Colombians win competition against Ecuador's Independiente del Valle.


What makes the two young Rosario Central players Franco Cervi and Giovani Lo Celso the players they are?


An interview with Uruguayan sports journalist Nicolás Difiori ahead of Sunday's Clásico.


Taking a look at the next great Argentinian #5, the next Javier Mascherano.


Colombians win the Copa Sudamericana after penalty thriller against Huracán.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

South America's Top Clubs - January 2016

In the first edition of 2016, there are not too many changes in the TOP club ranking. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the leagues were on their Winter break already and had their respective seasons finished.
Huracán, the leader of December 2015, remains on top for the second month in a row as well, followed by their Argentinian rivals Independiente. Surprisingly high in third and fifth: Venezuelan champion Zamora and Deportivo La Guaira, their opponent in the final.

 Still on top: Huracán (photo from

The rules if you missed them previously:
For this table, we look at the last 15 results from each team in South America’s leagues and Copa Libertadores/Sudamericana. A win in the league gets you 3 points, a draw 1. Internationally those numbers are doubled to 6 and 2.

1 1 Huracán Argentina 40
2 4 Independiente Argentina 38
3 3 Zamora FC Venezuela 36
4 2 Colo Colo Chile 36
5 5 Deportivo La Guaira Venezuela 35
6 11 Boca Juniors Argentina 33
7 10 Libertad Paraguay 33
8 14 Atlético Nacional Colombia 32
9 16 Banfield Argentina 31
10 - CA Lanús Argentina 31
11 - CS Emelec Ecuador 31
12 17 Rosario Central Argentina 31
13 12 Olimpia Paraguay 31
14 - Peñarol Uruguay 31
15 8 Club Bolívar Bolivia 31
16 18 Corinthians Brazil 31
17 - Palestino Chile 30
18 - Melgar Peru 30
19 9 Once Caldas Colombia 30
20 - Estudiantes Argentina 30

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Copa Libertadores - Group Stage Draw

Not only the first round of the Copa Libertadores was drawn yesterday, we also get an idea of who plays who in the group stage. There are quite some great groups to look forward to. 

(photo from

Group 1 contains the title holders: Argentina's River Plate want to defend their title and start that mission against The Strongest, Trujillanos and the winner of Universidad César Vallejo vs São Paulo. It should make for a good group as at least three clubs are going to have a realistic chance to advance (sorry, Trujillanos). São Paulo will get by the first round and compete for the round of 16 along with the Argentines and Bolivians.

This leads us to Group 2, which looks like a really strong one on paper. Uruguay's champion Nacional are meeting Brazil's cup winner Palmeiras and Argentina's Rosario Central. The group is filled up by the winner of River Plate (URU) vs Universidad de Chile. Assuming U de Chile makes it through their qualification round, all four teams look strong enough to advance to the round of 16. They're all big teams in their respective countries and you cannot ask for much more atmospherically either. 

Group 3 is likely going to have a massive Argentinian clash. Boca Juniors are seeded and expect Racing Club to join them after the first stage. Bolívar and Deportivo Cali are going to be the outsiders and would heavily surprise should they advance. 

The other big Uruguayan club, Peñarol, were drawn into Group 4. Colombia's Atlético Nacional, Peru's Sporting Cristal and the winner of Huracán vs Caracas pose the threats to advancing. This could be another relatively even group, in which you cannot write off anyone, even though Peruvian clubs never get much done on the international stage. 

Group 5 contains Atlético Mineiro, Colo-Colo, Melgar and the winner of Independiente del Valle vs Guaraní. The two first named teams should be the clear-cut favourites, even if Guaraní went very far last season. Melgar will be happy to collect a point every here and there and has no realistic chance against some of South America's heavyweights. 

Another good one is Group 6. The 2014 Libertadores champion San Lorenzo that got eliminated early last season is meeting Grêmio, LDU Quito and Toluca. In order to advance, the Argentines have to be more stable or else they could find their dreams ended early yet again. Grêmio looks like the favourite along with San Lorenzo though.

Olimpia, Emelec, Deportivo Táchira and Mexican side Pumas UNAM are facing off in Group 7. All three first named teams have recently been crowned champions of their respective countries and look to excite their fans along with Mexico's club that is known around the world. Take a look at this group if you can!

Last but not least, Group 8. Brazilian champion Corinthians meets Cerro Porteño, Cobresal and the winner of Oriente Petrolero vs Santa Fe. Since Copa Sudamericana winner Santa Fe is clearly the better team and expected to go through, the group should be a nice one. For me personally, they will be favourites to go through with Corinthians but you really cannot count out the other two either. 

Whatever happens, it will be good to finally have the Copa Libertadores back again in early 2016.

Copa Libertadores 2016 Draw – First Round

Last night, the draw for the upcoming 2016 Copa Libertadores edition was being held in Asunción. Due to the large amount of good teams, quite a few competitive groups that should be fun to follow were the result.

