billsportsmaps.com

January 31, 2017

2017 Copa Libertadores, map with new pre-qualifying First Stage results shown/3 teams advancing to 2nd Stage/ and the 44 teams in the Second Stage (16 teams)-&-Group Stage (28 teams). (Format-change from 38 teams to 44 teams; format adjustment to 47 teams due to Mexico non-involvement.)/+ 2016 Copa Libertadores champions Atlético Nacional.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 9:42 am


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2017 Copa Libertadores map of the 44 teams in the 2nd Stage (16 teams) & Group Stage (28 teams)





Links…
2017 Copa Libertadores (en.wikipedia.org).
-2017 Copa Libertadores, fixtures, results, tables…2017 COPA LIBERTADORES [Summary].
-Copa Libertadores news (in English)…espnfc.us/copa-libertadores/index

By Bill Turianski on 30 January 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

    2017 Copa Libertadores (the 58th version of the tournament)…

As, usual profile-boxes for the qualified teams are shown, grouped by country, flanking each side of the map. But with the drastic format changes this year, I have decided to have the map depict the set-up after the new First Stage. So…
A). the results from late January 2017 of the new First Stage are seen at the top-left of the map-page. The new First Stage is basically just a small pre-qualifying round. So of the 6 teams in the First Stage, only the 3 winners are shown in profile-boxes (also at the top-left, plus also grouped with their countries within the main part of the map page).
B). teams that qualified for the Second Stage and the Group Stage can seen within the whole rest of the map page (44 teams).
C). The Cup-Holders (Atlético Nacional of Colombia) can seen at the top-right of the map page, as well as seen in the illustration below.
D). Format changes to the tournament – all of them (!), see article further below.

    2016 Copa Libertadores champions: Atlético Nacional, of Medellín, Colombia (their 2nd CL title)

-From WorldSoccer.com from 1 August 2016, Tim Vickery’s Notes from South America: Reflections on Atletico Nacional’s Libertadores triumph (worldsoccer.com).
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Photo and Image credits above –
Screenshot (1) from Atlético Nacional vs Independiente del Valle 1-0 RESUMEN Y GOL FINAL Copa Libertadores 2016 (uploaded by Futbol TOTAL at youtube.com). Shot of crowd’s tifo in Medellin during 2nd leg of Finals, photo by AP via dailymail.co.uk/football/Atletico-Nacional-1-0-2-1-agg-Independiente-del-Valle-Miguel-Borja-strike-seals-Copa-Libertadores-win. Screenshot (2) from Atlético Nacional vs Independiente del Valle 1-0 RESUMEN Y GOL FINAL Copa Libertadores 2016 (uploaded by Futbol TOTAL at youtube.com). Miguel Borja scoring winning goal, photo by Reuters via sport.net/atletico-nacional-1-0-independiente-del-valle-2-1-agg-miguel-borja-strike-seals-copa-libertadores-win. Teammates celebrate right after Borja goal, photo by AFP via losandes.com.ar/article/atletico-nacional-e-independiente-del-valle-definen-la-libertadores-y-van-por-la-gloria. Shot of coach Rueda with trophy, photo by León Darío Peláez/SEMANA at semana.com/deportes/articulo/reinaldo-rueda-el-cerebro-detras-de-la-gesta-de-nacional s. Miguel Borja kissing the trophy, photo by AFP via fifa.com. Atletico Nacional fans celebrate their Copa Libertadores victory with pyrotechnics, photo unattributed at a.espncdn.com/combiner.

    2017 Copa Libertadores: the new expanded format forces Mexico to leave the tournament/ Then the Chapecoense tragedy in Colombia sees CONMEBOL automatically award Chapecoense the 2016 Copa Sudamericana title & automatic qualification for the 2017 Copa Liberetadores

There were two very big changes to the Copa Libertadores format for 2017, which are both discussed below; plus the Chapecoense jet disaster (see further below).

First, in October 2016 CONMEBOL radically expanded the format (going from 38 teams to 44 teams, and with the tournament being played over an eleven-month time period).
{See this, CONMEBOL expands Copa Libertadores to 42 weeks and 44 teams (espnfc.com).} This forced the Mexican 1st division, Liga MX, to re-examine their continued participation in the tournament. (Mexican teams had participated in the Copa Libertadores since the 1998 tournament.) It looks like Liga MX and the FMF (the Mexican football authorities) were not consulted on these changes. It actually appears that CONMEBOL went ahead and made all these drastic changes to the Copa Libertadores format without consulting with most of parties involved – at all – including Liga MX {see 7th paragraph from this article by Tim Vickery at espnfc.com, Copa Libertadores gets new lease of life for 2017, but questions remain (by Tim Vickery at espnfc.com from 19 Dec. 2016).}

So in November 2016, the 1st division of Mexico (Liga MX) decided to no longer send its teams to play in the Copa Libertadores…
The expanded schedule, with basically an 80%-of-the-whole-year tournament, combined with the enormous travel distances that Mexican teams already face, made Liga MX decide to opt out of the tournament. Mexican teams might re-join the tournament in 2018, though, but Liga MX would need to alter its own format to do that. {See this, Mexico officially pulls out of Copa Libertadores (goal.com).}

So, for 2017 at least, that meant that there were now three vacated spots in the tournament…
Mexico’s 3 vacated tournament-spots made it necessary to even further expand the tournament (to be more equitable, as with regards to which of the 10 remaining Copa Libertadores countries got one of Mexico’s spots). So another round was added. CONMEBOL simply divided the 3 spots up amongst the 6 CL countries which had not gotten any added spots in the upcoming format-expansion (Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela). So the 3 Mexico spots were paired up with 3 more added-spots (swelling the tournament to 47 teams), into a sort of pre-qualifying round – the First Stage. (The results of the new/pre-qualifying First Stage are seen in the Mexico section at the top-left-hand side of the map page.)

Below are all the changes in the Copa Libertadores for 2017…
•Expanded format (44 teams):
6 more spots, re-apportioned as such:
∙Brazil: +2 spots (Brazil now has 7 teams in each Copa Libertadores tournament).
∙Argentina: +1 spot (Argentina now has 6 teams in each CL tournament).
∙Colombia: +1 spot (Colombia now has 4 teams in each CL tournament).
∙Chile: +1 spot (Chile now has 4 teams in each CL tournament).
∙Copa Sudamericana winner: the CS winner gets automatic entry into Group Stage as before, but that spot does not bump out the lowest-placed CL-qualifying spot from that country (ie, CS-winner adds 1 more spot for that country for that CL season [as so: Brazil 7 spots+1 more spot this season via CS-winner, Chapacoense {see further below}]).
∙Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia: unchanged (all still with 3 teams in each tournament – that is, until Mexico pulled out/see below).

•About 1 month later…Further expanded format, with 3 more spots added (47 teams).
Mexican teams’ 3 vacated spots + 3 more spots added (in the new First Stage), to make the tournament 47 teams:
∙The 3 spots were determined by adding 1 team each from the 6 countries which did not get an extra spot in the initial tournament-expansion (those 6 countries are: Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela). Those six teams are then matched up into two-legged play-offs (the new First Stage), with the three winners advancing.

