Five Reasons You Should Get Excited for the Copa Libertadores

Reuters

Gabriel Pessoa

 

Primetime Schedule

Convenience is the name of the game. Copa Libertadores matches air anytime between 6pm ET and 10pm ET. Unlike the Champions League, you will not have to plan your lunch break around the match you choose to watch.

Get used to the idea of arriving home, tuning into elite South American soccer with a cold beverage of choice and/or your dinner. Simply, Magisterial.

 

Passion

We have all heard the stereotype of Hispanics and Latinos being hot-blooded. Guess what? That stereotype is true. The fans you will see at a Copa Libertadores match are unlike any other in the world.

For the most part, fans in Europe are just that: fans. Fans in South America are more than mere spectators. Their energy and voices are just as big a part of the game as the coaches’ instructions or the exertions of any of the athletes.

The environment at La Bombonera or the Maracanã or the Mineirão on any given Wednesday is indescribable. The only way to truly understand, would be seeing it for yourself.

 

Past & Present

Last year, the world witnessed the greatest South American tournament held in Europe and all the fallout that came along with that.

This year, for the 60th edition of the Copa Libertadores, Conmebol will use a one-off match format for the final and hold it at a neutral venue - another first.

2019 will be Conmebol’s golden shot at redemption. This Copa Libertadores can be an opportunity to show the world that one unfortunate chain of events does not define South American soccer and all the prestigious history that comes entwined with the countless legendary players it has showcased throughout the years.

Which leads nicely us to...

 

Players 

Pele, Juan Roman Riquelme, Zico, Carlos Tevez, Neymar, Juan Pablo Sorin, Ronaldinho, Juan Sebastian Veron: all former Copa Libertadores champions.

This tournament not only breeds talent that can go on to play for teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona and be stars in the World Cup, but it also provides a stage for players to catch a second wind in their careers.

While Carlos Tevez was still a burgeoning talent when Boca Juniors were crowned champions in 2003, Ronaldinho helped Clube Atletico Mineiro to glory in 2013 at the ripe old age of 33.

The quality of the players participating on teams like Boca and River Plate in the Libertadores is second to none. If Ray Hudson’s take means anything to you, this is the richest and purest form of soccer anyone could hope to see.

Missing out on such a high level of technical skill (whether it is up and coming or not) would be an injustice to yourself as a soccer fan.

 

Pride

While your buddies at the bar are drooling over the newest Uruguayan or Brazilian player to graze the EPL, you’ll be lightyears ahead of them. 

You would have seen them years ago, back in 2019 when they really made their name in the Copa Libertadores. 

You can casually say something along the lines of: “Yeah he’s always shown sparks of brilliance. Ever since that match in September at the ‘Morumbi’, where he scored a brace, I knew that kid had potential.”