Friday, January 28

Palmeiras achieved his ‘tri’ in the Libertadores by defeating Flamengo

In front of the chants and the joy of the thousands of fans who attended the Centenario stadium in Montevideo, Palmeiras lifted the Copa Libertadores 2021 this Saturday, revalidating his 2020 title and getting his third trophy of this continental tournament, after overcoming 2-1 to Flamengo in lengthening.

After finishing 1-1 in the 90 minutes, a goal from Deyverson at the beginning of extra time (95) managed that those led by Portuguese Abel Ferreira won the Libertadores for the second time this year, after having won the final of the tournament 2020 last January.

“I am very happy for that goal. Many people criticized me, said that I could not score, but I prefer quality over quantity,” Deyverson said at the end of the final.

“America is ours once again,” celebrated Palmeiras goalkeeper Weverton, one of the figures of the São Paulo team.

Palmeiras had kept the advantage for most of the game, after starting winning with a goal from Raphael Veiga at 5 minutes, until the ‘Fla’ tie at 72, signed by Gabigol.

In a Centennial stadium filled to 80% of its capacity, the Palmeiras fans, much smaller in number compared to that of their rival, became gigantic with the victory, with loud chants and shouts of encouragement.

“Losing like that hurts a lot … we hardly gave Palmeiras a chance,” said Flamengo goalkeeper Diego Alves.

With this title, obtained after those won in 1999 and 2020, the ‘Verdao’ equals Sao Paulo, Gremio and Santos as the Brazilian teams with the most titles in the Copa Libertadores, all with three.

And it is also the first team to win the Cup twice in a row since Boca Juniors did it in 2000 and 2001.

The Portuguese Abel Ferreira, the coach of the Albiverdes who became the first European coach twice champion of the Libertadores, highlighted the performance of his players and the quality of the rival, thanked Palmeiras and questioned his continuity in the club.

“I’m going to stop, reflect, especially to decide what is best for Palmeiras (…) I’m at my mental limit,” he said at a press conference.

Also the Flamengo coach, Renato Portaluppi, spoke about his future after the defeat on Saturday.

“Unfortunately, in Brazil only the one who wins is good,” he reflected when asked about his contract, which ends on December 30. However, he pointed out that the decision on whether to remain at Flamengo is in the hands of the leaders.

“That question should be asked of the president, for Marcos Braz, for the managers,” he said.

The legendary Centenario stadium received, renewed, the expected clash between the most popular team in Brazil – the Carioca ‘Fla’ – and the most successful at the local level – the São Paulo player ‘Verdao’ -, which attracted thousands of Brazilian tourists to Montevideo.

‘Torcedores’ dressed in the jackets of their clubs – among which the red and black of the ‘Mengao’ predominated – took over the city in recent days, giving away postcards of quiet tourist walks and songs of football hubbub.

In agreement with the Uruguayan authorities, the members of the organized Flamengo bar quickly vacated the stadium after the end of the match to go directly to their buses, which will be escorted by national routes to the border with Brazil.

This was explained in the preview of the meeting by Commissioner Richard Cabral, chief of the Police General Staff and in charge of the security operation.

Meanwhile, there are no specific celebration areas for the winners. Troops will patrol the usual concentration points for celebrations, such as the main avenues and the Rambla of the capital.

Montevideo closes this Saturday a cycle of three continental finals received in a week, after hosting the Copa Sudamericana and the Copa Libertadores for women.

And the three with Brazilian champions: Atlhetico Paranaense (South American), Corinthians (female Libertadores) and Palmeiras (male Libertadores).