Chapecoense jet disaster…
On 28 November 2016, the airplane carrying Brazilian team Chapecoense, to their 2016 Copa Sudamericana Finals match versus Atlético Nacional, crashed into a hillside near Medellín, Colombia, with 71 of the 77 aboard killed, including 19 Chapecoense players (almost the entire Chapcoense 1st team squad died). As it says at the 2016 Copa Sudamericana page at Wikipedia, “The finals have been suspended due to the crash of LaMia Airlines Flight 2933. CONMEBOL immediately suspended all activities, including the scheduled finals matches. In light of these events, Atlético Nacional requested that CONMEBOL award the title to Chapecoense.” Three days later Globo Sports in Brazil reported this, Conmebol will declare Chapecoense champion of the Copa Sudamericana (from globoesporte.globo.com/sc/futebol). So that meant, as Copa Sudamericana title-winners, Chapecoense would qualify for the Group Stage of the 2017 Copa Libertadores.
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Thanks to all at the following links…
-2016 Copa Libertadores/Teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-Copa Libertadores (1960-2016) Club Histories…Copa Libertadores 1960-2016 Club Histories (rsssf.com).
-Argentine titles (professional Argentine titles): http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primera_Divisi%C3%B3n_de_Argentina#Resumen_estad.C3.ADstico_2.
-New logo for tournament, conmebol.com/es/la-conmebol-presento-el-nuevo-logo-de-la-copa-libertadores-de-america.

February 1, 2016

2016 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition; featuring 2015 Copa Libertadores champions River Plate.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 10:19 pm

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2016 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition





Links…
-Video-with-goals of the 2nd leg, 2015 Copa Libertadores Finals…River Plate 3×0 Tigres – Copa Libertadores 2015 – Final (1:36 video uploaded by FootballMania at youtube.com).
-Fixtures…COPA LIBERTADORES [2016/1st Stage].
-Fixtures…COPA LIBERTADORES [2016/2nd Stage/aka Group Stage] (soccerway.com).
-Competition…Copa Libertadores
-Teams…2016 Copa Libertadores/Teams (en.wikipedia.org).

    2016 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition; featuring 2015 Copa Libertadores champions River Plate

By Bill Turianski on 1 February 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
Map…
The map shows the locations of the 38 clubs who have qualified for the 2016 Copa Libertadores. In the profile boxes flanking the map are the clubs, sorted by home-country. The profile boxes show: the club’s name, plus…
1). Their city-location,
2). Their stadia and capacities,
3). Their means of qualifying,
4). Their pro national titles,
5). Their total Copa Libertadores appearances (with their last appearance noted),
6). Their Copa Libertadores titles (with their last title noted).
7). Club crests and current home kits are also included in the profile boxes.

Format of the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores (it is very similar to the format of the UEFA Champions League)…
2016 will be the 57th edition of the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores de América, known in the English-speaking football world as the Copa Libertadores. The competition begins in early February, when the preliminaries [official name: the "First Stage"] whittle down the 12 lowest-seeded teams into 6. {Here are the First Stage match-ups (en.wikipedia.org).}

Those 6 teams which win their Preliminaries/First Stage ties advance to the Group Stage [official name: the "Second Stage"]. Just like the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, the Copa Libertadores “Second Stage” has 32 teams seeded into 8 groups of 4. {Here are the Second Stage groups (en.wikipedia.org).}

The Group Stage/Second Stage begins in mid-February and is a 6-game round-robin format, which runs through to late April. The top 2 in each group (16 teams total) advance to the Knockout Rounds [official name: the "Final Stages"]. The Knockout Rounds/Final Stages begin in early May, and are also seeded, and all are two-legged ties with away-goals rule. The Finals, unlike the UEFA Champions League Final, is also a two-legged match-up, but with no away-goals rule.

River Plate are Cup Holders…
Reigning Copa Libertadores champions are the Argentinian giants River Plate, of Buenos Aires, who, on 5 August 2015, won their third Copa Libertadores title (and their first Copa Libertadores title in 18 years), by beating Tigres de la UANL (of Monterrey, Mexico), by the score of 3-0 aggregate. Note: There is an illustration further below on the 2016 Copa Libertadores 2nd-Leg of the Finals (River Plate 3-0 UANL de Tigres, at Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires, before a full-capacity crowd of 71,000 on 5 Aug.2015).

Qualification…
As to who qualifies for the Copa Libertadores each season (from the 10 South American countries within CONMEBOL), the simple explanations are…
A). The Copa Libertadores winner, aka the Cup Holder [again, currently, River Plate of Buenos Aires], automatically qualifies for the Copa Libertadores the following season.
B). Brazil and Argentina get 5 Copa Libertadores spots each season, while the other 8 South American countries in CONMEBOL get 3 Copa Libertadores spots each.
C). The higher-seeded Copa Libertadores spots are generally awarded thus…a spot or 2 spots goes to the title-winner or title-winners from the previous season…from each of the 10 countries.
D). Plus, usually, a Copa Libertadores spot goes to the country’s second-place-finisher the previous season (and spots go to the 3rd-and-4th-place finishers from the previous season in Brazil).
E). Finally, the third-or-final Copa Libertadores spot in each country usually goes to the national Cup winner there in each country.
F). Argentina has the most complicated qualifying format, featuring one Copa Libetadores spot going to the winner of a post-season-mini-league tournament for 3rd-through-6th-place-league-finishers (that mini-tournament is called the Liguilla Pre-Libertadores). And Argentina, alone of the 10 South American countries in CONMEBOL, rewards their best-finisher-in-the-Copa-Sudamericana with a Copa Libertadores spot the following season (this is brilliant, and it helps keep the Copa Sudamericana relevant in Argentina). [The Copa Sudamericana is South America's less-prestigious/also-rans-competition, it being analogous to UEFA's Europa League.]
G). The Copa Sudamericana winner automatically qualifies for the Copa Libertadores the next season. (Copa Sudamericana.) When that club has not qualified via other means, one of the spots for that club’s country gets bumped over to the Copa Sudamerica winner (usually that spot is the the 3rd-spot/best-non-champions-not-yet-qualified).
Since 2011, none of Mexico’s 3 Copa Libertadores spots go to the league champions, and are awarded in a bat-shit-crazy way…
H). Since 2011, Mexico bizarrely places their champions (from the previous Clausura & Apertura seasons) into the way-less prestigious CONCACAF Champions League, and Mexico places the next-best finishers in the way-more prestigious Copa Libertadores. {See this, Liga MX/CONCACAF Champions League qualification/Copa Libertadores qualification.} I am pretty sure they (the Mexican football authorities) do this so that they have a better chance of having a Mexican team win that tin-pot tournament (which USA-&-Canada-based teams from MLS never win/14 years running), and thus have a Mexican team qualify for another tin-pot tournament, the FIFA Club World Cup. You see, if a Mexican team ever wins a Copa Libertadores title, that club – because it is not part of CONMEBOL – would not be allowed to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup (a tournament which is vastly ignored by European football fans). Mexican football authorities would rather their best clubs qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup – which a Mexican team has never actually won. It is beyond me why anyone, given the option, would want their best teams to play in the lame CONCACAF Champions League, as opposed to the mighty Copa Libertadores. I mean come on – try to find a top-shelf-caliber player who would rather play in the CONCACAF Champions League as opposed to the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores. You will not find one, because the CONCACAF Champions League is bush-league. It would be like trying to find someone who would rather play in the Canadian Football League instead of the NFL. Actually what the Mexican football authorities have done by sending non-champions to fill their Copa Libertadores spots is this…they have tweaked it so that their best teams go play in a tin-pot-tournament (CONCACAF Champions League) in order to then have their best teams then get a better chance of qualifying foranother tin-pot-tournament (the FIFA Club World Cup). Hey Mexico, why are you so driven to win a FIFA Club World Cup title? Because it ain’t much of a title. Elite European football clubs give a rat’s ass about that stupid tournament, and so do most fans of European club football. You (Mexico) should be trying to get your best clubs on track to finally win your first-ever Copa Libertadores title. Because Mexican clubs are getting closer to winning a first Copa Libertadores title, but meanwhile, by not sending their top three clubs, the Mexican football authorities are undermining their competitiveness in the competition. Mexican clubs have made it to the Copa Libertadores Finals three times…in 2001, with Cruz Azul losing to Boca Juniors 1-1 aggregate on penalties; in 2010, with Guadalajara losing to Internacional 5-3 aggregate; and last year in 2015, with Tigres de UANL losing to River Plate 3-0 aggregate. It stands to reason that the top Mexican teams would have fared better than the also-rans. Sheesh. Talk about misplaced priorities. Mexican pro futbol is cheapening their brand by sending their also-rans to the Copa Libertadores. Because the Copa Libertadores is, hands down, not only the pinnacle of professional football competitions in South America, it is the greatest football competition in all of the Western Hemisphere.

