Thursday, November 19, 2009
Liga de Quito: The new Ecuador Idol
El idolo del Ecuador. That was Barcelona of Guayaquil. Might it still be? With me being away from my home country for 19 years, it's hard to say. With recent events, however, it's tough to argue with the fact that Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito is the best club team Ecuador has ever produced. We measure this not just in the domestic league (9 titles, behind Nacional, Barcelona, Emelec), but on an international level. Liga won the Copa Libertadores last year, was a finalist in the Club World Cup against Manchester United, and won the Recopa (match between Libertadores and Sudamericana winners).
Today was another high point for the Quito team. They won with an amazing score of 7-0 against Uruguay's River Plate in the 2009 Sudamericana semifinal. This means they advance to yet another international final against Fluminense of Brazil (curiously, the same team they faced in last year's Libertadores final). That's four finals over the course of two years. Truly a noteworthy accomplishment.
As much as it may pain me as a native of Guayaquil and a hardcore fan of Emelec, I must admit to this: Why shouldn't Liga be the new idol? The little kids in the country without a team of their own need only watch television to assert their allegiance. This is a team that boasts former Ecuador internationals De la Cruz, Reasco and Edison Mendez. What young Ecuadorian footballer doesn't want to play alongside them?
Enjoy the highlights of this record-breaking game: