This Saturday, Palmeiras and Santos will play the final of the 2020 Copa Libertadores, ultimately deciding which Conmebol representative plays in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar. This will be a final in which both teams are from Brazil, a situation not seen since 2006 when Internacional and Sao Paulo disputed the title.
A pair of Paulista rivals set to square off at the Maracanã!The two sides that first represented Brazil in the #Libertadores Final will meet this year in a battle for #GloriaEterna that is sure to provide us all with an #OtherworldlyFinal! pic.twitter.com/WAMIWPEDkd
— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@TheLibertadores) January 14, 2021
Santos, champions in 1962 and 1963 with Pelé and most recently in 2011, sealed their qualification with a flawless 3-0 victory over Boca Juniors.
Diego Pituca, Lucas Braga and Venezuelan Yeferson Soteldo scored the goals at the Vila Belmiro stadium. It was relatively comfortable for coach Cuca's men against an off opponent.
On the other hand, the excellent first leg performance of Palmeiras — they defeated River Plate 3-0 in Buenos Aires on Jan. 5 — was not seen in the second leg in Sao Paulo, but it was enough to eliminate the Argentine team in a pyrotechnic second leg, which was almost epic with a 2-0 River victory.
Palmeiras will contest the Copa Libertadores final for the fifth time in their history, but they only won the title in 1999 after defeating Deportivo Cali of Colombia.
Players to watch:
He's the player who's been directly involved in the most goals (12) in the 2020 Copa Libertadores. He's scored five and assisted seven.
Santos: Yeferson Soteldo
Has created 28 goal chances in Copa Libertadores 2020; only Nicolás De La Cruz of River (31) and Carlos Tevez of Boca (30) surpass this mark.
He is the player with the most fouls received (42) in the Copa Libertadores 2020; between the two semifinal legs, he drew 13 fouls: six in the first leg and seven in the second leg.
Palmeiras: Gabriel Menino
The Palmeiras player with the most touches (697) and the second most completed passes (382) in the 2020 Copa Libertadores.
Of the 13 goalkeepers with at least eight games in the 2020 Copa Libertadores, Weverton has conceded the fewest goals: six.
The final between Palmeiras and Santos brings an end to a season marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. A year in which, despite the difficulties, it has managed to deliver 100% of the competition in its entirety. In the United States, the broadcast of the match will begin this Saturday, January 30 at 3 p.m. ET and will be available on beIN SPORTS.