Palmeiras – Santos, São Paulo duel for the continental throne

Juan Lopesino


Palmeiras Y Saints, two teams from the state of Sao Paulo, will play on January 30 (17:00, local time) in Maracaná the final of the Cup Liberators 2020. A tournament marked, of course, by the coronavirus crisis, which hit the continent squarely in the decisive part of the group stage. It will be the first time that these two teams, which have experienced so many duels throughout history, meet in this competition. In addition, it will be the first final between Brazilian teams since 2006, when International beat Sao Paul.

The Verdao will search for your second title and Peixe will try to reach the throne for the fourth time. The former arrive as favorites if attention is paid to the individualities and growth shown by some of their young figures such as Menino or From Paula, among others, in recent months. However, on the other side, the team that won this tournament at the hand of Pele or Neymar, although does not have great figures, he has found the formula for success in collective work that goes from a good defense to forcefulness in the final meters by Marinho or Soteldo.


Palmeiras started the tournament with Luxembourg as coach and finished the group stage with Andrey lopes as an interim technician before the arrival of Abel ferreira. In those first six games the São Paulo team dominated with five wins and a draw. He scored 17 goals and only conceded two against opponents of a level well below a clear candidate for the title as they were Guarani, Bolivar Y Tiger. He won 5-0 against Bolivians and Argentines and reached the second round as the best group leader.

In the first round he passed over Dolphin, with a 1-3 in the first leg and another 5-0 in the return. An offensive display that launched the team despite having some significant casualties. In quarters it was measured at Freedom, a much more fierce team with which he could only tie one goal in Assumption. However, in the second leg the team once again showed its power to win 3-0.

During the semifinals before River the two ends of the team were seen. From 0-3 achieved in Avellaneda to touch the tragedy in the Allianz Park losing 0-2 and showing many doubts in defense and a null offensive performance. However, they got the ticket to the final.


The Santista painting, as Palmeiras, added 16 points in the group stage. Although with less spectacular records. In total, 10 goals for and five against. He won each of the games by the minimum and only Olympia was able to stop the winning streak with a goalless draw in Vila Belmiro.

Despite its great start to the tournament, in the round of 16 it was not clear the future of the team and it was measured at League of Quito, a frame of good level that also has the altitude of the Ecuadorian capital to be even stronger. Nevertheless, Saints showed his candidacy with a 1-2 away win thanks to goals from Soteldo Y Marinho. On the turn League they won 0-1 and brushed the comeback, however, the Brazilians survived.

From there Santos would be measured at Guild Y Mouth, two of the great favorites who succumbed in the return duels with a bang. In the quarterfinals the result of the first leg was 1-1 and at home the Peixe had a landslide start that allowed him to take a 2-0 lead in the first quarter of an hour. In the end the result was 4-1. Before Mouth They also showed a clear superiority and won 3-0.

Eleven of Palmeiras

Palmeiras arrives with all its available troops. Gustavo Gomez Y Patrick de Paula They recovered regardless of their physical problems and the same happened with the young man Gabriel Veron, which could act as a trigger. A scheme that highlights the strength of the midfield and the quality of the full-backs in the offensive task. Abel ferreira you also have the option of accumulating more players in the core and Raphael Veiga can enter eleven, so Scarpa would be left out. A template that is very wide and that offers the technician many variants.

Eleven of Santos

Nor will there be important players who miss the finale in the Peixe. The only notable absence will be that of the midfielder Jobson, who usually plays the last leg of the matches. However, there they can act Lucas Lima or the young man Sandry, that he would even have the option of being a holder instead of Braga in a more cautious scheme. Of the team, it is worth highlighting the forcefulness in the completion of the offensive players and the efficiency of the rear, which has curdled a sensational tournament.

Abel ferreira

The 42-year-old Portuguese coach was quick to reach the bench after hanging up his boots in 2011 after a lackluster career always in his country's soccer. He directed the subsidiaries of Sporting Y Braga Before moving to the latter's first team and carrying out three successful campaigns, in one of them he achieved the record for points and goals scored in a season. Then he left to take the reins of the PAOK Greek, where the results also accompanied. However, in October came the proposal to Palmeiras and accepted it. In a few months he has managed to get the team to reach the final of the Brazil Cup and of this Cup Liberators.

