Soccer – When are the 2018 Copa Libertadores finals? Dates for Boca vs River Superclasico decider

Soccer – When are the 2018 Copa Libertadores finals? Dates for Boca vs River Superclasico decider

They have a storied history in Argentina, but now they will go head to head to decide who is the best team in South America

For the first time in history Superclasico rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors will face off in the final of the Copa Libertadores.

The Argentine giants, who both have a long and distinguished history in the competition, overcame Brazilian opposition in the semi-finals to set up a tantalising decider.

Boca have already been in 10 finals and are chasing their seventh title, while River can add a fourth to their trophy cabinet in what will be their sixth final appearance.

As the two teams prepare to fight it out to be the best team in South America, Goal brings you everything you need to know, including dates, prize money and more.

What is the Copa Libertadores?

The CONMEBOL Libertadores or Copa Libertadores de America is an international club tournament organised by South American federation CONMEBOL.

Copa Libertadores de America is named in honour of the leaders of the Latin American wars of independence and it translates literally as ‘Liberators of America Cup’.

First organised in 1960, it features teams from across the continent, with Brazil and Argentina’s representatives dominating the honour roll. Mexican teams have also been invited to compete.

Argentine side Independiente are the most successful in the competition’s history with seven titles, while Boca are close behind with six. Uruguay’s Penarol have won five times and Argentina’s Estudiantes follow with four triumphs. Paraguayan outfit Olimpia have won the Copa three times, as have Nacional (Uruguay), River (Argentina), Sao Paulo, Gremio and Santos (all Brazil).

Twenty-five champions have come from Argentina and 18 from Brazil, with Uruguay providing eight winners. The remaining champions hail from Colombia, Paraguay, Chile and Ecuador. Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela and Mexico have never had a Copa Libertadores champion.

When are the 2018 Copa Libertadores finals?

Boca River La Bombonera

CONMEBOL has confirmed that the 2018 Copa Libertadores finals will take place on November 10 and November 24. The games will kick off at 5pm local time (8pm GMT / 3pm ET).

A two-legged affair, Boca will host the first leg at Estadio Alberto J. Armando ( La Bombonera ) and the second leg will be staged at River’s Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti ( El Monumental ).

The winner of the tie will be the CONMEBOL representative at the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in December.

Route to the finals

Agustin Almendra Boca Enzo Perez Exequiel Palacios River 2018-19

Both River and Boca were top seeds for the group stage draw, which took place in December 2017.

River were drawn in Group D along with Flamengo, Sante Fe and Emelec, finishing as group winners after three wins and three draws.

Competition Stage River Plate Boca Juniors
Group Stage Group D winners Group H runners up
Round of 16 Def. Racing 3-0 (agg.) Def. Libertad 6-2 (agg.)
Quarter-finals Def. Independiente 3-1 (agg.) Def. Cruzeiro 3-1 (agg.)
Semi-finals Def. Gremio 2-2 (a) (agg.) Def. Palmeiras 4-2 (agg.)

Boca were placed in Group H with Palmeiras, Junior and Allianza Lima. They finished runners up behind Palmeiras with two wins, three draws and a loss.

River overcame Racing, Independiente and Gremio en route to the finals, while Boca defeated Libertad, Cruzeiro and Palmeiras.

How to watch the Copa Libertadores final

FOX have the broadcasting rights for the Copa Libertadores in the United States and the final will be available to stream live online using Fox’s Match Pass service.

In the United Kingdom, the game will be available to watch on TV for free via FreeSports, which is broadcasting both legs.

Copa Libertadores prize money

Stage Prize
First Stage $300,000
Second Stage $400,000
Group Stage $600,000 (per home game)
Round of 16 $750,000
Quarter-finals $950,000
Semi-finals $1.35m
Losing finalist $3m
Winner $6m

Winning the Copa Libertadores is worth $6 million and the beaten finalist is given $3 million, but both teams will already have earned plenty of money by that point.

Teams eliminated at the first stage are given $300,000 each, while those who advance pocket $400,000. Each home game in the group stage is worth $600,000 and that increases to $750,000 for the round of 16.

Each quarter-finalist receives $950,000 and the reward for reaching the semi-finals is $1.35m.

Who won the 2017 Copa Libertadores?

Gremio Copa Libertadores 2017

The 2017 Copa Libertadores was won by Brazilian side Gremio, who defeated Argentina’s Lanus to claim their third title.

Gremio won the first leg 1-0 in Porto Alegre, with substitute Cicero getting the decisive goal, and they inflicted a 2-1 defeat on Lanus when they met in the second leg.

Goals from Fernandinho and Luan gave Gremio a 2-0 lead in Argentina before Jose Sand scored a penalty, which gave Lanus a glimmer of hope, but the tie ended 3-1 on aggregate.

What is the Superclasico?

Diego Maradona Boca River 1997

Superclasico is the name used to describe any meeting between rivals River and Boca. The clubs are both from the same area of Buenos Aires and they are Argentina’s most successful teams.

It is widely considered to be one of the fiercest rivalries in world football, comparable to Spain’s Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

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The rivalry is so fierce that both clubs have announced that they have prohibited the attendance of away fans for either leg of the Superclasico.

Ahead of their historic showdown in the Copa Libertadores finals River may have a slight edge, having defeated Boca 2-0 at La Bombonera in September. However, Boca are ahead in the overall standings, with 88 wins against River’s 81.

The Superclasico has witnessed some of the best footballers in the world, with the likes of Diego Maradona, Gabriel Batistuta and Juan Roman Riquelme gracing the derby.

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