Flamengo defeats Paranaense 1-0 and wins its third Copa Libertadores

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Gabriel Barbosa’s goal at the end of the first half led Flamengo to their third Copa Libertadores title by beating Athletico Paranaense 1-0. The triumph of ‘Mengao’ in the final of the 63rd edition played in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil, leaves Brazil with a total of 22 wins in said tournament.

A goal towards the end of the first half of the game defined the 63rd edition of the Copa Libertadores. Flamengo from Rio de Janeiro defeated Paranaense from Curitiba and lifted their third trophy of the tournament.

The Monumental Isidro Romero Carbo stadium in Guayaquil, of Barcelona in Ecuador, was the venue for this new edition of the most important soccer trophy in the South American continent. Fans of both Brazilian teams attended there, but they did not manage to fill the sports venue.

A close match that, despite the superiority of Flamengo who dominated the match with more than 70% possession, was defined in the 48th minute of the first half when Gabriel Barbosa scored the only goal of the match.

The striker known as ‘Gabigol’ became the top Brazilian scorer in the history of the Libertadores and one of the few players to have scored in three finals of the competition.

Gabriel Barbosa of Flamengo celebrates scoring the only goal of the Copa Libertadores final.
Gabriel Barbosa of Flamengo celebrates scoring the only goal of the Copa Libertadores final. © Mauricio Duenas Castaneda / EFE

The match also had a turning point when in the 42nd minute of the first half, the Paranaense player Pedro Henrique received a second yellow card in the 42nd minute and was sent off from the match. A setback that changed coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s approach to play.

The team had controlled the center of the game, making it impossible for ‘Mengao’ to reach Bento Matheus’ goal. Especially in the first part of the game, Scolari’s bet on a personal marking had caused difficulties in Flamengo’s control of the game. However, with the expulsion and the passing of the minutes, the effective defense of Paranaense was diluted.

Despite the fact that the team dressed in white had a good second half, Paranaense’s attacks could not materialize and they were unable to take home their first Copa Libertadores.

An undefeated run and a history of finals

The journey of both teams in the tournament was contrasting. Flamengo reached the final undefeated. They beat Deportivo Tolima in the round of 16, Corinthians in the quarterfinals and Vélez Sarsfield in the semifinal.

For its part, with a tighter result, Paranaense defeated Palmeiras, one of the tournament’s favorites, in the semifinals. He left Estudiantes de la Plata in the quarterfinals and Libertad in the second round.


His path in the last editions towards the final of this Copa Libertadores also differs. For the ‘Mengao’ this victory tasted like revenge, since he lost against Palmeiras last year. The Rio de Janeiro team had already established itself as the continental winner in 1981 and in 2019.

For its part, the ‘Furacao’ has not been able to lift this trophy, in the past it lost another final of the Libertadores in 2005.

A star-studded champion

A form from which names with enormous football careers stand out. Flamengo has put together a team full of stars in recent years.

One of them, Filipe Luís, was part of top-level European teams such as Atlético Madrid and Chelsea FC. The 37-year-old defender was substituted after 16 minutes after going down in a crash. The player had also missed a good part of the 2021 final due to an injury in the first half of said match.

Another of the recognized faces is that of the Chilean Arturo Vidal. The midfielder, who played for teams such as Bayern Munich and Barcelona, ​​came on in the 70th minute. His arrival in the final was uncertain as he suffered an injury to his right leg.


Along with them, the 9 of the ‘Mengao’, Gabriel Barbosa who went through Inter Milan has established himself as one of the top scorers in South America.

With the victory this Saturday, the Rio de Janeiro team won a prize of 16 million dollars with which it is expected to continue signing world football figures.

Brazil stands out in South American football

You have to go back to 2018 to find a Copa Libertadores final that hasn’t had a Brazilian team. In that year, two Argentine teams, River and Boca, faced each other.


Since then a name in Portuguese has always reached the final stay of the tournament. In fact, it is the third consecutive final that faces two Brazilian teams and the fifth in history that has two teams from that country.

Some golden years of Brazilian football at the South American level, leaving the country with 22 titles, three fewer than Argentina.

With EFE and local media

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Written by Editor TLN

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