow which sees other teams join the party for a period and then recede. It is unrealistic to think that Real Madrid, AC Milan, Manchester United (who only joined the party in 1999) will not be significant players, but take a look at the supporting cast right now, and you will see that they are not the same teams as 5, 10, 15 years ago.

    Bayer Leverkusen, Dynamo Kiev, Porto, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Marseille- all teams who have had a major impact in Europe over the past ten years.

  • Comment number 62.

    The Libertadores is indeed an exciting competition.

    Why is it never shown on TV in Btitain? I'm convinced someone like Sky - or even the BBC? - could make a decent package out of it and football fans would be interested.

    Considering how much exposure the Champions League gets in South America, it's a shame that can't be reiciprocated in insular Britain.

  • Comment number 63.

    Hi Tim, running out of ideas for this week's article, are we? It could've easily done without the first 3 paragraphs. Can't see the point in discussing how boring or otherwise the CL is, in an article about South American football. Of course, comparisons will always generate lots of debate but you'll notice many of the replies only refer to the CL in addition to comments about not knowing enough about the Copa Libertadores to give an opinion (at least they're honest). There are enough blogs about the CL already, don't turn this blog into another one. Keep up the good work and look forward to your next article.

  • Comment number 64.

    63 - the article was acomparison from start to finish, which i think is valid.

    After all, to borrrow from kipling, what can he know of the libertadores, who only the libertadores knows.

  • Comment number 65.

    Yes, the Champions league is predictable, boring and stale IMHO. But the Champions League has done what the Copa Libertadores has failed MISERABLY to do and that is "MARKETING" our tournament to the World public. Instead we rely on outsiders (Mexico) to expand our game, tv ratings and most South American are seriously against that. The Copa Libertadores is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you'll get. The South American game is pure, basic and brilliant. Lets face it, Footballers don't make alot of money in South America. They play for their shirt, their club, their fans, their Barrio or neighborhood. You can't buy that niche.

  • Comment number 66.

    One team from your country going straight into a knockout phase which could see you out of the thing in October. There is not much interest in the competition once your nations team is eliminated
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    So your teams are from one of the big 5 countries then? Most European countries get one team through.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    It simply not true to say that the same teams dominate.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    That's not the arguement is it - the same countries dominate. Its become even more of a rich countries league. Now that may have happened before but now the CL rewards them to an even greater extent. You may think teams ebb and flow but the examples you use are largely big 5 teams. Only one team (Porto) from outside the big 5 have contested a CL final since it started. Before that Romanian, Russian, Belgian, Swedish, Greek and even Scottish teams were in the European Cup Final. Won't see these again in the present format will you!

    Sorry to mention the CL again!


  • Comment number 67.

    60 "...wondering what you would think would be the outcome of the last eight of both the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores playing in a direct europe vs americas knockout system?"

    ----------------------------------------------

    that's an easy one, the European clubs would win it because they would poach all the good players from the South Americans by the time the 2nd leg was played.

    That's why the now defunct Toyota Cup and the World Club Championship was/is such a farce. It's because the South American Champions will lose their best players in the interval between winning the Libertadores and playing against the European champions. You might end up with a South American player who won the Libertadores playing against his old club by the time they meet. No wonder the South American Champions always end up playing defensively...their arms have been cut off!, as it were. It all comes down to the mighty $, €, £ or whatever the strongest currency is at the time.

  • Comment number 68.

    @67


    "That's why the now defunct Toyota Cup and the World Club Championship was/is such a farce. It's because the South American Champions will lose their best players in the interval between winning the Libertadores and playing against the European champions. You might end up with a South American player who won the Libertadores playing against his old club by the time they meet. No wonder the South American Champions always end up playing defensively...their arms have been cut off!, as it were."

    And still win it (22 out of 43 (Toyota Cup) and 3 out of 6 (CWC))!

    That's why the South American football is so great in all senses.

  • Comment number 69.

    @68
    "And still win it (22 out of 43 (Toyota Cup) and 3 out of 6 (CWC))!
    That's why the South American football is so great in all senses."

    -------------------------------------------

    South American clubs won only 5 out of the last 15 Toyota Cups played and it was mostly due to very defensive displays and counterattacking football. They had no other choice as their squads had been considerably weakened after winning the Libertadores. Interestingly, before the 1990s, South American clubs would usually dominate that competition, as they were able to keep their squads mostly intact and the europeans were no match against them.

  • Comment number 70.

    @ 69

    Correct!!!

  • Comment number 71.

    @ 52

    Apologies, I should've explained myself in-depth.

    By 'fresh product' I meant to many people in Western Europe who have recently found the Libertadores.

    Television in the 90's and possibly past the noughties in the UK was so diluted by the old-money European Cup, UEFA Cup and UEFA CWC that our viewing of the Libertadores arrived with the invention of satellite television or the internet, depending on their view.

    Hence I used the 'fresh product' title to recent viewers - not how long the tourney has been going on for.

    Hope that clears up matters. Look forward to Monday's edition.

