Opinion – Juca Kfouri: It is possible to pin three Brazilians in the round of 16, but up to six can advance

Opinion – Juca Kfouri: It is possible to pin three Brazilians in the round of 16, but up to six can advance

The first round of the Libertadores group stage is over.

Of the three Brazilian favorites, two fulfill their roles, and one, not so much. In alphabetical order, let’s deal with the trio.

Atlético Mineiro is not so much, although they are undefeated for 16 games in the continental tournament, quite a mark.

It tied with Corinthians in 2012/13 and is one game away from equaling the records of Flamengo (2020/21) and Peruvian Sporting Cristal (1962/1969).

As the next three games of Galo will be in Belo Horizonte, everything indicates that it will reach 19 games without defeats, but it needs to play with less self-sufficiency, respect opponents more, not think itself so superior not to be surprised as it has been when it comes out in front and take the tie.

The problem of Flamengo 100% is the defense because the attack is again in tune with the trio Dom Arrascaeta, Gabigol and Bruno Henrique, in addition to having to resolve either the widowhood of Jorge Jesus or the ill will with Paulo Souza.

Still, you should qualify with your feet on your back.

Palmeiras is also calm because money attracts luck even during Carnival.

The two-time Libertadores champion took a group that is a soup and has treated opponents as he should: thrashing. Four in one, eight in another, three more in the third, 15 goals in three games, without having to use maximum force, save one, save another and still take Juazeirense in the Copa do Brasil, second game in Londrina, because that’s what the CBF allows.

Casa Bandida do Futebol that makes new and commendable cleaning in the old rubble to renew it with more of the same, the same methods, for the enjoyment of new associates, relatives of the president, even.

At Carnival, Mancha Verde, powered by easy money from loan sharking, is also a two-time champion in São Paulo, even with delays and a broken float. Let there be fortune!

Let’s go back to Libertadores.

Of the midfield, with four Brazilian teams, Corinthians has the most points, six, one more than Galo, although life for the quartet is difficult.

Everything was very tangled up in the respective groups, with Bragantino alive, Athletico Paranaense the same and Fortaleza and América dependent on unlikely miracles.

It’s undeniable that Corinthians’ victory over one of the worst Boca Juniors in recent times brought some encouragement in the fight for classification, but the fact that Deportivo Cali got a point in La Paz almost forces the alvinegro to win away from home, either in Colombia or at Bombonera. , to guarantee the spot in Itaquera against the Bolivians of Always Ready.

Hard life and strong emotions because, let’s face it, so far the football presented is far from convincing.

Anyway, of the seven national teams, it is possible to nail the classification of three, almost certainly of four, five are quite possible, and even six can do it.

May each one overcome the challenges imposed by those who speak Spanish in South America and the desires of the dryers in Portuguese.


On Tuesday (3), in Spain, Liverpool, the best team in the world in the last month, must pass the brave Villarreal that already made history by eliminating the fabulous Bayern Munich.

And the next day, another game to see kneeling, also in Spain, between Real Madrid and Manchester City, the second best team in the world.

Pep Guardiola’s team is better than Benzema’s, but the madridista club is much bigger than the English one.

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