Flu vs LDU: kill or be killed at the Maracanã
If you listen to what the Fluminense folks have been saying for the past few days, a Brazilian win in Wednesday's Copa Libertadores final second leg at the MaracanÃÂ£ against LDU is as certain as death and taxes.
It seems the 4-2 defeat in the Quito game never happened. Coach Renato GaÃÂºcho and his players are backing themselves in such a way that even the party-happy Brazilian press is talking about Ã¢ÂÂexcess of confidence.Ã¢ÂÂ
Claudio Bieler celebrates giving LDU first-leg lead
HereÃ¢ÂÂs a selection of quotes from the self-assured tricolores:
Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂll leave the MaracanÃÂ£ stadium as champions. WeÃ¢ÂÂll score as many goals as necessary.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂ coach Renato GaÃÂºcho
Ã¢ÂÂI donÃ¢ÂÂt know how IÃ¢ÂÂm going to lift the trophy. IÃ¢ÂÂll see that at the moment.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂ captain Luiz Alberto
Ã¢ÂÂFluminense has overcome tougher situations against bigger clubs like SÃÂ£o Paulo and Boca Juniors. With all due respect, LDU wonÃ¢ÂÂt hold us down.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂ coach Renato GaÃÂºcho
Ã¢ÂÂLDUÃ¢ÂÂs best player wonÃ¢ÂÂt show up to the MaracanÃÂ£ game. ItÃ¢ÂÂs the altitude.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂ forward Washington
Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre not desperate. ItÃ¢ÂÂs LDU who should be desperate, because theyÃ¢ÂÂll face Fluminense in a sold out MaracanÃÂ£.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂ coach Renato GaÃÂºcho
For some unknown reasons, theyÃ¢ÂÂre talking the talk like there was no tomorrow. And there wonÃ¢ÂÂt be one if they donÃ¢ÂÂt walk the walk.
Losing the Copa Libertadores would have a devastating effect on Fluminense, whose continental obsession is driving them rock bottom in the National Championship.
Their five losses and three draws in eight games have been tolerated by the fans only because theyÃ¢ÂÂve been promised the Libertadores.
Bouncing back from such a difficult situation without the South American crown wonÃ¢ÂÂt be easy.
Dario Conca keeps Fluminense in contention
Sure, Fluminense has what it takes to reverse LDUÃ¢ÂÂs advantage.
Winning by two goals at the MaracanÃÂ£ isnÃ¢ÂÂt a herculean task, but they should be aware that only once in the history of the Libertadores final has a team overcame a two-goal deficit to take the crown Ã¢ÂÂ ColombiaÃ¢ÂÂs AtlÃÂ©tico Nacional in 1989.
And thereÃ¢ÂÂs also LDU in their way. At first, the Ecuatorians didnÃ¢ÂÂt mind the bold interviews from the Brazilians. Coach Edgardo Bauza had said Renato GaÃÂºcho was right in believing his team. But such despise for LDU made him change his mind, and send a message to his fellow gaffer.
Ã¢ÂÂIf I was a soothsayer, I wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt be a football coach. IÃ¢ÂÂd be rich predicting things. What I can assure is that, to take the Libertadores from us, theyÃ¢ÂÂll have to kill us.Ã¢ÂÂ