Miniero, Sao Paulo clash in Copa Libertadores
Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian rivals Atletico Mineiro and Sao Paulo are expected to provide the highlight of the opening week of this year`s Copa Libertadores group stage when they clash at Atletico`s Estadio Independencia in Belo Horizonte Wednesday.
Both clubs are laden with star quality and are considered by most pundits as leading contenders to win South America`s most prized club trophy in 2013.
While Sao Paulo have lost 20-year-old winger Lucas Moura to Paris-Saint Germain since winning last year`s Copa Sudamericana, they have been bolstered by the additions of 2002 World Cup-winning centre-back Lucio and former Santos playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso.
Their squad also boasts prolific striker Luis Fabiano and ageless goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni, who at 40 is still the team`s designated free-kick and penalty taker.
They face an Atletico Mineiro outfit which has arguably been even busier in the off-season transfer market.
Among the new arrivals are one-time Brazil striker Diego Tardelli from Qatar`s Al-Gharafa as well as former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva.
The duo adds class to a squad already comprising two-time FIFA world player of the year Ronaldinho and emerging midfield star Bernard.
Tardelli, who has returned for a second stint with the club he represented from 2009 to 2011, is confident of developing a quick on-field rapport with Ronaldinho, despite having only arrived at the club last week.
"It`s an honour to be playing with Ronaldinho, I`m a fan and have always followed him closely," the 27-year-old said.
"Now I`m playing alongside him. I hope we can build a good understanding on the pitch. I don`t believe it will be difficult because he is intelligent and I also know how to think on the pitch."
Among other opening-week fixtures, reigning Argentine champions Velez Sarsfield are away to Ecuador`s Emelec Tuesday, Boca Juniors host Mexico`s Toluca Wednesday while Brazil`s Gremio, coached by former Real Madrid boss Vanderlei Luxemburgo, are at home to Chile`s Huachipato Thursday.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Indrani 'slow-poisoned' Sheena, wanted to portray Mikhail as 'mentally unstable'?
- 'Mann ki Baat': Will implement 13 new pointers to Land Bill from today itself, says PM Modi
- People have no faith left in Modi government: Sonia Gandhi at Swabhiman rally
- Will not allow any political party to join agitation: Hardik Patel
- Lashkar-e-Toiba plotting 26/11-style attack in India with the help of Pak Navy, ISI?
- Satire website publishes article on Osama bin Laden being alive and quotes Edward Snowden
- Sheena Bora murder case: Indrani Mukerjea's ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, driver taken to Raigad to recreate crime scene
- Indrani's former brother-in-law claims Sheena was Siddharth Das' daughter
- Sheena murder: Suitcase seized from Indrani, Peter's residence meant for disposing Mikhail's body?
- Sheena Bora murder case: 'Indrani Mukerjea's father thrashed her with belt'