    2015 Copa Libertadores champions: CA River Plate.

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Photo credits above – Lucas Alario celebrates his goal, photo by Amilcar Orfali/STR at gettyimages.com. Carlos Sanchez penalty kick goal, photo by Gabriel Rossi/STF at gettyimages.com. Funes Mori celebrating goal, photo by AFP/Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo celebrates with players, photo by Gabriel Rossi/STF at gettyimages.de. Screenshot of video, River Plate Champions of the Copa Libertadores 2015 River plate vs Tigres 3-0 (05/08/2015) (uploaded by ChrisRon 7 at youtube.com). Photo of River players celebrating with trophy, photo by Reuters via telesurtv.net.
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Thanks to all at the following links…
2016 Copa Libertadores/Teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-Copa Libertadores (1960-2015) Club Histories…Copa Libertadores 1960-2015 Club Histories (rsssf.com).

March 2, 2015

2015 Copa Libertadores qualified teams: titles & all-time appearances chart for the 2015 competition.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 8:58 pm

The 2015 Copa Libertadores is in the group-stage round (8 groups of 4) .
-Here are a couple of links…
2015 Copa Libertadores Group Stage (misleadingly called the ‘Second Stage’): match-ups here (en.wikipedia.org); and also here (soccerway.com).




The following link directs you to my map of the 2015 Copa Libertadores (which I posted in January), http://billsportsmaps.com/?p=29484.

Below is the all-time Copa Libertadores appearances chart for 2015 qualified teams (with titles listed). To read the chart easier, you can click on the image below to place it in a separate page…

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Thanks to RSSSF – I used this list for all-time Copa Libertadores appearances for each club, ‘Copa Libertadores 1960-2014 Club Histories’ at rsssf.com .

January 26, 2015

2015 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition; featuring 2014 Copa Libertadores champions San Lorenzo.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 7:04 pm

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2015 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition





The preliminary round of the 2015 Copa Libertadores starts on 3rd through 5th February 2015, with second legs on 10th through 12 Feb. The group-stage round (8 groups of 4/see second link below), starts on 17th and 18th February 2015.
-Here are a couple of links to see all the match-ups in the first two rounds…
2015 Copa Libertadores Preliminaries (misleadingly called the ‘First Stage’): match-ups here (en.wikipedia.org).
2015 Copa Libertadores Group Stage (misleadingly called the ‘Second Stage’): match-ups here (en.wikipedia.org); and also here (soccerway.com).

    2014 Copa Libertadores Champions & Holders – San Lorenzo, of Buenos Aires (their first Copa Libertadores title)

San Lorenzo -a club in exile…
CA San Lorenzo (Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro). Established 1908 in the Almagro district of Buenos Aires, Argentina (which was just west of the then-city-limits of Buenos Aires, and is a few kilometers north of present-day Boedo barrio [Boedo being the former and still-spiritual-home of the club]). First match: 26 April 1914. First match in Primera División [amateur era]: 4 May 1915. First match at Estadio Gasómetro in Boedo barrio (which in the preset-day is situated in Buenos Aires Federal District): 7 May 1917. The club played at the Estadio Gasómetro from 1917 to 1979. They lost ownership of the stadium in 1979, when the military junta in charge forced the club to sell the stadium, for about one-eighth of the value of the parcel (in other words, the club was robbed by the fascist regime back then). CA San Lorenzo became homeless for 14 seasons (playing at the stadiums of Huracán, Vélez Sarsfield, and CA Atlanta). The original Gasómetro was demolished and a supermarket was built there. In 1993, San Lorenzo moved into a new stadium, the Nuevo Gasómetro, but in the barrio of Flores (about 7 km or 4 mi south-west of Boedo). San Lorenzo hope to someday move back to Boedo.
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Pope Francis and his club, San Lorenzo
Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio), is a card-carrying member of Buenos Aires-based San Lorenzo, having paid his dues annually since 2008, even renewing them in 2011 after his election as pope. [See his card below.] As it says in an article by Joel Richards at the Soccer Gods blog, {excerpt}…”As a youngster, Cardinal Bergoglio of Buenos Aires attended every single [match] during the club’s 1946 championship winning season. His father played for San Lorenzo, albeit at basketball, and as Cardinal he blessed the club chapel that was paid for by another famous supporter, actor Viggo Mortensen.”…{excerpt from Remembering 2014: When San Lorenzo became more than “the Pope’s club” at soccergods.com}.
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Photo credits above -
Satellite view of El Gasometro, unattributed at portal-argento.com.ar/estadios-primera-division.
Curva at El Gasometro in 2009, photo by Lee Barrett stuartnoel.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/san-lorenzo-4.jpg at A South American fiesta of football (theballisround.co.uk).
Unattributed at circuitox.com/el-coco-basile-y-su-episodio-con-el-papa-francisco.
Photo of commemorative 2013 San Lorenzo jersey featuring photo of Pope Francis, photo by San Lorenzo de Almagro via worldcrunch.com.

CA San Lorenzo are finally Copa Libertadores champions in 2014, and are the 8th Argentine side to win a Copa Libertadores title…
From ESPN FC.com, from 13 Aug. 2014, by Tim Vickery, San Lorenzo capture first Copa title.

San Lorenzo had been the only one of the Big 5 in Argentina without a Copa Libertadores title. They finally won South America’s biggest prize by defeating Paraguay’s Nacional 2-1 aggregate (on 6 & 13 Aug. 2014). The trophy was won under the leadership of Rosario-born Edgardo Bauza (who had made history, 6 years previously in 2008, by leading LDU Quito to Ecuador’s first Copa Libertadores title/ see captions below).

san-lorenzo_2014-copa-libertadores-champions_edgardo-bauza_nestor-ortigoza_e_.gif
Photo credits above -
Edgardo Bauza, screenshot of video image from ESPN Deportes at espndeportes.com/videohub/video/clipDeportes?id=2132326. Edgardo Bauza, photo by Fernando Romero/ABC Color at abc.com.py/deportes/futbol/san-lorenzo-con-equipo-confirmado.
Nestor Ortigoza, photo by Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press at utsandiego.com/news/2014/aug/13/san-lorenzo-wins-copa-libertadores-for-1st-time.
San Lorenzo squad celebrating at the ceremonial platform, photo by Kamen/PikoPress/REX at theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/aug/14/san-lorenzo-copa-libertadores.

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Thanks to FootieMap.com, for finding stadium-locations of various clubs who have qualified for the 2015 Copa Libertadores, such as http://www.footiemap.com/?co=ecuador .
Thanks to RSSSF – I used this list for all-time Copa Libertadores appearances for each club, ‘Copa Libertadores 1960-2014 Club Histories’ at rsssf.com .

Blank map used for the post – Thanks to selfmade, for uploading a cropped section of this map (adapted from Brianski’s File:BlankMap-World3.svg by Canuckguy and originally based on CIA’s political world map) , to make the following: File:Latin America – First level political divisions.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Thanks to this article about alleged bribe-takers, at BBC World service, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11841783.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2015 Copa Libertadores‘.

Thanks to the following…Photo credit on map page (San Lorenzo 2014 Copa Libertadoes champions), photo by AP at deportes.starmedia.com/futbol/libertadores/resultado-partido-san-lorenzo-vs-nacional-por-final-copa-libertadores-2014.html.

January 26, 2014

2014 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition./ Plus chart of the qualified teams: all-time Copa Libertadores appearances, with titles listed./ Plus illustration of Atlético Mineiro, 2013 Copa Libertadores champions.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 4:16 pm

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2014 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition

.

COPA LIBERTADORES [fixtures, results, tables]‘ (soccerway.com).

The competition, run by CONMEBOL, features qualifying clubs from the 10 South American nations under CONMEBOL’s jurisdiction, plus, since 1998, clubs from Mexico (despite the fact that Mexican football is under the jurisdiction of CONCACAF). 9 of the 11 countries involved are allotted 3 qualifying spots, while Argentina and Brazil get 5 spots. The Holder – Atlético Mineiro (of Belo Horizonte, Brazil) – gets an automatic spot, so Brazil has 6 spots in the 2014 Copa Libertadores. The football associations of each country involved have different criteria for awarding their Copa Libertadores spots, and you can see those details here {‘Copa Libertadores/Format/Qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org)}. In general terms, with three exceptions, each country’s most recent champion or champions will qualify, plus the best-placed non-champions. The three exceptions are Brazil and Argentina (see next paragraph) and also Mexico, which, since 2011, treats the Copa Libertadores as its second-tier international competition (with the CONCACAF Champions League treated as Mexico’s first-tier international competition. This is either illogical on the FMF’s part, or unfortunate (if the FMF is being forced to do this by CONCACAF), because there is no fútbol fan on Earth who considers the CONCACAF Champions League title to be a more prestigious title than the much-coveted Copa Libertadores title {note: see comments #3 and #4 in the Comments section at the end of this post, for further discussion on this sub-topic}.

In Brazil’s case, their 5 qualifiers are first place through 4th place in the previous year’s Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Cruzeiro were champions in 2013, Grêmio qualified as 2nd place finishers, Atlético Paranaense qualified as 3rd place finishers, and Botofogo qualified as 4th place finishers), plus the current Copa do Brasil holders (Flamengo were the Brazilian Cup winners in 2013). In Argentina’s case, their 5 qualifying spots are pretty complicated. First off, a new spot has been created, with it going to the winner of the newly-instituted Super Final, which was won in June 2013 by Vélez Sarsfield (who were 2012 Inicial champions), over Newell’s Old Boys (who were the 2013 Final champions), by a score of 1-0 in Mendoza in the northwest of the country on 29 June 2013. Two of Argentina’s spots still go to the previous two half-season winners…the 2013 Final champions (Newell’s Old Boys won it in May, 2013), and the 2013 Inicial champions (San Lorenzo won it in December, 2013). The 4th Argentine spot goes to the relatively-recently-introduced Copa Argentina (founded in 1969, scrapped after 1970, and re-introduced in 2011-12), which was won for 2012-13 by Arsenal di Sarandi. Finally, since 2010, the 5th Argentine spot goes to the Argentine team with the best Copa Sudamericana finish. Lanús qualified this way. Lanús won the 2013 Copa Sudamericana, by beating Brazilian side Ponte Preta by the score of 3-1 aggregate in December 2013. (The Copa Sudamericana is analogous to the UEFA Europa League tournament in Europe, and features clubs who won national cups or who placed in the 2nd-to-14th-place range in their respective leagues.).

    Below: 2014 Copa Libertadores clubs – All-time tournament appearances by club, with Copa Libertadores titles listed

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    Below, 2013 Copa Libertadores Finals (17 & 24 July 2013).

-1st Leg in Asunción, Paraguay: Olimpia 2-0 Atlético Mineiro.
-2nd Leg in Belo Horizonte, Brazil: Atletico Mineiro 2-0 Olimpia.
-Aggregate score: Atlético Mineiro (Brazil) 2-2 Olimpia (Paraguay) AET / Atlético Miniero wins 4-3 on penalties.

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Photo credits above -
Ronaldinho during 2nd leg of final v Olimpia, photo by AFP/Evaristo SA via talkvietnam.com/2013/07/copa-glory-for-atletico-and-ronaldinho
The two teams lined up to await the results of the penalty kicks, photo by Ricardo Matsulawa via esportes.terra.com.br.
The Galo squad congratulating their goalkeeper Victor, photo from espnfc.com.
Photo of Galo trophy celebration from peru.com/futbol/internacional/copa-libertadores-2013-atletico-mineiro-vs-olimpia-disputan-final-noticia.

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Thanks to CAM official site, photo of Galo players with trophy (on map page) from http://www.atletico.com.br/site/.
Thanks to FootieMap.com, for finding stadium-locations of various clubs, such as footiemap.com/chile.
Thanks to RSSSF – I used this list for all-time Copa Libertadores appearances chart, ‘Copa Libertadores 1960-2013 Club Histories’ at rsssf.com .
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2014 Copa Libertadores‘.

January 19, 2013

2013 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 12:57 pm

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2013 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition


‘COPA LIBERTADORES [fixtures, results, tables]‘ (soccerway.com).

From SabotageTimes.com, from 8 Feb.2013, by Mauricio Savarese, ‘Copa Libertadores: A Guide To The World’s Roughest Football Tournament‘.


The 2013 Copa Libertadores (for sponsoship reasons called the 2013 Copa Bridgestone Libertadores de América ) will be the 54th tournament of the Copa Libertadores.

The competition, run by CONMEBOL, features qualifying clubs from the 10 South American nations under CONMEBOL’s jurisdiction, plus, since 1998, clubs from Mexico (despite the fact that Mexican football is under the jurisdiction of CONCACAF). 9 of the 11 countries involved are allotted 3 qualifying spots, while Argentina and Brazil get 5 spots. The Holder – SC Corinthians gets an automatic spot, so Brazil has 6 spots in this tournament. The football associations of each country involved have different criteria for awarding their Copa Libertadores spots, and you can see those details here {‘Copa Libertadores/Format/Qualification’ (en.wikipedia.org)}. In general terms, each country’s most recent champion or champions will qualify, plus the best-placed non-champions – with the exception of Mexico, which, since 2011, treats the Copa Libertadores as its second-tier international competition (with the CONCACAF Champions League treated as Mexico’s first-tier international competition [which is illogical on the FMF's part, because there is no fútbol fan on Earth who considers the CONCACAF Champions League title to be a more prestigious title than the much-coveted Copa Libertadores title]).

