History points Flamengo with 90% chance of beating Vélez Sarsfield

Played since 1960, the Copa Libertadores da América is going through a peculiar moment, even mocked as a “Brazil Cup with Argentines”. The two powers of the continent will open a new confrontation between them tomorrow (31). It will be in Buenos Aires, where Vélez Sarsfield will host Flamengo from 9:30 pm (Brasília time), at the José Amalfitani stadium.

Counting only direct confrontations (knockouts or finals), this will be the 74th time that Brazilians and Argentines face each other in the main tournament on the continent (including the pre-Libertadores clashes).

There’s an interesting balance in the overall look. The advantage is Argentina, with 38 classifications in the 73 matches so far (52% of the total).

Brazilians got the better of the other 35 definitions (or 48%).

Considering only the recent knockouts, however, the Brazilian advantage is enormous.

Of the last ten crosses between Brazilians and Argentines, the Brazilians won just nine, against only one triumph for the Argentines.

That is: considering only the history, Flamengo would enter the field with a 90% chance of being victorious against Vélez.

The green and yellow dominance started in the 2020 edition, when Palmeiras eliminated River Plate in the semi-final, with Santos doing the same with Boca Juniors.

In 2021, Santos advanced in the pre-Libertadores and left San Lorenzo along the way. In the round of 16, Atlético-MG passed Boca, while São Paulo and Flamengo eliminated Racing and Defensa y Justicia, respectively.

Also last year, Atlético-MG swept River Plate in the quarterfinals, winning 4-0 on aggregate.

In the 2022 Libertadores, the round of 16 featured two knockouts between Brazil and Argentina. Corinthians overcame Boca Juniors in full Bombonera, taking the best in penalty kicks after a 0-0 overall.

The Argentine victory in the same phase was much looser. Estudiantes imposed its tradition on Fortaleza and qualified 4-1 overall (1-1 at Castelão and 3-0 at La Plata).

The last Brazil vs Argentina was the controversial Athletico vs Estudiantes of the quarterfinals. Athletico won in La Plata by 1 to 0, with the saving goal coming in the last bid. Estudiantes complained too much about the refereeing.

ath - Disclosure/Athletico-PR - Disclosure/Athletico-PR

The moment after the goal of the classification of Athletico-PR over Estudiantes, for the quarterfinals of the Libertadores

Image: Publicity/Athletico-PR

The reasons for the disparity

Argentina is experiencing an unstable moment in football. The selection enjoys the best phase in decades. The country’s teams, on the other hand, see the Brazilian predominance in continental competitions without much to do.

The newspaper “Clarin“, the one with the highest circulation in the country (and anyone who knows Argentina knows that it is one of the most read countries in the world).

In a long analysis published last month, the daily considered it practically a miracle that any Argentine in this Libertadores was able to displace the Brazilians.

“In defense of the astonishment, in the Sudamericana, a miracle happened: Táchira, from Venezuela, eliminated the famous Santos, in the round of 16. [da Copa Sul-Americana]”, defined the “Clarin“, thus summarizing the possible chances of Argentina in the confrontation against Brazil.

“As in the Champions League, the matrix is ​​economic. Almost always, those who win or go the furthest are the ones with the most money and more possibilities to invest”, maintains the newspaper, which justifies the Brazilian power in Libertadores:

* Of the 20 players with the highest market value in this Libertadores, 14 are Brazilians. All represented Brazilian teams that are in the quarterfinals. And to them we must add a Uruguayan and an Argentine who appear in the top 20: Giorgian De Arrascaeta (from Flamengo) and Matías Zaracho (from Atlético-MG).

* All Argentine football players are already out, such as Facundo Farías (from Colón), Enzo Fernández, Esequiel Barco and Nicolás de la Cruz (River’s trio, but Fernández has already gone to Benfica).

* Extending the list to the top 40: 28 are Brazilians, and 31 of the total dispute the Brasileirão.

* What happens individually, logically, also happens with clubs: 12 of the 14 most valuable are Brazilian. The two Argentine exceptions are already out: River (fourth, behind Palmeiras and Flamengo) and Boca (seventh).

O “Clarin” also brought in his analysis a paragraph by the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano published in 2015 in “O Estado de S.Paulo”:

“I pray to God that players don’t lose this pleasure of playing football, because in recent years they’ve been conditioned to just winning, which translates into more money. Football has lost that spark of amazement that should mark every game. runs the risk of being a profitable business like drugs or weapons”.

The newspaper concludes:

“So right, so painful. Almost as shown now, perhaps exaggerating, the German series ‘Dogs of Berlin’ on Netflix.”

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