- Paulista rivals contest Copa Libertadores final
- Pair were top two teams at group stage
- Winners of 61st edition to play in next month’s FIFA Club World Cup
Palmeiras and Santos, the two top-ranked teams from the group stage, go head-to-head this Saturday in the final of the 2020 Copa Libertadores at the fabled Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Under Portuguese coach Abel Ferreira, Palmeiras head into the decider with more matches won, more goals scored and fewer conceded, albeit after a scare in the semi-final against River Plate, when a 3-0 away win in the first leg proved just enough to get them over the line.
By contrast, Cuca’s Santos side saved their best form for the latter stages of the knockout phase, dispatching heavyweights Boca Juniors in their semi without conceding in either leg.
While this classic Paulista derby is steeped in history, it will be the first time it has taken place in South America’s premier club tournament.
The winner, it should be noted, will represent CONMEBOL at the FIFA Club World Cup 2020, which will take place in Qatar from 4 to 11 February.
⚔️ The match
SE Palmeiras 🆚 Santos FC
🗓 Saturday 30 January
🕔 17:00 local time
🏟 Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
🧐 The story so far
The number of countries, from across five continents, that will broadcast the final between Palmeiras and Santos live on television, setting a new record for the competition. Last year’s final, which was played in Lima, Peru, was shown in 186 countries.
The amount in millions of dollars that one of these clubs will get for winning the final, the most prize money given in the history of the tournament. This does not include what the club will have received en route to the final, which could bring the total to around $22,000,000 USD, not to mention guaranteed earnings from the next edition, which, as winners, they automatically qualify for.
🎙 The quote
“The Palmeiras supporters are fanatical, unbelievably passionate. ’99, it’s been too long – I wasn’t even born. We’re determined to win the Libertadores trophy for them. I firmly believe we will become champions.”
Gabriel Menino, Palmeiras midfielder
“Receiving support from a player like Neymar and the king of football, Pele, is something that gives us a lot of motivation. Pele made history, Neymar is making history. To have them both watching us, sending their support, makes us really happy.”
Marinho, Santos forward