In Brazil’s case, the 5 qualifiers are first place through 4th place in the previous year’s Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Fluminense were champions in 2012), plus the current Copa do Brasil winner (Palmeiras were the Brazilian cup winners in 2012). In Argentina’s case, the qualifiers are the previous year’s Clausura [now called Final] champion (Arsenal de Sarandi won it in May, 2012), the previous year’s Apertura [now called Inicial] champion (Vélez Sarsfield won it in December, 2012), and the next best-placed non-qualifiers via aggregate of the previous Clausura [Final] season and Apertura [Incial] season (Newell’s Old Boys and Boca Juniors qualified this way); plus the Copa Sudamericana spot. Tigre qualified this way, as best performance [as a finalist, losing to São Paulo] in the 2012 Copa Sudamericana by an Argentine club not already qualified. [Since 2010, the Argentine Football Association has had the winner, or best-placed non-qualified Argentine team, from the Copa Sudamericana also get into the next year's Copa Libertadores, as the 5th-seeded Argentine team. The Copa Sudamericana is analogous to the UEFA Europa League tournament in Europe, and features clubs who won national cups or who placed in the 2nd-to-14th-place range in their respective leagues.]

The current Copa Libertadores format, which has been in place since 2005, has 38 teams in it. But 12 of those teams must play in a preliminary round (involving a two-legged tie), called the First Stage, in order to get to the 32-team group stage, which is called the Second Stage. The Second Stage is comprised of 8 groups of 4, and the top 2 in each group advance to the Round of 16.

Elements of the map page -
On the map page, a list of the match-ups for the First Stage (aka preliminary round) is just below the top banner, at the upper right-hand corner. Or you can see the matchups at this link…’2013 Copa Libertadores/First Stage‘.

The map page features a location-map of the 38 clubs, and profile boxes for the clubs arranged by country. Each club’s profile box features…the club’s crest and home kit; their stadium(s) and location; how the club qualified for the tournament; the club’s total national professional titles (and the year of their most recent title); the club’s total Copa Libertadores appearances (and how the club fared in their most recent Copa Libertadores appearanace); and the club’s Copa Libertadores titles (and the year of most recent title).

I added one new feature to the map this year – for every metro-area which has more than one team in the competition, I have inserted a small tan box denoting that. Greater Buenos Aires is the metro-area with the most clubs in the 2013 Copa Libertadores- 4 clubs (Tigre, Vélez Sarsfield, Boca Juniors, and Arsenal).


Consecutive tournament appearances by club
Fifteen clubs from the 2012 tournament return to the 2013 Copa Libertadores, including reigning champions SC Corinthians of São Paulo, Brazil. The 15 back for a second-straight Copa Libertadores appearance are…
41st appearance, Peñarol (Uruguay).
40th appearance, Club Nacional (Uruguay).
37th appearance, Olimpa (Paraguay).
28th appearance, Bolívar (Bolivia).
22nd appearance, Emelec (Ecuador).
19th appearance, The Strongest (Bolivia).
18th appearance, Universidad de Chile (Chile).
15th appearance, Caracas (Venezuela).
14th appearance, Liberad (Paraguay).
13th appearance, Defensor Sporting (Uruguay).
13th appearance, Vélez Sarsfield (Argentina).
12th appearance, Corinthians (Brazil) – Cup Holder.
12th appearance, Libertad (Paraguay).
6th appearance, Fluminense (Brazil).
3rd appearance, Arsenal [de Sarandí] (Argentina).
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There are 9 clubs which will be making their 3rd consecutive appearance in the Copa Libertadores (2011, 2012, and 2013) –
Peñarol (URU).
Nacional (URU).
Bolívar (BOL).
Emelec (ECU).
Caracas (VEN).
Libertad (PAR).
Vélez Sarsfield (ARG).
Corinthians (BRA).
Fluminense (BRA).
.
There are 7 clubs which will be making their 4th consecutive appearance in the Copa Libertadores (2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013) –
Nacional (URU).
Bolívar (BOL).
Emelec (ECU).
Caracas (VEN).
Libertad (PAR).
Vélez Sarsfield (ARG).
Corinthians (BRA).
.
There are 3 clubs which will be making their 5th consecutive appearance in the Copa Libertadores (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013) –
Nacional (URU).
Caracas (VEN).
Libertad (PAR).
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There are two clubs which will be continuing their Copa Libertadores consecutive-appearances streak past 5 straight appearances. Actually, these 2 clubs have made it to the Copa Libertadores a lot more than 5 straight times – Caracas of Venezuela have made it now 10 straight times (from 2004 to 2013, with their best finish in 2009, when Caracas made it to the Quartefinals and lost to Grêmio on the away-goals-rule 2-2).

Club Nacional de Football, Montevideo, Uruguay -
17 consecutive Copa Libertadores appearances (Nacional has qualified for every tournament from the 1997 Copa Libertadores to the 2013 Copa Libertadores)
club-nacional_montevideo_gran-parque-central_17-straight-copa-libertadores-appearances_b.gif
Photo credit above – Badano24 at flickr.com.

And then there is Club Nacional de Football of Montevideo, Uruguay. Nacional will be making their 17th consecutive Copa Libertadores appearance in 2013. Nacional of course are one of the Big 2 in Uruguay (along with Peñarol). Nacional have won the Copa Libertadores title 3 times, but have not done so for 25 years now (Nacional’s 3 Copa Libertadores titles were won in 1971, 1980, and 1988). The best finish Nacional has had in their current Copa Libertadores-appearances-streak is in 2009, when they made it to the Semifinals (losing 6-0 to eventual 2009 Copa Libertadores champions Estudiantes [of La Plata, Argentina]).
{‘1997 Copa Libertadores‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
2009 Copa Libertadores‘ (en.wikipedia.org). }

    2013 Copa Libertadores appearances chart with titles listed for the 38 clubs in the 2013 tournament

Below is a chart I put together that shows all 38 clubs in the 2013 Copa Libertadores, placed in order of all-time appearances; along with titles and date of last title listed.
2013_copa-libertadores_qualified-teams_all-time_appearances-list_w-titles_13x.gif

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Thanks to FootieMap.com, for finding stadium-locations of various clubs, http://www.footiemap.com/.
Thanks to RSSSF – I used this list for all-time Copa Libertadores appearances chart, ‘Copa Libertadores 1960-2010 Club Histories’ at rsssf.com .
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2013 Copa Libertadores‘.

February 5, 2012

2012 Copa Libertadores, Second Stage (32 teams) – featuring the Cup Holders, Santos FC of Brazil; and 2011 South American Footballer of the Year: Neymar.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 11:12 pm

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2012 Copa Libertadores Second Stage map (32 teams/group stage)


After the First Stage has eliminated 6 of the 12 clubs involved in that preliminary round, the 2012 Copa Libertadores Second Stage now begins, with 32 teams in eight groups of four (playing the other teams in the group home and away, for a total of 6 games each). Group winners and 2nd place finishers in each group advance to the Round of 16. On the map page, at the upper right-hand corner, the 8 groups are listed, with each club’s national flag shown. Second Stage matches begin on 7 February, 2012, and will go on until 19 April, 2012 – group standings and fixtures and results can be seen at the following link – ‘2012 Copa Libertadores Second Stage‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Here is Copa Libertadores – Standings, Fixtures, and Results (soccerway.com).

From Mirror Football.co.uk, from 4 February 2012, by Euan Marshall, ‘Can Neymar emulate Pele and help Santos retain the Copa Libertadores?’.

Port of Santos, Brazil…
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Photo credit above – seastarpandi.com/ports.

….

