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…
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.
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).
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).
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 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‘.
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).