Thursday Kickoff: San Lorenzo win first Copa Libertadores; Martinez suffers serious injury; and more

SanLorenzoCelebratesCopaLibertadoresTitle (AP)

By DAN KARELL

For the first time in club history, San Lorenzo are the champions of South America.

Nestor Ortigoza’s first-half penalty kick goal was enough to lead the Argentine club to their first Copa Libertadores title, winning the second leg against Nacional of Paraguay, 1-0 (2-1 agg.). The loss for Nacional represents the second straight year that a Paraguayan team has fallen in the Copa Libertadores final, after Olimpia fell to Atletico Mineiro in 2013.

In the 35th minute, Nacional’s Ramon Coronel was whistled for a handball in the box when his arm stopped a shot on goal. Ortigoza stepped up to the spot and forced Nacional goalkeeper Ignacio Don the wrong way to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in front of more than 40,000 screaming fans.

“This is a historic triumph, we are immensely happy,” San Lorenzo coach Edgardo Bauza said following the match.

With the win, San Lorenzo has earned themselves a place in the 2014 Club World Cup, set to take place in Morocco. They’ll be joined by Real Madrid, Cruz Azul, Auckland City,  Moghreb Tétouan, and two teams yet to be determined. San Lorenzo is also the favorite club of Pope Francis and the team will reportedly fly to the Vatican to meet the Pope in the coming days.

Here are some more stories from across the world:

MARTINEZ HIT WITH SUSPECTED ACL TEAR

Bayern Munich’s season could be heading off the rails before the train even hits top speed.

After being forced off in the DFL Super Cup, which saw Borussia Dortmund defeat Bayern Munich, 2-0, Javi Martinez admitted in a video message on Facebook following the match that he believes it’s “99 percent” a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The club refused to confirm that diagnosis, but everyone from the players to manager Pep Guardiola seemed to think the injury is a serious one.

“The doctor told me it was 99 percent a torn ACL,” Martinez reportedly said.

Martinez has been a vital player for Bayern since his signing in the summer of 2012. His versatility has allowed him to play either as a tremendous passing centerback or a holding midfielder in front of the back four, where he can distribute as well as break up attacks in the midfield.

IBRAHIMOVIC REITERATES DESIRE TO RETIRE IN PARIS

One of the world’s best players looks set to retire at the top of his game in two years time.

Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is heading into his third year in Paris, and after two Ligue 1 titles, he’s targeting UEFA Champions League glory. Outside of that though, Ibrahimovic reiterated his hopes to retire when his contract ends in 2016.

“I have a contract until 2016,” Ibrahimovic told ESPNFC when asked if he expected to finish his career at PSG. “I will be 34 next season and I don’t see myself continuing to play at the top level after that. So probably the answer is yes.”

Ibrahimovic began his career as a 17-year-old with Malmo FF in Sweden before moving to Ajax at age 20. From there, the Swedish international moved to Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, and AC Milan before heading to Paris.

QUICK KICKS

The Italian FA and Puma are working together to raise funds to sign Antonio Conte to a two-year contract to manage the Italian national team. (REPORT)

AS Monaco defender Eric Abidal, 34, has announced his retirement from the French national team. (REPORT)

Diego Lopez has completed his move to AC Milan from Real Madrid, signing a four-year contract at the San Siro. (REPORT)

Swansea City are closing in on signing Argentine centerback Federico Fernandez from Napoli for a 7 million pound transfer fee. (REPORT)

Everton have signed Ghanian international Christian Atsu a season-long loan from Chelsea. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? What do you think of San Lorenzo’s achievement? Do you see Bayern winning the Champions League without Martinez for much of the season? Think Ibrahimovic would retire at age 34?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: San Lorenzo win first Copa Libertadores; Martinez suffers serious injury; and more

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Every where Ibrhimovic has gone, they have won championships. His record is remarkable. The guy is one of the best ever

  2. DCGooner says:

    Wish Ibra played in the Prem and/or Bundesliga. They are the only two Euro leagues I really watch!

  3. RK says:

    I’m announcing my international retirement, too, because it seems that everyone has to, even if they have no chance to play for a national team.

  4. Brian I says:

    I don’t care how old he is…I would love to see Ibra in MLS! Imagine that personality in the US…$$$ for everyone.

    Oh and he’s one of the best of this generation…Unique elite skills with crazy size, it just isn’t fair. Definitely on level with my fav player Henry.

    • USA 2022 says:

      +1

      As a 34 year-old striker, he would be a perfect candidate for an MLS dp contract. NYCFC: Pay him… pay that man his money.

    • NASL TO EL PASO TX says:

      I hear you brian, but if MLS fans were saying and are still saying ronaldinho is too fat at 34 and slow, even though he might be better than half MLS, imagine what they would say about Ibra.
      Also, to be honest, ronaldinho, Ibra, robinho and some other big stars In their 30s would be in Miamis beckhams team In heart beat, common sense, there’s only 3 dps slots but I’m pretty sure,players would take payouts just to live in Miami.
      I can picture Ronaldinho, robinho, Ibra, casillas, Giovanni do santos saying, he’ll yeah I’ll take a low salary. The magic of having a owner like Beckham and combining Miami with Beckham . Only if Los Angeles 2, red bull, Chicago would open their wallet.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Except that Zlatan is still a great player while Ronaldinho is in fact a fat slow has been.

      • Brian I says:

        Yea but there have never been any question about Ibra’s fitness level, he’s always in great shape…he is to egotistical to become fat and slow haha.

      • AcidBurn says:

        Wait – you just compared Ibra to Ronaldinho?

        One is a striker known for his lazy, partying habits who played himself from top clubs in Europe all the way back into the Brazilian league.

        The other has played for almost every top club in the world and has won championships at basically, um ALL of them. If Ibra said “I’m coming to MLS” teams would line up, and fans would too.

        • NASL to EL PASO TX says:

          you know who i want, baloteli. mls need people like him and sportcenter, fs1 and tmz and Enetwork would be after him 24 7.
          imagine having baloteli, zlatan and ribery in one team.
          that would be the cowboys of mls, which I mean ridiculous:) funn

      • Tony in Quakeland says:

        Ibra is no worse than the third greatest player of his era. He could play jsut about anywhere another two to four years. Aside from being brilliant about managing his effort during a game, he’s also a Tae Kwon Do black belt and a fitness nut.

        If I were running the Galaxy I would be doing everything possible to bring him in to take Donovan’s DP slot

        • White Kix says:

          But then your Quakes would just sign Gooch, and then Ibra would have to retire or flee to a fat pay check in the middle east.

      • Tony in Quakeland says:

        Not to pile on here dude, but… have you watched this guy? Maybe you haven’t, because I can’t beleive if you did that this comparison would come to mind

  5. Ian says:

    Ibra will be 35 when his contract expires; still within the realm of MLS viability. No, I don’t want a bunch of 35 year-olds joining our league, but Zlatan is a legendary cult of personality. He’s one of the few players who could make a dent in the American sports landscape through his play and off-pitch persona. One or two years in MLS would be mutually beneficial for him and the league.

  6. Brian I says:

    link to youtube.com

    Imagine this in MLS…and at 35 he’d still be capable of this. He makes the impossible look easy!

  7. 407 says:

    As long as Ibra continued referring to himself in the third Zlatan, he’d fit in perfectly among NFL, MLB, and NBA stars here in the US.