(picture from

Let’s get started with the first stage of the tournament though, the six two-legged elimination games for the last spots in the group stage

Oriente Petrolero are hosting the recent Copa Sudamericana winners from Santa Fe. The Bolivians, who finished as third best team back home, should not have too much of a chance, but then again it’s South American football we are talking about. 

The runners-up Huracán from Argentina are facing Venezuelan club Caracas. While I would personally give Huracán who had to get through the same qualifying round last season the advantage, it should be a pretty evenly contested duel. 

Mexican Supercopa MX winners Puebla enter the competition with a matchup against Argentina’s Racing Club. With all due respect to the Mexicans, anything but exiting the Libertadores early would be a surprise to me. Higuain, Bou and Co. are the huge favourites. 

Uruguay’s River Plate will be outsiders against one of Chile’s big sides, Universidad de Chile

Guaraní, last year’s surprising semifinalist, return to the Copa Libertadores in the premier round and battle Independiente del Valle from Ecuador. Maybe the Paraguayans can get through again, but it is by no means a cakewalk.

Finally, Peru’s Universidad César Vallejo face Brazil’s São Paulo. There is only one team that will go through here and it won’t be the Peruvians.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Penalty thriller - Santa Fe win Copa Sudamericana

Santa Fe have reached their goal: After two goalless draws against Huracán, the Colombians have won the Copa Sudamericana in a penalty shootout, 3-1, at home.


Champions: Santa Fe celebrate their first Copa Sudamericana title.

The game itself was not the greatest, as it often is in the finals of big competitions. In the first half, Huracán did surprisingly well and had the biggest early chance. In the first minute, striker Rámon Abila might want to have  one back. Home goalkeeper Robinson Zapata made a mess of a back pass and did not get rid of the ball in time. It was deflected towards the goal by Abila, the Argentine went after the ball just to put it wide again across the face of the goal.

Apart from that mishap, Santa Fe controlled the early goings without showing too much offensively. While both teams’ midfielders had tons of time for their passes, they still were not accurate enough and did not exactly offer the fans any spectacle.

The best chance for the Colombians came in the 42nd minute, when Daniel Angulo headed a Seijas corner towards the goal, but into the catching arms of Marcos Díaz. The Argentinian guests defended so well that it remained the only chance of Santa Fe before halftime.

Luis Seijas did not like that very much and thought “let’s get to them earlier now” at the start of the second half. His dropkick was saved with some extra work by Díaz. Four minutes later, Juan Daniel Roa had the next chance for the hosts, but was kept from shooting in the last second.

As time went on, the match got worse and worse. No teams was willing to make any decisive mistakes and therefore a nervous midfield battle was the logical consequence.

The Colombians were the only team with further chances, substitute Omar Pérez clearly helped out his colleagues with his technical class. He was unlucky that Wilson Morelo was offside after his excellent through ball. Since noone showed any more quality moments, the game went to extra-time.

That extra time was highly eventless. Well, apart from an extremely stupid red card from Rámon Abila. Inexplicably, he completely lost his cool and punched the opposing player in the stomach from behind. A heavy loss for the guests for the upcoming penalty shootout.

It was a one-sided affair and left Santa Fe in a euphoric state. Huracán missed three out of four penalties, through Bogado, Nervo and Toranzo. Only Federico Mancinelli was successful with his attempt. Since Omar Pérez, Luis Seijas and Leyvin Balanta were all scoring, the title of the Copa Sudamericana goes to Santa Fe and to Colombia for the first time in history.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

South America’s Top Clubs – December 2015

We have reached the last edition of the year 2015. By reaching the final in the Copa Sudamericana, Argentinian club Hurácan have gone top of this ranking. They move up from third position. The previous winner Libertad meanwhile drop a bit due to a loss of points in the league.

In general, there are a total of 8 clubs in the list that have not been around in the previous month.


The new number one: Huracán. (photo from

The rules if you missed them previously:

For this table, we look at the last 15 results from each team in South America’s leagues and Copa Libertadores/Sudamericana. A win in the league gets you 3 points, a draw 1. Internationally those numbers are doubled to 6 and 2.







1 3 Huracán Argentina 40
2 16 Colo Colo Chile 36
3 - Zamora FC Venezuela 36
4 7 Independiente Argentina 36
5 10 Deportivo La Guaira Venezuela 35
6 2 LDU Quito Ecuador 35
7 14 Universidad Católica Chile 34
8 - Club Bolivár Bolivia 34
9 - Once Caldas Colombia 33
10 1 Libertad Paraguay 33
11 15 Boca Juniors Argentina 33
12 4 Olimpia Paraguay 33
13 - Guaraní Paraguay 32
14 11 Atlético Nacional Colombia 32
15 18 Santa Fe Colombia 32
16 - Banfield Argentina 31
17 - Rosario Central Argentina 31
18 9 Corinthians Brazil 31
19 - Racing Club Argentina 30
20 - Cruzeiro Brazil 30