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Is Copa Libertadores more attractive than the Champions League?

Every soccer fan will vibrate this Saturday with the Copa Libertadores final.

But even those people who do not follow the most popular sport on the planet will disappear what will happen to the monumental stadium in Buenos Aires.

It goes beyond the game, the game, the story.

On a decisive duel between River Plate and Boca Juniors In the maximum continental South American tournament, there was so much expectation that the ball's time will stop in the capital of Argentina to mark before and afterwards in football.

It is emotion, tension, rivalry, passion so great that some people say that the clash between the river and Boca is the final of all the finals on planet Earth.

That the show that is seen in La Bombenera's first match shows that Copa Libertadores is "real football" and not like the Playstation game offered by the Champions League in Europe.

This comment is from the president of the South American Football Confederation, Alejandro Dominguez, echoing the views of many soccer fans in South America.

"There is nothing like Libertadores," "In Europe, they do not live football like here," "They feel like playing more than 3,000 meters above sea level."

These words are repeated again and again when Copa Libertadores coincides with the football scene with the Champions League, a tournament that gathers the richest clubs and the most prestigious players in the world.


It may be that South American football in the past has stood on the European side with the missing Intercontinental Cup, winning in its most glorious titles and more prestige.

But over time, the old continent openly dominates the duel between the two.

By 1994, teams from South America won 20 of the 33 duels played. Since then, the clubs in Europe have triumphed in eight of the ten finals.

This trend has intensified with the creation of the FIFA World Cup, in which European teams won 10 titles against four South Americans over the past six years.

But despite statistics, in South America there is still a belief that Libertadores is better than the Champions, and if not, at least is more attractive

One example, they argue, was everything that happened in the first match of the final between Boca and Reka.

The fact that there is an Argentine superclásico, the heavy heavy rain that prevented football and the lofty spectacle lived in Bombonera, with a tie of two involved, gave Libertadores a level that has not been noticed since the 80s.

"The essence I believe in is that it's about returning to the state amateur and of pure glory"Said Theo Poso, Ecuadorian journalist for Directv Sports and Ekavisa, for the BBC.

"I save that spirit when a player is not only interested in the monetary issue, but in achieving sports glory."


Mario Martinez of Fox Sport in Uruguay and Mario Fernandez of the newspaper El Comercio in Peru agree that there is something that goes beyond football to understand the charm of the continental tournament in South America.

"It's a theme of mysticism," Martinez said. "Perhaps the giant in the economic or historic decline in front of the weak team that comes and pushes out what the glory says."

"There are economic and distance constraints for the teams, you have to travel a lot, with stops, to get through a lot of difficulties to keep up the tournament," Poso said.

"All this magic, mystical around the Cup, That's what makes it so special. "

And it also adds an element of higher insecurity.

Since 2000, there have been in Copa Libertadores up to 14 different champions and six of them for the first time won the title in its history.

In addition, there were only two teams, Boca Juniors and Internacional de Porto Alegre, who managed to add more than one cup.

In the same period, the Champions League won nine clubs and won for the first time.

Two worlds

But there are those who believe that the romanticism generated by the duel between the two great rivals of Argentine football is a mask that temporarily hides the differences of what is experienced on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Compare Copa Libertadores with the Champions from the perspective of organization, structures, stadiums, people's frame … it's impossible," Martinez admitted.

"We are very far away," he said.

"Does not reach the ankles", Dodo Poso, while Fernandez considers that it is a matter of two separate chapters.

The difference is in "systematizing that European football is compared with magic or soccer league," the Uruguayan journalist said.

"It's not that it's better or worse, but adds a special element ".

"It's a fundamental factor in the game's time and what the South American fan is using, Copa Libertadores is very special for this part of the planet," he said.


In addition to the Champions, we are talking about the organization, the collection of wonderful footballers and the prestige that is achieved by raising the famous trophy of "Orejona".

There is also a level of rewards and that "by groups, there is parity in a competitive" does not exist in South America.

"It's impressive to see the global nature of the Champions," said Poso. "The way they celebrate in Egypt the goals of the Hall and have more global impact, because they are the best players."

For Posso, the constant departure of the most talented players in Europe, Mexico or the Middle East reduces the capacity of clubs with competitive teams.

"There is a detail that perfectly explains it, and it's the fact that Alberto Spencer, from the 60s and 70s, is still a goal scorer with 54 goals," he said.

"This record is almost impossible to overcome, because in South America there is no one who remains two or three years old."


But it is also true that Libertadores is in the process of transformation in which the European model is followed in some respects and team rewards have been increased.

An example is the tagging of a unique place for the end of 2019 or that the two finals are played over the weekend.

Some sectors have shown resistance because they believe it goes against the idiosyncrasion of fans from South America.

But, seeing the impact that Libertadores has in recent weeks, it seems thaton change turned out in the right direction.

Starting from the basics that Copa Libertadores is not the Champions League and it will be difficult for it to compete economically, there is an element that makes the South American Championship a "tournament to watch" for a soccer fan.

"Today football progresses a lot and the same advancement of science makes the games win from the dressing rooms," said Mario Fernandez.

"On this side, the technique of South America will continue to be a diamond ring for future conquests. And it will never lose the South American player, "he added.

It's about improvisation, fining, dribbling, flooding and seeing the space that nobody can see.

River Boca renewed it: the dream, the mystic the liberator had several decades ago.

The magic that can happen in football, "beyond what happens once every hundred years," as Poso said.

And that time will be this Saturday at the monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, exactly in the match, with the Copa Libertadores final.

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