Coach with an offensive tendency who has known how to get the most out of each player. He has recovered some pieces that seemed lost just a few months ago and although the team still needs time to learn some automatisms, he seems ready to search for the title. Usually uses a 4-2-3-1 scheme in which the wingers usually contribute a lot in the rival field while the double pivot supports the defensive part. In the final meters the team does not hesitate to be vertical and finish the arrivals without hesitation.

Comparison between Ferreira and Cuca.

Comparison between Ferreira and Cuca.

Comparison data: Sofascore


The 57-year-old coach has extensive experience with 23 years of work on the benches that have allowed him to direct the main teams in Brazil such as Flamengo, Sao Paul, Guild, Fluminense, Cruzeiro or Athletic Mineiro. Now he lives his third stage in Saints and is one step away from repeating the success of 2013, when he was champion of the Liberators with Athletic Mineiro. In addition, a team that he knows well and with which he obtained the Brazilian in 2016.

He has always led with passion and has given his teams the extra strength it takes to be successful. Talent is not enough, but calls for tireless work on the part of every player who jumps onto the pitch. And now you have found a block that is perfectly suited to your requests. Like his rival, he also uses the 4-2-3-1 formula. Although in this case the wingers tend to hold back more and the team has no problems generating more positional attacks. Intense pressure is one of your keys to stealing in dangerous positions.


The Verdao has played four finals of Cup Liberators but he has only been able to add one title so far. In the 1960s he played two finals (1961 and 1968) but fell in both cases. In the first of them the São Paulo team fell to Peñarol and that squad stood out Djalma Saints, a two-time world champion. Seven years later the hard Students won the trophy with a third tiebreaker match played at the stadium Centenary from Montevideo. There Palmeiras had the mythical Ademir da Guide already Baldocchi, member of Brazil of the 70, although in the world of that year he did not play any games.

It took 31 years for the São Paulo team to return to a final and, this time, win the title. Before Sports Cali the cadre trained by Scolari they fell 1-0 in the first leg and won 2-1 at home. Then, the decisive penalty shootout fell from the Brazilian team. Of this template it is worth highlighting frames, Roque Junior or Alex. In 2000, that great team was close to revalidating the title but the penalty shootout on that occasion benefited Mouth in a stadium Morumbí to overflow.


Santos has also played four finals in the great continental club tournament. However, his success rate is much higher and he has three titles. Two names stand out above the rest in this story, Pele Y Neymar. Both led two generations 50 years apart to lift the trophy.

Pele He won the titles of 1962 and 1963. In the first of them the star arrived injured in the final after the Chile World Cup and only the tiebreaker match against Peñarol. Scored two goals and led Saints At the top. One year later the Peixe reptió title before Mouth. With victories both in the first leg and in the second leg, where the victory was certified. In addition to Pele, it is worth highlighting Coutinho, who scored three goals at Xeneize.

Then came a prolonged drought that only Neymar He was able to stop at a tournament that catapulted him into European football. In the final they beat Peñarol with goals from the now forward of PSG Y Danilo, Juventus side and former of Real Madrid. Years before, in 2003, Santos lost his only final to another great generation of footballers who were left without a prize. There they were Robinho, Diego, Renato Y Oliveira. However the Mouth from Bianchi it was devastating.

Maracana it is one of the most historic stadiums in the world. Usual home of Flamengo Y Fluminense, will open its doors for the second single match final in the Cup Liberators. Always remembered for that triumph of Uruguay at 1950 World Cup, also left the title for Germany before Argentina in 2014.

It was opened in 1950 for that world what to Brazil it escaped from his hands and was reformed to host the World Cup event in which the hosts were destroyed in the Mineirazo. Although the game will be played behind closed doors, it has a capacity for 84,738 spectators and has an attendance record that seems impossible to beat in the medium term. In a Classic between Fla Y Flu 194,603 people were gathered in December 1963.