Fluminense, new king of South America

Fluminense is the new king of South America. The Brazilian team in which Marcelo plays was proclaimed champion of the Copa Libertadores this Saturday for the first time in its 101-year history, defeating Boca Juniors in the Maracaná final thanks to a goal from John Kennedy in extra time. The Brazilian footballer was immediately sent off for going to celebrate with his fans in the stands when he already had a yellow card, but the Argentine team was also left with ten in the first half of regulation time due to an attack ordered by the VAR. Fabra hit Nino in the face and Boca thus lost a great opportunity to at least force penalties.

Fifteen years after losing in 2008 against Liga de Quito in what had until now been their first and only final in the Libertadores, Fluminense was crowned with the great continental title and left Boca, six-time champion, without the possibility of equaling to Independiente de Avellaneda in the list of winners. The Argentine team, which won the Libertadores for the last time in 2007, fell again in the final match, as happened in 2012, against Corinthians, and in 2018, against River Plate in the final played at the Bernabéu. Since the title is decided in a single match, since 2019, a Brazilian team has always been proclaimed champion, and there are already five consecutive editions, this time with glory for Fluminense with its historic conquest.

Although they suffered until the final whistle and needed extra time, the team led by Fernando Diniz was the favorite and did not fail in their Maracaná temple against a Boca that from the round of 16 to the semifinals did not win any of its six games – they qualified for the final – always triumphing on penalties, without extra time -, and fell in the decider in extra time. It was precisely an Argentine player, Germán Cano, who scored Fluminense’s first goal in the first half. The scorer born in the Buenos Aires town of Lomas de Zamora 35 years ago broke down Boca’s resistance, to score his 13th goal in 12 games in the Libertadores, more than the entire Argentine team squad in the 2023 Libertadores.

Boca Juniors

Rosemary, Advincula, Figal (Valdez, 113 minutes), Valentini, Fabra, Medina (Saracchi, 106 minutes), Pol Fernandez, Equi Fernandez (Taborda, 106 minutes), Barco (Langoni, 77 minutes), Merentiel and Cavani (Benedetto, 77 minutes).

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Fluminense

Fábio, Samuel Xavier (Guga, min. 85), Nino, Felipe Melo (Marlon, min. 51), Marcelo (Barbosa, min. 80), Martinelli (Kennedy, min. 80), André, Jhon Arias, Ganso (Lima , min. 80), Keno and Cano.

  • Goals:
    0-1: min. 36, Cano. 1-1: min. 72, Advíncula. 1-2: min. 99, Kennedy.

  • Referee:
    Wilmar Roldán (Colombia). Yellow cards to Cavani, Keno, Figal, Langoni, Cano and Kennedy, on two occasions, for which he was sent off in the 100th minute. Direct red to Fabra in the 105th minute + 6.

  • Incidences:
    Final of the 2023 Copa Libertadores, played at the Maracaná stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Full. 78,000 spectators.

At the same time, Marcelo won the long-awaited trophy, after returning to his childhood team after becoming the player with the most titles in the history of Real Madrid (25), although he was later overtaken by Benzema. After winning five Champions Leagues with the white team, the Madrid legend who returned home is now one of the only 14 footballers to have won the European Cup and the Libertadores de América.

In the match against Boca Marcelo played 80 minutes in a team also with a lot of experience but much more ambitious in the first half than Jorge Almirón’s Argentine team, which came out to defend itself in Maracaná looking for direct play and Edinson Cavani and did not survive the break . However, Boca reacted and took a forced step forward in the second half to tie the duel and take the final to extra time with a great left-footed goal from Peruvian right back Luis Advíncula.

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