Palmeiras and Santos renew their rivalry as both sides battle for Libertadores glory in the final at Maracanã
Two teams from Sao Paolo will be aiming for silverware as Palmeiras and Santos take on each other in the final of the Copa Libertadores 2020. This fixture is all the more special not just because of the rivalry between both clubs but also because it will mark for an all-Brazilian final as well.
Both teams won Argentine teams in their semi-final victories. Palmeiras claimed narrow 3-2 win via aggregate against River Plate. Elsewhere, Santos saw an easier stroll as they claimed a 3-0 win over Boca Juniors following a goalless stalemate in Argentina.
Predicting a winner for this one could be difficult as bot of sides have struggled of late domestically.
Palmeiras have only one win to their name from their last five league games. For their last outing, Verdão were held to a 1-1 draw by Vasco da Gama in midweek. Santos had it worse. They come into the game on the back of a 2-0 loss to Atletico MG.
Palmeiras will be making their fifth Libertadores final appearance, having won the competition once in their history (1999). In similar fashion, Santos have also made five final appearances but have a better record, having won the title three times and in search of their fourth triumph.
A new chapter of one of the fiercest rivalries in Brazilian football will be re-ignited in a game that is fondly known as the Clássico da Saudade.
The rivalry stems from the reason that both clubs are the prominent sides in Sao Paolo and their games over the years have been well known to bring lots of drama and intensity.
The intensity comes from the fact that both clubs are preeminent in the state of Sao Paolo and matches between the sides are characterized by high passion and physicality.
Infact, Palmeiras and Santos have a rivalry that goes all the way back to 50 years ago. More specifically, the 1960s saw an era where both sides had two of the best Brazilian players around in Pelé and Ademir da Guia.
— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@TheLibertadores) January 29, 2021
Back in 2015, both sides met in the Paulista finals and it was a tense event on that day. Santos lost the first leg at the time but tied the scores at Vila Belmiro and eventually won the game via penalties. It was a controversial game that saw three red cards given (Dudu and Victor Ramos were expelled for Palmeiras while Geuvânio saw red for Santos.
If that wasn’t enough, Robinho further annoyed the Palmeiras faithful by having a go at them via chants in the dressing room after the victory. Since that time, this particular fixture has gotten tense and tense. The last meeting between both sides saw a 2-2 score-line in Vila Belmiro back in December. Zé Rafael was given a red card in the final minute of that game.
Regardless of whoever wins at Maracanã, there will be history made as Palmeiras aim to lift their first Libertadores title in over 20 years while Santos will be seeking their first in a decade.