    All the best,
    TDT
    www.thedirtytackle.blogspot.com
    www.manonplatform13.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 72.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 73.

    I think it's the same. "There are people who argue that South America's Copa Libertadores is better than the Uefa Champions League"

    Thank you and My best regards!
    Bola

  • Comment number 74.

    I think the South American people are kidding themselves if they believe that the Copa Libertadores is 'better' than the Champions League in terms of standard.

    The infrastructure and quality players all play in Europe. As for the Mickie Mouse World Club Championship game... it is more a vanity trophy for the European sides than a well earned title. In a one off game anything can happen but I assure you if you stuck the regular Champions League winners vs Copa Libertadores winners in 10 head to head games the European side would destroy them convincingly especially judging the play over the last 15 years of those one off games, where the S.A sides defend like their lives rely on it and the European sides just control the tempo of play and either make the break through or don't.

    Ever since the influx of money into the European game in the late 80's early 90's it was always bound to topple its S.American rivals.

    As for excitement, the Champions League has become stale over the years but if your side so happens to be involved in those latter stages then there really is no buzz like it.

    The passion in South America is huge and due to the fact that clubs are far more closely matched overall it seems to create a far more exciting unpredictable nature to the tournament.

    Still what would you rather watch as a neutral, guys like Messi and Ronaldo showing moments of quality that leave you in awe or a bunch of guys that most people haven't heard of or if they so happen to be any good are on their first one way ticket to Europe.

    In my opinion if you mixed the quality of the CL, the more even playing field of South America and the raw passion too, you'd have one hell of a tournament!

    Champions League wins for quality
    Copa Libertadores wins for unpredictability and passion.

  • Comment number 75.

    It's based on personal preference. They are two different type of products in my opinion, so those who like the characteristics shown by the UCL, will like that competition more. I like the CLA better because of the passion, the crowds, and the intensity that most of the games brings. .

  • Comment number 76.

    Big fan of teh copa libertadores - they seem to have so many moer colourful fans over in South America - the Prawn Sandwich brigade haven't quite made it there just yet (coming soon I'm sure!)

    http://www.mexicofootballfans.info

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 78.

    Great blog as ever, good to see Robinho back at Santos and coming off the bench to score to the winner. How was his overall
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]performance, does he look more at home?

    I also noticed that Pele's son(?) is at Santos. Is he a good prospect or are the expectations going to be just too much and likely to ruin a career?

  • Comment number 79.

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  • Comment number 81.

    Copa Libertadores in not lower than Champion League. Thaing That make they different is only the publication. I like this very much. This is my great pleasure to visit your website and to enjoy your excellent post here. Thank you for sharing with us. I can feel that you spend much attention for this articles, as all of them make sense and are very useful for us.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    Is the Copa Libertadores better than the Champions League? I don't think so. According my opinion, Copa Libertadores is better than Champions League, cause, many South American player play batter than European player in Champions League. Thank you for your post. Very Glad that you shared this to us. It's some pretty great info. Valuable information I found, keep on posting.

  • Comment number 84.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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  • Comment number 88.

    interesting to see the majority of European observations that freedom is a pretty exciting competition. home equity loans

  • Comment number 89.

    The post is written in very a good manner and it entails many useful information for me. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post.
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  • Comment number 90.

    Bellos says these factors can combine to make the Libertadores less predictable than the Champions League, as can the fact that clubs regularly lose their best players to Europe, meaning their squads can change drastically from one season to the next.
    As in the Champions League, big clubs, like Argentina's Boca Juniors and Brazil's Sao Paolo, usually make the final stages, but last year's winners were unheralded Ecuadorian club LBS Quito.
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    Thanks

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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  • Comment number 94.

    in my opinion.. champions still better.. many good player play in libertadores, however in champion league, all player is a superb player..
    including the coach and refree..
    so i vote fore champion league..

    Thanks
    Refi | Home Mortgage Refinancing Rate

  • Comment number 95.

    I absolutely agree with you that Uefa Champions League is better and more interestsing than Copa Libertadores. Inter have won and congrats to them for winning their first Champions League in 45 years.Ornela from
    cheap hosting - payday loans

  • Comment number 96.

    The champions league is obviously the better tournament in terms of the actual quality of football played. but the world cup has just always been regarded as the most prestigious tournament of any sport in the world. but i think that if the world cup happened every summer, it would be utterly terrible. it's big because it only occurs every four years. it's not a tournament you're likely to play in more than twice. orange sim only

  • Comment number 97.

    Copa Libertadores more liberal style of play. Not so much utilitarian football. ipad covers

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    This is highly informatics, crisp and clear. I think that Everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many things. This is one of the best blogs I have read.
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  • Comment number 99.

    I mean when was ther last time clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool actually were 'champions' of their own league? The CL is dominated by TV markets and too many clubs from the big 5 (England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France) get a priveliged entry to the competition and the financial rewards that come with that. In many ways the clubs from the smaller European countries (Holland, Portugal, Denmark, Scotland, etc) would be better setting up their own competition and avoiding the CL. Ulf from Übersetzung

  • Comment number 100.

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