Palmeiras are back in the Libertadores Cup, a title which is “an obsession”, as one of the most famous songs echoing from the stands proudly declares.
The Conmebol draw placed Palmeiras in Group 2, together with Nacional (Uruguay), Rosario Central (Argentina) and either Universidad de Chile or River Plate of Uruguay: the initial knock-out phase takes place in early February, with La U and River being two of the twelve teams battling for one of six spots in the group phase.
The following group phase is composed of 32 teams divided into eight groups of four, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the next stage. Besides Palmeiras, we have three Brazilian clubs confirmed in the group phase: Atlético Mineiro, Corinthians, and Grêmio. SPFC decide their fortune against Peruvian club Cesar Vallejo in the initial knock-out phase.
What is in the cards for Palmeiras?
Founded on Christmas eve of 1889, Rosario Central are not considered one of the major teams in Argentina, although they have a strong supporter base, known for turning their home grounds – the Gigante de Arroyito stadium – into a boiling kettle.
Once a true great, Nacional have not won an international title since the eighties. Former Palmeiras player Sebastán Eguren is in the squad, as well as “Loco Abreu”, who had a decent spell for Botafogo in Brazil. Nacional are three times Libertadores champion.
River Plate are based in Montevideo, where the club was founded in 1932. This is their first appearance in the Libertadores Cup, having finished third in the 2014-2015 season of the Uruguayan national league.
“La U” is a respected team in Chile and a tough nut to crack. Disciplined, aggressive, skilled players. Founded in 1927, the team from Santiago should have no problem beating River to the last spot in Group 2.
Palmeiras’ complete schedule in Group 2
16/02, 20h45 (local time) – Universidad de Chile (CHI) or River Plate (URU) vs. Palmeiras
02/03, 21h45 (Brasilia time) – Palmeiras vs. Rosario Central (ARG)
09/03, 21h45 (Brasilia time) – Palmeiras vs. Nacional (URU)
17/03, 21h45 (local time) – Nacional (URU) vs. Palmeiras
06/04, 21h45 (local time) – Rosario Central (ARG) vs. Palmeiras
14/04, 21h45 (Brasilia time) – Palmeiras vs. Universidad de Chile (CHI) or River Plate (URU)
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!