Copa Libertadores: South American football hopes to escape the pandemic with 3 club finals in 8 days

The championship matches of two men’s and one women’s tournaments – Copa Sudamericana, Copa Libertadores Femenina and Copa Libertadores – will take place over two weekends starting Saturday in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Organized by continental governing body CONMEBOL, the finals will take place in full view for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Uruguayan Government setup required to attend, include proof of immunization for those over 12 years of age and wearing a mask for the duration of the event.
The country this month also reopen its borders for tourists with regulations. Visitors to Uruguay over 18 years of age are required to complete vaccinations and a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival is required for those over 6 years of age.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, cases of Covid-19 in Uruguay have leveled off significantly from the surge earlier this year. More than 75% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Five of the six participating clubs are from neighboring Brazil, leading many to hope that newly opened borders and expanded stadium entrances will help a ravaged tourism industry.

As the audience moves into the action on the pitch, here’s what to know about some top sporting events in South America.
An aerial view of the Centenario Stadium in Montevideo, which will host the finals of the men's Sudamericana and Libertadores cups on November 20 and 27, respectively.

Copa Sudamericana

The first of three finals to take place in Uruguay will be played with the Copa Sudamericana, South America’s men’s club competition, which is tied with UEFA’s Europa League.

Two Brazilian clubs made it through to the group stage and knockout stage to reach the final, when Club Athletico Paranaense played Red Bull Bragantino. Both sides finished mid-table last season at Brazil’s Série A..

The clubs have amazingly different histories, with one club regularly competing in the Brazilian first division while the other is a newcomer to the scene.

Athletico are recent Copa Sudamericana champions, winning them all in 2018. Since the turn of the century, the club has competed in the Série A for all but one season and won the title in 2001.

Red Bull Bragantino was once known as Clube Atlético Bragantino, with a second place in Brazilian football in 1991 before relegation and a long run of competition in the second and third divisions. The club was taken over by energy drink empire Red Bull two years ago and rebranded, coinciding with promotion back to Série A for the first time in more than 20 seasons.

The match will be played at Estadio Centenario, home of the Uruguay national team and the stadium that hosted the inaugural World Cup in 1930. The match kicks off at 5:00 p.m. local time on Saturday (local time). 8 p.m. GMT).

A worker displays the Copa Libertadores (L) and Copa Sudamericana trophies in Luque, Paraguay, on April 9, 2021.

Copa Libertadores Femenina

The final of the Copa Libertadores Femenina, a continental tournament for women’s football, will see Corinthians’ Brazil take on Colombian side Independiente Santa Fe. Both clubs match their famous men’s soccer partners of the same name.

Corinthians are looking for their third South American championship since 2017; they took their first win as part of a combined squad with club Audax, then won again in 2019 as a solo effort.

Santa Fe is having a second consecutive appearance at the tournament and succeeding for the first time this year when it exits the group stage. If they win, Santa Fe will beat all three Brazilian teams in the tournament in the knockout stages to win.

Paraguay will host the semi-finals, with the final taking place on Sunday at another former Uruguay World Cup venue, the Estadio Gran Parque Central.

Copa Libertadores

One of the most highly regarded club competitions in the world, the Copa Libertadores is the continental equivalent of the UEFA Champions League. And just like the Copa Sudamericana, two teams from Brazil advanced to the final.

In the presence of tens of thousands of fans at the Estadio Centenario on Saturday, November 27, Brazilian giants Palmeiras and Flamengo will battle to determine who can win the second Copa Libertadores in under full three years.

Palmeiras fans gather to celebrate dramatic Copa Libertadores win
Palmeiras, located in São Paulo, was the defending champion of the tournament, beat Santos in January in front of a small crowd due to pandemic restrictions. Victory would make Palmeiras the first team to win consecutive titles since 2001.

Flamengo, located in Rio de Janeiro, has also performed well on the big stage so far this year, winning the Copa Libertadores in 2019 and being the defending champion of Série A.

Both teams are currently in the top 3 on the Série A standings, trailing Clube Atlético Mineiro with a few games remaining.

The final has been postponed or postponed several times in recent years.

In 2018, the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final at home and away between Argentine rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate was suspended. due to fan unrest, the Boca team bus was attacked and the players injured after being hit by bullets on the way to the stadium. The match was then played in Madrid, Spain.
2019 – won by Flamengo – finally moved from Chile to Peru due to civil unrest and national protests over inequality and corruption.

The Copa Libertadores winners will advance to the FIFA Club World Cup, to be held in the United Arab Emirates in early 2022.

World Cup clubs divide the continental champions against each other in a knockout tournament. In February, Bayern Munich beat Mexican club Tigres 1-0 in the Club World Cup final to win their second title.


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