The Round of 16 is going well in the Copa Libertadores, with three out of the five games so far ending in 0-0 draws – a common theme of my football writing recently. The other two games had 1-0 scorelines, so it’s fair to say this video is the most exciting thing to happen thus far in the last 16:
We can only assume he’s a Deportivo Táchiro fan with a grin like that.
Tonight sees River Plate take on Independiente del Valle of Ecuador, with the Porteños Boca Juniors facing Cerro Porteño from Paraguay in some kind of meta-hell.
The Argentines will be looking for markedly improved performances compared to their drab nil-nil at the weekend and a return to the form they’d found before *that* Superclásico.
Outside South America, it was a good night for Argentina legend Diego Simeone as his Atlético Madrid team defeated Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich 1-0 at the Vicente Calderón Stadium in a turn up for the books.
21-year-old midfielder Saúl Ñíguez’s slick solo goal showcased the latest in a long line of prodigal Spanish talent, and won his team the match as Simeone aims to become the third Argentine manager to win the European Cup, since Luis Carniglia with Real Madrid in 1958 and ‘59, and Helenio Herrera’s Inter Milan in ’64 and ’65 – both with back-to-backs.
Simeone is no stranger to the final of European competitions, with his Atléti side losing out to city rivals Real in 2014.
At the moment, El Cholo & Co. look unstoppable, having defeated Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich this season – widely considered to be the world’s three best teams at the moment.
An absolutely remarkable achievement in itself, let alone when you consider Atléti have a track record of selling their best players, consistently. From Sergio Agüero to Fernando Torres, Radamel Falcao to Diego Costa, Atlético has always readily sold its best player and yet still somehow manages to pull off an even greater coup by finding a diamond in the rough.
Frenchman Antoine Griezmann looks to be the next in a long line of superb forwards, and if Diego Simeone keeps this up he may claim the spot as the best manager currently in the business.