Copa Libertadores: Boca Juniors v GremioBy: Bob | June 13th, 2007
It is Big Cup time on Wednesday with Boca Juniors and Gremio facing each other in the final of the Copa Libertadores. South America’s version of the Champions League (or perhaps we should call the Champions League Europe’s version of the Copa Libertadores) features a two-leg aggregate score final with the second leg being played in Brazil on June 20.
This year’s tournament featured some surprises, including the Colombian team Cucuta, but in the end the old standby, Boca Juniors, rose to the top to take on a Gremio team that has risen from the dead. Boca have won the Copa Libertadores five times and count the trophies as part of the 16 international cups the club has won, tied with AC Milan for the most in the world. They last lifted the trophy in 2003 when they beat another Brazilian team, Santos, in the final.
Their opponent in this year’s final, Gremio, has won the Copa Libertadores twice, in 1983 and 1995 when they were coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari. It was just 18 months ago that Gremio was playing in the second division in Brazil and needed a win on the last day to gain promotion. If you do the math, you can see that they win the Copa Libertadores ever 12 years so by that theory alone they should come away with the title in 2007 too if things don’t go up in flames.
I haven’t watched enough of either of these teams to in any way shape or form forecast what is going to happen, but if you put a gun to my head (please don’t) I would say that Gremio is going to come out on top on aggregate 4-3. You can take that to the bank. Just don’t ask for a refund.
For those in North America, the action can be seen on Fox Sports Espanol, which I hear is a great channel to have if your local cable provider is kind enough to offer it. You can also try you luck watching the game online here. You know the crowd atmosphere will be electric and I suspect the games will be entertaining as they almost always are when teams from Brazil and Argentina clash.
Here are a few more insightful and diligent previews of the 2007 Copa Libertadores final.
- Riquelme the Key for Boca (Reuters)
- A look at the history of Boca Juniors (Goal)
- And the history of Gremio (Goal)
- The latest chapter in the Argentina-Brazil rivalry (Associated Press)