Peñarol made the Copa Libertadores Final in 2011 against Santos and now find themselves out at the group stage for 2012. Peñarol did have to qualify for the group stage against Caracas and have never really recovered from the early loses in the group stage for the 2012 tournament.
Nacional and Defensor after some necessary wins today get to fight another day.
Considering that Peñarol had not qualified for the Libertadores for so many years compared to Nacional and Co, however Peñarol made the final in 2011 which is something that Nacional have not been able to achieve since the 1980’s.
The CONMEBOL rankings are out and Peñarol (15th) finds itself FIRST in the rankings with Nacional (17th) SECOND (which isn’t FIRST)!!
Peñarol had to beat U de Chile who is ranked 4th and Nacional had to beat Alianza Lima ranked 50th to maintain the Libertadores dream. Peñarol had the chances to win the game against U de Chile but as Peñarol pushed for a win they ended up losing the game. Peñarol will now focus on the Clausura in an attempt to win the Uruguayan Championship and qualify directly to the Libertadores 2013.
Below is the table of the top 15 teams in CONMEBOL:
Below is the table of the Top Goalscorers (Notice Nacional does not make the list!!):
Now before you start thinking that I’m not supporting the other two teams still alive in the Libertadores I need to clarify the following:
In the 1980’s I was able to witness some amazing games by both Peñarol and Nacional in the Libertadores.
That amazing game that Diego Aguirre won against America de Cali in 1987 will remain in my memory for the rest of my life.
The other amazing game was Nacional against PSV Eindhoven in the 1988 Intercontinental Cup.
I will always support a Uruguayan team against any other country and I wish both Defensor and Nacional all the best in the 2012 Libertadores.
Who knows, maybe one day the Bolsos will know what it’s like to win a 4th and 5th Libertadores.