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Atletico Mineiro Crowned South American Champion

  • ESPN FC, Thursday, July 25, 2013 4:48 PM

Atletico Mineiro was crowned South American club champion on Wednesday after overcoming a 2-0 first-leg deficit to defeat Paraguayan champion Olimpia on penalties in the Copa Libertadores final. Goals from Jo and Leonardo Silva wiped out the first-leg deficit before the Belo Horizonte club outlasted Olimpia, 4-3, in a penalty shootout, guaranteeing a place in the FIFA Club World Cup, which will be played in Morocco in December.

"I came back to Brazil for this,” a jubilant Ronaldinho told Globoesporte.com. “A few months ago, they said Jo and I were over, but we have proved the players are not always wrong. Congratulations to Olimpia because reaching the final is not easy at all. That team deserves everything."

Atletico Mineiro coach Cuca told Fox Sports: "This club has more than 8 million supporters and had never won an important title before. This is a huge triumph for this club."

Disappointed Olimpia boss Ever Almeida said: "I'm still proud of my players, of their effort. However, we missed a lot of goal chances and you cannot fail in the final. Our fans have to be proud of these players. I don't think Atletico Mineiro did more than us in the two legs, but they are the champions and we failed."

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