FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018

12 December - 22 December

FIFA Club World Cup 2018

Former champions dominate last-16 line-up

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  • Thirteen of the 16 sides left have won the competition before
  • Only five of them did so in a FIFA World Cup™ year
  • The tournament winners will advance to this year’s FIFA Club World Cup

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ now over, the Copa Libertadores returns this week with the first legs of the eight Round-of-16 ties.

The current competition is notable for the fact that no fewer than 13 of the sides who have reached the knockout phase are former winners of the tournament. They include defending champions Gremio and the two most successful sides in Copa Libertadores history: Independiente with seven tournament wins, and Boca Juniors with six.

The winners of this year’s competition will represent South America at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018.

Did you know?

  • This is the first time since the Round of 16 was introduced (in 1989, 28 editions ago) that each tie features at least one former winner of the competition.
  • The 13 Libertadores champions still in contention have lifted the trophy 35 times between them, out of the 58 occasions on which the competition has been held to date.
  • Of those 13, only five have won the tournament in a World Cup year: Santos in 1962, Estudiantes in 1970, Independiente in 1974, Boca Juniors in 1978, and River Plate in 1986.

Breakdown by country

  • All six Brazilian teams and all six Argentinian sides that contested the group phase have advanced to the last 16.
  • In stark contrast, Uruguay’s representatives, who have won the trophy eight times between them, all failed to make the last 16, the first time this has happened since 2012.
  • Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela have no teams left in this year’s competition either.

Estudiantes (ARG) v Gremio (BRA)
First leg: 7 August – Second leg: 28 August
Copa Libertadores titles: 4-3
Fact: Gremio are aiming to become the first side to retain the Copa Libertadores title since Boca Juniors in 2001.

Flamengo (BRA) v Cruzeiro (BRA)
First leg: 8 August – Second leg: 29 August
Copa Libertadores titles: 1-2
Fact: This tie is a repeat of the 2017 Brazilian Cup final, when the men from Belo Horizonte won on penalties.

Boca Juniors (ARG) v Libertad (PAR)
First leg: 8 August – Second leg: 30 August
Copa Libertadores titles: 6-0
Fact: Eduardo Villalba, Libertad’s recently appointed coach, was a semi-finalist with El Gumarelo in 1979.

Colo Colo (CHI) v Corinthians (BRA)
First leg: 8 August – Second leg: 29 August
Copa Libertadores titles: 1-1
Fact: the only Chilean team ever to win the Libertadores, Colo Colo are in the last 16 for the first time in 11 years.

Racing Club (ARG) v River Plate (ARG)
First leg: 9 August – Second leg: 29 August
Copa Libertadores titles: 1-3
Fact: Of the 13 former champions still in the hunt for this year’s title, Racing have gone the longest without winning the competition. Their one and only Copa Libertadores triumph came 50 years ago.

Atletico Tucuman (ARG) v Atletico Nacional (COL)
First leg: 9 August – Second leg: 28 August
Copa Libertadores titles: 0-2
Fact: Atletico Nacional’s Argentinian coach Jorge Almiron guided Lanus to last year’s final.

Cerro Porteno (PAR) v Palmeiras (BRA)
First leg: 9 August – Second leg: 30 August
Copa Libertadores titles: 0-1
Fact: this tie promises plenty, with the team with the best record of the group winners taking on the best second-placed side.

Independiente (ARG) v Santos (BRA)
First leg: 21 August – Second leg: 28 August
Copa Libertadores titles: 7-3
Fact: the most decorated side in the history of the competition, Independiente have reached the Round of 16 for the first time in 23 years.

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