Published: Sun, December 09, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Copa Libertadores final: Boca and River to meet in Madrid now

Copa Libertadores final: Boca and River to meet in Madrid now

And with global interest, a select group of River Plate fans caused the fixture to be postponed following an attack on the team bus that injured several Boca players.

Tens of thousands of Boca and River fans are in the city for the "superclasico" at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Sunday. Some have travelled, including Agustin Giacone, one Boca supporter who arrived in Madrid on Wednesday.

Boca's latest attempt to be declared champion without playing on Sunday failed when the Court of Arbitration for Sport denied its request to suspend the second leg. Boca appealed to CAS on Friday after South American soccer governing body CONMEBOL ruled against disqualifying River from the tournament because of what happened in Buenos Aires.

How the change in venue (not only stadium but country and continent) affect the dynamic of this game remains to be seen but it should surely be a help for Boca as they avoid having to play away from home in that cauldron that is the Estadio Monumental.

Part of Argentina's appeal as a football culture is its authenticity, a trait evermore at odds with the big bucks of Europe's big five leagues. "It's going to be a great party", he said.

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For each club, the 20,000 tickets allocated to fans in Spain and elsewhere sold out within hours but some of the 5,000 for residents in Argentina remain available.

The game kicks off at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium in front of nearly 80,000 fans at 8.30pm local time (19:30 GMT) on Sunday. Their last victory in the competition came back in 2007 and they will feel another triumph is overdue. Separate fan zones will be available for supporters from each club. River fans would go to the Plaza de Colon, while Boca supporters would go to the Plaza de Cibeles, known for Real Madrid's title celebrations.

For River and Boca, the victor will hoist the cup and then join their hosts, Real Madrid, at the World Club Cup in the United Arab Emirates later this month.

Madrid officials estimate the Copa Libertadores final will generate a positive economic impact of almost 40 million euros ($45 million) to the city.

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