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Praise for South America's Champions League

  • SI.com, Wednesday, March 21, 2007 1:59 PM
Greg Lalas of SI.com makes a great point: the mainstream English-speaking soccer press tends to ignore the Copa Libertadores, South America's equivalent to the UEFA Champions League, which is a big shame, actually, because it's at that competition that many of the world's future great stars shine. But in general, few pay attention to South America -- the birthplace of much (if not most) of the world soccer's highest-quality players -- unless, of course, we're talking about the latest young star dubbed the next Maradona or Ronaldinho. Then again, there are so many next-somebodies in Argentina and Brazil it's impossible to count.

Lalas points out that as Americans, we have peculiar reasons for becoming fans of certain clubs. We don't, for example, choose to become fans of the local team, because in most instances, there's no such thing. Nor do we necessarily support the team our dad did. Maybe it takes a trip to Europe for some to become fans of the European game. If that really is the case, then you should head down to South America (it's way cheaper than Europe these days) and take in a Boca-River or Sao Paulo-Santos game. You would not forget it, and then, likely, you wouldn't forget the Copa Libertadores, either.

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