On this week’s show we focus on the last 16 of the Copa Libertadores, as well as having a new English for Football phrase.
For learners of English there are also:
- Worksheets and transcripts
- Vocabulary lists
- Online quizzes and crossword puzzles
- Weekly blogs from our football-crazy writers in fans’ forum
That was Marcino scoring in Flamengo’s comfortable 4-2 away victory against Mexican side America in the first leg of the last 16 of the South American club championship, the Copa Libertadores. Despite being one of the biggest clubs on the continent, with a reputed 40 million supporters within Brazil, Rio de Janeiro’s Flamengo has only ever won the Copa Libertadores once before, when Zico fired them to the 1981 title. This lack of success for Brazil’s top team may seem rather strange but unlike the European Champions League which has become an almost closed affair between the top clubs from Spain, Italy and England, the beauty of the Copa Libertadores is that any of the teams involved feel they have a real chance to win it.
The four other Brazilian clubs in the last 16 were relatively happy after the first leg matches with Fluminense winning away at Colombia’s Nacional, Santos beating surprise package Cucuta (also from Colombia), 2005 winners Sao Paulo drawing 0-0 away at Uruguay’s Nacional and Cruzeiro only going down 2-1 away at the current champions, Boca Juniors. Boca have dominated the tournament in recent years with four victories since 2000 but despite the inclusion of Palermo and Riqueleme, they have struggled this season and will do well to make it to the final again. With Lanus losing at home to Mexican side Guadalajara and Estudiantes going down 2-0 away in Ecuador, Argentinian teams did not fare too well though they are guaranteed one side in the last eight with the winner of the River Plate San Lorenzo match.
So who will win this year’s title? Brazilian teams will feature and Sao Paulo are many people’s favourites again. Or will another Argentinian side take over the mantle from Boca, perhaps San Lorenzo in their centenary year? Maybe a surprise package, as in 2002 when Paraguay’s Olimpia won the title? Perhaps this year it is the turn of Liga de Quito from Ecuador, which would re-ignite the debate on playing at altitude, or how about a first-time Mexican winner?
No, I am not going to go for any of those but rather I have a feeling that Flamengo can go all the way this year and emulate the golden team of ’81.