Santos Futebol Clube. Estádio Urbano Caldeira [aka Vila Belmiro], in the Vila Belmiro neighborhood of Santos, São Pauloi State, Brazil.
Honors:
19 Campeonato Paulista titles (last in 2010 and 2011).
1 Copa do Brasil Title (2010).
8 Campeonato Série A Titles (last in 2004).
3 Copa Libertadores Titles (last in 2011).
santos-fc_estadio-urbano-caldeira_vila-belmiro_e.gif
Photo credits for above – Photo of Estádio Urbano Caldeira (aka Vila Belmiro) from lancenet.com.br. Aerial photo from santos.sp.gov.br.

2011 Copa Libertadores Finals, 1st Leg, Peñarol 0-0 Santos / 2nd Leg, Santos 2-1 Peñarol (Santos win 2-1 on aggregate).
santos-fc_2011-copa-libertadores_champions_neymar_elano_danilo_e.gif
Photo credits above – Rodolfo Buhrer/Getty Images Europe via goal.blog.nytimes.com. santosfc.com.b, via goal.com. Getty Images via uefa.com. whoateallthepies.tv. soccerphotosbase.com.

Neymar…
Neymar turned 20 years old on 5 February, 2012. Neymar was born Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, on 5 February, 1992, in the suburban city of Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo State. Mogi das Cruges, with a population of around 341,000 (2010 figure}, is 40 km. (24 miles) east of the city of São Paulo and 40km. north of the city of Santos. Neymar is a Brazil International, and is often in the starting line-up these days, with 15 appearances and 8 goals [inclusive to Feb.2012]. A Santos FC youth team player from the age of 11, Neymar’s first-team debut for Santos FC was at the age of 17, in March 2009. In league games, Neymar has scored 40 goals in 85 appearances, all as a teenager. Neymar led Santos to the 2010 Copa do Brasil title. He led Santos to the 2011 Copa Libertadores title, scoring 6 goals in 13 games including the go-ahead goal in the 2nd leg of the final versus Peñarol (of Uruguay), in São Paulo on 22 July 2011 at Estádio do Pacembu. This was Santos FC’s third Copa Libertadores title and the club’s first since back-to-back Copa Libertadores titles in 1962 and 1963. It is expected that Neymar will soon sign with a European giant like FC Barcelona. It is also expected (by millions of Brazilians) that Neymar will figure prominently in the Brazil squad in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Neymar was voted South American Footballer of the Year (2011), by the newspaper El Pais, of Uruguay.

From ESPN Soccernet, from 4 January 2012, by Sam Kelly, ‘South America’s new king‘.

neymar_brazil_santos-fc_s.gif
Photo credits for above – Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Youtube.com video uploaded by 666FinalGoal1. Official Neymar site/Multimídia.

Highlight videos,

youtube.com, ‘Santos – Peñarol 2-1 Final Copa Libertadores 2011‘ [5:46 video, with full highlights of 2nd Leg of 2011 Copa Libertadores final, Santos 2-1 Peñarol, w/ goals at 0:10 of video, Neymar goal in 47th minute (Santos 1-0 Peñarol)); at 1:50 of video, Danilo goal in the 69th minute (Santos 2-0 Peãrol); at 3:15 of video, Santos own goal (Santos 2-1 Peñarol); at 5:29 of video the now-traditional-post-match-fight breaks out between Santos and Peñarol players.] (video uploaded by mRgab90).

youtube.com, ‘Neymar Amazing Goal – Santos FC Vs Flamengo 4 x 5 – 27/07/2011 Santos 4-5‘ [note, nutmeg at top of penalty circle shown again at 0:45 of video] (1:27 video uploaded by InsaneDubstepUK).

youtube.com, ‘Neymar – Goals & Skills 2011/2012‘ (4:06 video uploaded by EzzeKriz).
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2012 Copa Libertadores‘.
Thanks to this site – enbsports.blogspot.com for 2011 Copa Libertadores player statistics.

January 19, 2012

2012 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 5:00 pm

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2012 Copa Libertadores


Copa Libertadores – scores, schedule, and standings (ESPN Soccernet).
First Stage – 2012 Copa Libertadores preliminary round matches begin on 24 and 25 January; second-leg matches from 31 Jan. to 2 Feb.
The 32-team Second Stage – The 8 4-team groups begin their 6-games-per-team schedules on 8 February, ‘2012 Copa Libertadores/schedule’ (en.wikipedia.org).

The 2012 Copa Libertadotes is the 53rd edition of South America’s most prestigious professional football competition. 2011 winners were Santos FC of Brazil, who, led by the young footballing wizard Neymar, defeated Peñarol (of Uruguay) 2-1 in aggregate to claim their third Copa Libertadores title, and the club’s first since 1963, when the club featured Pelé.

The competetion, run by CONMEBOL, features qualifying clubs from the 10 South American nations under CONMEBOL’s jurisdiction, plus, since 1998, clubs from Mexico (despite the fact that Mexican football is under the jurisdiction of CONCACAF). 9 of the 11 countries involved are allotted 3 qualifying spots, while Argentina and Brazil get 5 spots. The Holder gets an automatic spot, so Brazil has 6 spots in this tournament. The football associations of each country involved have different criteria for awarding their Copa Libertadores spots, and you can see those details here {‘Copa Libertadores/Format/Qualification’ (en.wikipedia.org)}. In general terms, each country’s most recent champion or champions will qualify, plus the best-placed non-champions. In Brazil’s case, the 5 qualifiers are first place through 4th place in the previous year’s Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Corinthians were champions in 2011), plus the current Copa do Brasil winner (Vasco da Gama were the cup winners in 2011). In Argentina’s case, the qualifiers are the previous year’s Clausura champion (Vélez Sarsfield won it in May, 2011), the previous year’s Apertura champion (Boca Juniors won it in December, 2011), and the next best-placed non-qualifiers via aggregate of the previous Clausura season and Apertura season (Lanús and Godoy Cruz qualified this way); plus the Copa Sudamericana spot. Arsenal de Sarandí qualified this way, as best performance [Semifinalist] in the 2011 Copa Sudamericana not already qualified. Since 2010, the Argentine Football Association has had the winner, or best-placed non-qualified Argentine team, from the Copa Sudamericana also get into the next year’s Copa Libertadores, as the 5th-seeded Argentine team. [The Copa Sudamericana is analogous to the UEFA Europa League tournament in Europe, and features clubs who won national cups or who placed in the 2nd-to-14th-place range in their respective leagues].

The current format, which has been in place since 2005, has 38 teams in it, but 12 of those teams must play in a preliminary round (involving a two-legged tie), called the First Stage, in order to get to the 32-team group stage, which is called the Second Stage. The Second Stage is comprised of 8 groups of 4, and the top 2 in each group advances to the Round of 16.

On the map page, a list of the match-ups for the First Stage (aka preliminary round) is just below the top banner, at the upper right-hand corner. Or you can see the matchups at this link…’2012 Copa Libertadores/First Stage‘.

The map page features a location-map of the 38 clubs, and profiles boxes for the clubs arranged by country. Each club’s profile box features…the club’s crest and home kit; their stadium(s) and location; how the club qualified for the tournament; the club’s total national professional titles (and the year of their most recent title); the club’s total Copa Libertadores appearances (and how the club fared in their most recent Copa Libertadores appearanace); and the club’s Copa Libertadores titles (and the year of most recent title).

After the First Stage is completed, I will post another map of the 32-team Second Stage.


