Cano and Fábio are protagonists of the Tricolor, while Valencia and Rochet are protagonists of Colorado
Fluminense and Internacional will face each other in the first leg of the Libertadores semi-final this Wednesday (27th), at the Maracanã. The teams led by Fernando Diniz and Eduardo Coudet have strengths in both the offensive and defensive sectors in the competition.
Tricolor is counting on the services of Germán Cano in command of the attack and has a lot of faith in goalkeeper Fábio, who is going through a great phase despite being 42 years old. On the other hand, Colorado looked for reinforcements in the last transfer window and signed center forward Enner Valencia and wall tackle Rochet.
In attack, Fluminense fields Germán Cano, scorer of nine goals in the Libertadores and top scorer of the competition. Since he arrived at the Club, the number 14 has been the main protagonist of the team and has already scored 77 goals with the Italian shirt. The Argentine is the 3rd best foreign scorer in the history of the Guerreiros team.
The striker has been decisive for Team de Guerreiros since the group stage, where he scored a hat-trick in his team’s big 5-1 win over River Plate. The goalscorer also scored a brace in the return match of the quarter-finals against Olimpia and is one of the jewels in the crown of Fernando Diniz’s team.
At Internacional, Enner Valencia can be called “Mister Libertadores”. The striker was signed as Colorado’s main reinforcement in the middle of the year and has already scored four goals in South America’s biggest club competition, although the athlete did not have the same performance in the Brasileirão.
In the round of 16, the Ecuadorian scored a goal against River Plate at the Monumental de Núñez, although he missed the return leg. However, the centre-forward scored all three goals in the home and away matches against Bolívar in the quarter-finals of the competition, setting the tone for his importance.
In defense, goalkeepers are protagonists and experience different phases of life. On the Fluminense side, Fábio has the experience and desire to rewrite their history in the Libertadores. The goalkeeper has played 97 matches in the competition so far, being the Brazilian who has played the most on the pitch. But he never raised the cup. In 2009 they reached the decision and lost to Estudiantes, of Argentina.
Now, at Fluminense, Fábio doesn’t seem to feel his age. On the verge of turning 43 between semi-finals, he is going through one of the best phases of his career. The goalkeeper has reinvented himself in the role since he arrived at the Tricolore, actively participating in the construction of plays. He was also one of the protagonists of the return match of the quarter-finals, when Fluminense beat Olimpia, in Paraguay.
– A goalkeeper at his age is unlikely to perform as well as he does. Fábio is a goal genius. Since I got here he hasn’t stopped training for a minute. He is an impressive young man who deserves all the praise. He is a light-hearted guy, a positive leader, a person who everyone likes – said Diniz.
Already on the Internacional side, Rochet arrived in July and has already taken on a leading role in the team. Before, at Nacional, in Uruguay, he had shone by winning eight titles in four years. Despite having also played in the Netherlands and Turkey, the Uruguayan is only 30 years old, has played 37 matches in the competition and is experiencing one of the best moments of his career.
Inter’s qualification for the quarter-finals passed through the gloves and feet of the goalkeeper. In addition to great saves in regular time against River Plate, in the home and away games, the goalkeeper scored the decisive penalty that eliminated the Argentines from the competition.
*Of Rochet’s 10 matches with Libertadores, six were with Nacional-URU
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