Copa Libertadores 2009: the final approaches

'Is this the queue for the butcher's counter?'
'Is this the queue for the butcher's counter?'

The first leg of the 2009 Copa Libertadores final is played on Wednesday night in La Plata, to a full house – tickets went on sale on Tuesday and all 40,000-plus of the home allowance had been sold out by the evening. Brazilian club Cruzeiro are the visitors to the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata as Estudiantes seek to regain the crown they last won nearly three decades ago, with current captain Juan Sebastián Verón’s dad a key player.

Cruzeiro tried one last time on Monday to get the match postponed due to ongoing fears about the seriousness of the swine flu epidemic in Argentina, but CONMEBOL stood firm (odd, given their earlier stance on the Mexican clubs in the tournament) and the Brazilians travelled to La Plata on Tuesday. The match will go ahead in the municipal stadium, and will kick off at 9:50pm (1:50am Thursday British Summer Time).

Former Argentinos Juniors and River Plate full back / wide man Juan Pablo Sorín hasn’t travelled with the Cruzeiro squad from Belo Horizonte, and nor has normal starter Heleno. The only substitute defender the Minas Gerais side arrive with is Anderson. Estudiantes’ starting lineup is still a complete unknown, but manager Alejandro Sabella will probably have Seba Verón back after the midfielder made good progress in recovering from the injury he sustained in the first leg of the semi-final against Nacional.

Cruzeiro’s likely starting XI, according to Olé on Tuesday night, is rather easier to predict because of course they’ve only got 19 players travelling with them. Ramires, the midfielder who was part of Brazil’s recent Confederations Cup-winning squad, will be playing his last matches for the club in the two legs of this final, having recently agreed to sign for Portuguese giants Benfica.

Fabio

Jonathan — Anderson — Leonardo Silva — Gerson Magrão

Enrique — Marquinhos Paraná — Ramires — Wágner

Kléber —- Wellington Paulista

Substitutes will include goalkeeper Andrey; full back Jancarlos; midfielders Elicarlos, Fabinho and Bernardo, and strikers Thiago Ribeiro, Wanderley and Zé Carlos.

As with any Copa Libertadores final involving an Argentine club, you’ll be able to follow (almost) live text updates on the match here on HEGS, as well as any highlight videos I can find online after the match. Join us here on Wednesday night, when the fun begins.

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7 thoughts on “Copa Libertadores 2009: the final approaches

  1. Sorry Sam, this is way off-topic but I’m sure you and everyone here will forgive me once you see this fantastic clip from YouTube!

    I won’t even tell you what it is so this golden material surprises you!

    Enjoy!

    1, 2 and then three……….

    1. Hahaha, that is a funny clip.

      They’re still waiting to meet Racing again, I take it.

      I read a funny story from the seventies. Apparently, in about 1975, a representative from a Belgian side called Royal Racing White phoned Celtic to ask to play a pre-season friendly. The Celtic secretary just heard the word ‘Racing’ and unleashed a volley of foul-mouthed abuse at the unfortunate Belgian, finishing ‘and you think we want to play a FRIENDLY against you lot!’, before throwing the phone down.

      The obscure Belgian side wondered what it had done to earn such hatred in Glasgow!

  2. Another off topic thingy.

    Racing to get 600k Euros after Porto sold Lisandro Lopez to Lyon for 24 million Euros.

    It is because of the rule that compensates the club that helps the player develops at a young age and then can’t afford to keep him at the club for a long time.

    If a future transfer sees the said player moving from one Federation to another (in Lisandro’s case he moved from the Portuguese federation to the French), then the original club gets a % depending on how many years the player spent there and how old was he at the time.

    In this case, it’s a 5% for Racing.

    Of the Diego Milito sale from Genoa to Inter, Racing gets nothing because it was done inside the same federation. Why didn’t he move to England? hahaha!

  3. Yeah Seba, would have liked to see him go to City instead of Roque Santa Cruz

    Just about to watch the Belgrano-Central game. Kicks off in five mins.

    Schedule for other games (in British Time), if anyone is interested:

    Thursday 7pm: Rafaela-GELP

    Sunday 6.30pm: GELP-Rafaela
    Sunday 9.10pm Central-Belgrano

  4. Terrific reception for Belgrano there.

    Olave must be 100 years old!

    Think I wouldn’t mind Belgrano winning this, Central are possibly able to build up their promedio under Russo if they stay up.

  5. First 15 minutes were pretty good, Braun had to make a couple of handy saves, but since then it’s been dire. I would relegate both of them on this showing.

  6. Broun is a fantastic keeper. Without him, Central would be in a much worse position. For a start, they’d be dead and buried in this tie, instead they now look certain to stay up.

    Will *try* and stay up for the Copa final, but 1.50!!! It won’t end till, um, 4am! And I’m up for work in the morning at 7.30. Maybe I’ll just come on here in the morning and see what happened.

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