Records and statistics of the Copa Libertadores/by club‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Below is a chart I put together which lists the 38 qualified clubs by all-time Copa Liberrtadores appearances. Copa Libertadores titles are listed at the far left.
(You can click on the image below to get the chart on a separate page.)
2012-copa-libertadores_qualified-teams_list-of-all-time_titles_appearances_e.gif

Thanks to FootieMap.com, for finding stadium-locations of various clubs, http://www.footiemap.com/.
Thanks to RSSSF – I used this list for all-time Copa Libertadores appearances chart, ‘Copa Libertadores 1960-2010 Club Histories’ at rsssf.com .
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2012 Copa Libertadores‘.

April 24, 2011

2011 Copa Libertadores, Round of 16.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 5:01 pm

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2011 Copa Libertadores, Round of 16

Round of 16/1st Leg matches are scheduled for 26th April to 28th April. 2nd Leg matches are set for the following week, from 3rd May to 5th May.
2011 Copa Libertadores Round of 16 Bracket [and match-ups]‘ (en.wikipedia.org)

For Argentina, 3 of it’s 5 teams in the group phase have been eliminated. Compare this to Brazil, where all 5 of it’s teams in the group phase have advanced – and none play each other in the Round of 16. This means there is a chance for 5 of the 8 teams in the Quarterfinals to be from Brazil.

The clubs that qualified for the Round of 16 are…
5 teams from Brazil (Cruzeiro, Fluminense, Gremio, Internacional, Santos). 2 teams from Argentina (Estudiantes, Vélez Sarsfield). 2 teams from Colombia (Junior [Baranquilla], Once Caldas). 2 teams from Mexico (Club América, Jaguares de Chiapas). 2 teams from Paraguay (Cerro Porteño, Club Libertad). 1 team from Chile (Universidad Católica). 1 team from Ecuador (LDU Quito). 1 team from Uruguay (Peñarol).

Here are the leading scorers after the 2011 Copa Libertadores Second Stage (after 6 games played by all the teams of the players below, with the exception of Roberto Nanni of Cerro Porteño – Cerro Porteño has played 8 games in the competition so far, because they had to play in the First Stage [Nanni scored 2 goals in Cerro's 2 First Stage matches]. Listed are the players’ number of goals scored, their home country, and their club.
Note: click on images below to see them in a separate, enlargeable page.
copa-libertadores2011_leading-scorers-after-2nd-stage_top8_d.gif
Photo credits -
Roberto Nanni photo: clubcerro.mforos.com/. Wallyson photo: correiodeuberlandia.com.br/. Franco Niell photo: sports.yahoo.com/soccer/gallery/. Esteban Paredes photo: fifa.com . Nicolás Pavlovich photo:golazatropical.com . Lucas Pratto photo: cooperativa.cl . Wason Renteria photo from AP Photo, via indiatimes.com. Thiago Ribeiro photo: football.easybranches.com .

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011 Copa Libertadores‘.
Thanks to Tim Vickery. Tim Vickery’s blog at BBC.co.uk.

February 8, 2011

2011 Copa Libertadores, Second Stage – 32 clubs, including Cup Holder SC Internacional and 2011 South American Footballer of the Year: Andrés d’Alessandro.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 8:30 am

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2011 Copa Libertadores Second Stage


The 6 losing clubs from the First Stage are gone, among them Corinthians, which makes them the first Brazilian club to be eliminated in the First Stage (this is the seventh year that a preliminary-round/first stage has existed). Corinthians, whose squad included the fading Ronaldo, failed to score in either leg against Deportes Tolima, a club making their fifth appearance in the tournament and with just one Colombian title to their name (in 2003-II). Corinthians lost 2-0 in Ibagué, Colombia on 2nd February – video highlights of Deportes Tolima 2-0 Corinthians, here (LUFCloaded.com}.

For the Second Stage, the 32 clubs have been split into 8 groups of 4.
Matches for the 2nd stage begin on 9 February. Clubs play the other 3 clubs in their group home and away (6 matches). Each club’s matches are scheduled every 2-3 weeks until 20th April. Clubs that finish in first and second place in the 8 groups advance to the Round of 16.
Groups for Second Stage of 2011 Copa Libertadores, with tables, fixtures, results (Soccerway.com).
2011 Copa Libertadores Second Stage‘, at en.wikipedia.org.

It wouldn’t be a proper international football competition without a ‘group of death’, and in the 2011Copa Libertadores Second Stage, that would be Group 3, which is comprised of… Argentinos Juniors (Argentina’s 2010 Clausura champions), Nacional (the Uruguayan giants who are 3-time Copa Libertadores champs, and were Quarterfinalists in the 2009 Copa Libertadores), Fluminense (the 2010 Brazilian champions, who were 2008 Copa Libertadores finalists), and Club América (the massively-supported Mexican giants, who truth be told, have not won a thing in the last 6 seasons). The first two matches in this group are on 9 February, with Fluminense v. Argentinos Juniors at Engenhão in Rio de Janeiro; and on 15 February, with América v. Nacional at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
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    2010 Copa Libertadores champion – SC Internacional, and Andrés D’Alessandro – 2010 South American Footballer of the Year

Andrés D’Alessandro emerged as the chief catalyst for Internacional’s successful 2010 Copa Libertadores campaign. The attacking left-footed midfielder, who was born in Buenos Aires in 1981, began his career with River Plate, where he scored 31 goals in 80 games from 1998-2003, including this one v. Gimnasia La Plata at River Plate’s El Monumental {Youtube, video by Riverplatecom, here}. D’Alessandro earned his first international cap with Argentina in 2002, and he was a part of the Argentina team’s winning of the gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens (scoring 1 goal in 6 games). Before that, though, his pro career saw him off to Europe with a then-club-record transfer of 9 million Euros – to Germany’s Wolfsburg. After two and a half seasons there, D’Alessandro went on loan in January 2006 to then-bottom-of-the-table Premier League club Portsmouth, where he played a crucial role in helping Portsmouth avoid relegation that year. He scored 4 goals in 13 games for Pompey, and his dead-ball skills, dibbling prowess, and playmaking abilities led to several other goals, and contributed to the South Coast side’s general improvement in form. From Daily Mail.co.uk, from 11 Jan., 2011, by Emma Reynolds, ‘The Friday Five: Loan stars who hit the heights in the Premier League‘.
Fom Youtube, video by passionargentina, goal by Andrés D’Alessandro, Charlton v. Portsmouth, 2006.

However, then-Portsmouth-manager Harry Redknapp was unable to secure a full-time deal, with D’Alessandro opting to realize his long-held desire to play in La Liga. So the Argentine moved on to the Spanish Cup-specialist club Real Zaragoza in 2006-07. It did not work out well there, as D’Alessandro clashed with management, despite putting up solid numbers for a midfielder, with 15 goals in 36 games. So he returned back home to Argentina in 2008 to be reunited with his former River Plate manager Ramón Diaz at San Lorenzo. He was part of San Lorenzo’s strong run in the 2008 Copa Libertadores, where the club made it to the Quarterfinals. However, as per the extreme fluidity of managerial shifts in South America, Diaz left soon after, to join Mexican giants Club América, and soon after that, D’Alessandro also sought greener pastures…to Sport Club Internacional, from Brazil’s southernmost metropolis of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul state.

