by Raphael Fantauzzi
Palmeiras of Brazil, led by idol Luiz Felipe Scolari tries to put the team
among the top ranks of South American soccer again. It was under the command
of “Big Phil” the team with the biggest Italian community in Brazil won
the Libertadores Cup in 1999. Scolari is a specialist in short competitions, proof was
the 2002 World Cup Title with Brazil and the great results obtained with Portugal at
Euro 2004 and World Cup in Germany in 2006. Difficult task for a team seeking
consistency and faces a Universitário de Sucre who have motivation to spare.
Bolivians know that there best bet to advance is the first leg at home where they
have a huge advantage; altitude, the game will be played at 2,790 meters (9,150 ft)
above sea level. Universitario de Sucre got amazing results eliminating Colo-Colo
(Chile) and Cerro Porteño (Paraguay). With great tactical discipline and speed the
Bolivian squad is able to reach the quarter-final. For the match against the Brazilians, all of
their players will be available for the coach Javier Vega. In attack, the
coach will opt for a more offensive role, with Horacio Fernandez and Roberto
Galindo, leading the attack.
But they must be careful with the attack too taht has the “Gladiator” Kléber
(ex-Cruzeiro and Dynamo Kiev) and Everton (ex-Zaragoza). Other players also include
the ex-Betis midfielder Marcos Assunção (photo), though a veteran, he is a good scorer,
passing the ball and freekicking with excellence and perfection. Assumção saved Palmeiras
from worse outcomes in recent league games.
The match will be Friday at 00:15 GMT at the Estadio Patria de Sucre in Bolivia.
Hopefully Evo Morales will not play.