Thursday, February 12, 2015

Top 10 - South American clubs qualified (Part 1)

If you take a look at the all-time South American club team table, you won’t be surprised to find many Argentinian and Brazilian teams leading the way. But this won’t be about boring facts, this is one story you won’t hear often about each of the best 10 teams that qualified for the 2015 edition of the Copa.

One of the most iconic sides are the Boca Juniors in their blue and yellow. But why those colors? Stories suggest that in 1907, two years after the founding of the club, a decision game for the colors red and white was played between Boca and local archrivals River Plate. Boca lost and picked up the blue and yellow from the national flag of a Swedish ship that was anchored in La Boca at the time.

Said rival and Argentinian record champions River Plate meanwhile have their own storied history. In 1984, the club elected a new chairman: Hugo Santilli. With him came the idea of changing the club’s emblem to put an end to Boca fans mocking River Plate as chickens. The countries most famous artists sent in their proposals, chosen was a lion wearing a River jersey that rises out of the Monumental stadium. The club won a Copa with this logo, it was removed by the time Santilli left the club five years later and hasn’t been reestablished ever since.

       River_leon                   River-Plate-icon

One of the world’s most famous goalkeepers plays in Brazil, precisely for São Paulo FC. His name is Rogério Ceni, and he’s famous for…you guessed it, his goals. He scored way over 100 in his professional career, all of them coming from penalties and free kicks. He plays for São Paulo since 1993, last year Guinness World Records recognized him for most goals scored as a goalkeeper, most number of games played for the same club as well as amount of times as captain. Besides those impressive feats, he won the World Cup in 2002 with Brazil as the backup.

Cruzeiro do not have a goalkeeper as famous as Ceni, but they do have a mascot that tells a lot about their past. In 1945, a fox became the symbol of the club. The caricaturist was inspired by one of the former club presidents, Mario Grosso, who was known for his intelligence and skillfulness in leading the Brazilian club to success. Therefore the XI is often called “Raposa”, Portuguese for fox.

That leaves us with Uruguay’s Nacional. The club from Montevideo, along with Peñarol has some of the most passionate fans on the continent. That was shown in 2013, when supporters unreeled the largest flag ever seen in any stadium in the world. It is 600 meters long, cost about 53.000€ and covered three of four stands of the legendary Centenario stadium.


Part 2 will follow in the near future and include Internacional, Corinthians, Estudiantes, Atlético Mineiro and Colo Colo.


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