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Corinthians' early exit shows the unpredictability of the Copa Libertadores

Corinthians, who made it to the round of 16 last season, couldn't even survive the second qualifying round of the Copa Libertadores this campaign.

The big guns of Europe prepare for battle next week when the knockout phase of the Champions League gets underway. The world's best will be on show -- but for all the quality, the competition comes under some fire for being increasingly predictable, dominated by a handful of super clubs.

In South America, meanwhile, the equivalent tournament, the Copa Libertadores, is still in its qualifying rounds -- and a giant has already fallen. At the first hurdle, 2012 champions Corinthians of Brazil were...

Copa Libertadores weighted against weaker teams but will there be any shocks?

Flamengo players celebrate with the Copa Libertadores trophy after beating River Plate in the final.
Flamengo are the Copa Liberatores champions.

Less than two months after the cries of the crowd from the 2019 Libertadores final have died down, it is time for the 2020 version to get underway.

It was on Nov. 23 when Flamengo of Brazil struck twice right at the end to steal the title from under the noses of Argentina's River Plate. The game took place in Lima, in the stadium of Universitario -- who kick off this year's action on Tuesday night then they travel to Venezuela to take on Carabobo.

It is the opening game in a convoluted, six week...

Gabriel Barbosa's amazing 2019 for Flamengo brings up a big decision: should he try again in Europe?

The FC guys say VAR is what needs to be fixed, not the offside law.
Gabriel Barbosa has been a revelation in 2019 for Flamengo, but now he faces the agonizing decision of whether or not to go back to Inter Milan and fight to break through in Europe.

Can Gabriel Barbosa buck the trend?

With 45% of the vote, the Brazilian striker has just been announced as South America's player of the year in the prestigious annual survey organized by the El Pais newspaper in Uruguay. He has enjoyed a wonderful year: top scorer in the Copa Libertadores with nine goals, including the two in the last few minutes of the final against River Plate that turned defeat into victory, and top scorer in the Brazilian Championship with 25 goals in Flamengo's joyful...

Watford's Joao Pedro can be the next Brazilian Premier League star but it won't happen overnight

Joao Pedro, 18, is the latest Brazilian teenager to move to Europe, following the likes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Gabriel Martinelli.

Watford's next game -- at home on New Year's Day against in-form Wolves -- could be the European debut for newcomer Joao Pedro. The 18-year-old Brazilian, who recently arrived from Fluminense, was presented to the crowd before the last home game, and now is eligible for selection. Some Watford fans see him as a possible saviour, the striker whose goals will haul the side to Premier League safety, but that surely is asking too much, too soon from the teenager.

Back in May, Pedro went from unknown...

Did Flamengo's CWC performance provide a sign of things to come?

Flamengo suffered a heartbreaking loss to Liverpool at the Club World Cup.

The Club World final loss last week to Liverpool was Flamengo's last game of the year. And, unlike Europe, the competition is seen as one of the highlights of the South American calendar. So much that the loss to the English side is still being debated and re-debated in the Brazilian media.

Could Flamengo have won? Did they deserve better? And what does it all mean? Such issues are being endlessly discussed, with a key fault line forming around one question; was this year's clash of European and...