In 2009, with D’Alessandro controlling the midfield, Internacional just missed out on winning the Brazilian title, finishing in 2nd place, 2 points behind Flamengo. But the important thing was that Inter, after three years out, qualified for the following year’s Copa Libertadores. At that point in time, SC Internacional had only made it to South America’s most prestigious competition 7 times, but when they were there, the Colorados (the Reds) had made the most of it, winning the 2006 Copa Libertadores title by beating fellow Brazilian club São Paulo on 4-1 aggregate. Furthermore, in 3 of the other 6 times Internacional had qualified for the Copa Libertadores, the club had made it either to the Semifinals (in 1977 and 1989), or to the Finals (in 1980, when they lost to Nacional of Uruguay by 1-0 aggregate).

The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa forced the 2010 Copa Libertadores to be interrupted during the month of June, with resumption, at the Semifinal stage, in late July. In the interim, SC Internacional had sacked coach Jorge Fossati because of poor results in the Brazilian league. Internacional had started the 2010 Campeonato Serie A season in May with 4 straight losses, and a day after the fourth loss, Fossati was gone. So the 2010 Copa Libertadores reconvened with one of the 4 remaining teams having a new man at the helm. Internacional’s new manager was the extremely well-traveled 54 year old Rio Grande do Sul native Celso Roth. Besides stints as Indonesia and Qatar national coach, Roth had managed Internacional on three separate occasions (1993-1994, 1996-1998, and 2002); local rivals Grêmio three times; as well as 2 stints at Vasco da Gama; two stints at Atlético Miniero; and stints at Vitória; Sport Recife; Palmeiras; Santos; Goiás; Flamengo; and Botofogo. Notably absent from the nomadic Celso Roth’s CV, however, was a major title. That was about to change.

Internacional, to be honest, had never looked dominant in the latter stages of their 2010 Copa Libertadores title run, relying on the away-goals rule to advance in the Round of 16 (advancing by 3-3 aggregate over Argentina’s Banfield); in the Quarterfinals (advancing by 2-2 aggregate over Argentina’s Estudiantes – who were the Cup Holder); and in the Semifinals (advancing by 2-2 aggregate over São Paulo). In fact, Internacional just barely made it out of the Group Stage, only clinching advancement in the final group match, in Ecuador, versus 2008 Copa Libertadores champions LDU Quito. Besides D’Alessandro, there were several players who were instrumental in Internacional’s Copa libertadores title run… one was Anderzinho (who was player of the week in week 12, largely via the following goal, from the aforementioned match in Ecuador…here (at 0:15 of the Youtube video by CristalPteLiberta13).
Other crucial players for Inter were striker Alecsandro (in spite of being injured for the 2nd Leg in the Finals); left wingback Kléber; super-sub/MF Giuliano; Porto Alegre-born central midfielder Tinga (who had returned in 2010 for his second stint with the club); and Rio Grande do Sul-born captain and central defender Bolívar.
sc-internacional_2010-copa-licertadores-championr_alecsandro_kleber_fans-at-bera-roo_bolivar_dalessandro_tinga_giuliano_c.gif
Photo credits -
SwitchImageProject.com. Goal.com. Internacionaluk.blogspot.com. Alexandre Lops at Internacional.com. losblanquilos.com. Sambafoot.com. Globoesportes.Globo.com.

    2010 Copa Libertadores Finals

11 August, 2010, 2010 Copa Libertadores Final, 1st Leg at Estadio Omnilife, in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Internacional played with surprising assurance in the 1st leg of the Finals at Chivas’ new space-age-design/artificial-turf-laden 49,000-capacity Estadio Omnilife in Guadalajara before a crowd of 30,870. In the first half, Inter contolled the bulk of possession and hit the woodwork twice, but let Chivas take the lead against the run of play at 45′+2′, allowing in a looping header by Adolfa Bautista. But Guadalajara would not really threaten again in the match. Internacional lost Alecsandro to injury in the second half, but the Colorados scored the equalizer in the 72nd minute, with Kléber crossing to set up a Guilano header. Inter’s aerial domination continued – in the 76th minute center-backs Indio and Bolívar combined, with Indio heading over to set up a stooped header by Bolívar.

18 August, 2010, Copa Libertadores Final, 2nd Leg at Estadio José Pinheiro Borda [aka Beira-Rio], Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Before a capacity crowd of 56,000.
2nd Leg video highlights…{Youtube, 4:16 video by argentinofutbol13, here, (with times for goals noted below)…
(0:50 seconds into video}…Guadalajara take early command, and score first again, in the 43rd minute, on a fine play, with Bravo heading over a come back to Marco Fabian, who leaped up and backwards to swivel a sideways bicycle kick into the net. 2-2 aggregate.
(1:12 into the video}…In the 61st minute Internacional took back the aggregate lead with Kléber curling a pin-point cross from the left flank into the box, to allow FW Sobis to tap it in. 3-2 aggregate for Internacional.
(2:02 into the video)…In the 65th minute, Celso Roth again makes Guiliano a second-half substitution, and in the 73rd minute, he puts in young striker Dimão, who scores in the 86th minute, taking advantage of a poor pass by Fabian, with Dimão picking off the ball up at the half-line unmarked and open for a goal mouth sprint, shooting the ball past the Chivas ‘keeper Michel. 4-2 aggreagte for Internacional.
(2:40 into the video)…Omar Arellano of Chivas is given a straight red card in the 87th minute for a two-footed tackle on D’Alessandro.
(2:56 into the video)…One minute later (88′), Guiliano scores. He collects the ball above the center arc, then beats two Chivas defenders simultaneously with a stop-dribble/flick move that skids the ball into the box, where he then beats Michel and a another Chivas defender to the ball. 5-2 aggregate for Internacional.
(3:30 into the video)…In the 90th minute, Chivas get s one back, with Omar Bravo scoring on the rebound from Bautista’s woodwork-hitting free kick. 5-3 aggregate for Internacional, and that’s how it stood.
(3:44 into the video)…For the second straight Copa Libertadores Final, a fight breaks out after the ref’s final whistle, with Chivas Guadalajara showing some poor sportsmanship, picking fights with the celebrating Inter squadl.

From Reuters,’Brazil’s Internacional win Libertadores Cup‘.

Andrés D’Alessandro, 2010 South American Footballer of the Year, chosen byEl País, Uruguay…
From ESPN Soccernet.com, by Sam Kelly, January 9, 2011, ‘Internacional superstar‘.
Youtube video, by dshogo, ‘Andrés D’Alessandro – S.C. Internacional [PARTE 2]‘ (7:15).
Below, photo illustration of Andrés D ‘Alessandro’s career, 1998-2010…
andres_dalessandro_river-plate_wolfsburg_portsmouth_zaragoza-san-lorenzo_d.gif
andres_dalessandro_sc-internacional_2010_copa-libertadores_c.gif
Photo credits – Sigamosriver.blogspot.com. Gsp.ro. Alan Walter/Daily Mail.co.uk [article: 11 Jan., 2011, by Emma Reynolds, ‘The Friday five: Loan stars who hit the heights in the Premier League‘. losblanquillos.com. Dalessandro10.com/Galerias. TheOffside.com’Libertadores. Silvia Izquierdo at MSN.Foxsports.com, here.
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘Copa Libertadores‘. ‘SC Internacional‘.
Thanks to Tim Vickery, for his article ‘Inter take Cup back to Brazil’, from the September, 2010 issue of World Soccer. WorldSoccer.com.
Tim Vickery’s Blog at BBC/football.
Thanks to CONMEBOL for this pdf of 2010 Copa Libertadoes attendances.
Thanks to the official site of SC Internacional, Internacional.com.br

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