Corinthians win the Copa Libertadores for the first time after beating Boca Juniors
Two goals from Brazilian striker Emerson secure a 3-1 aggregate win for Corinthians
It is third year in a row a Brazilian club has won South America's top club competition
Boca Juniors midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme announces he will leave the Argentine club
Brazilian club Corinthians are champions of South America for the first time after a 3-1 aggregate defeat of Argentina’s Boca Juniors in the final of the Copa Libertadores.
After a 1-1 draw in last week’s first leg in Buenos Aires, two goals from Brazil-born Qatar striker Emerson gave coach Tite’s Corinthians a 2-0 second-leg win in Sao Paulo.
Wednesday’s historic win over six-time champions Boca ensured Corinthians’ qualification for December’s FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.
It also means South America’s premier club competition has been won by a Brazilian team in each of the last three years, following on from Santos in 2011 and Internacional.
“I am very happy because we know the history Boca Juniors have in worldwide football and in the Copa Libertadores,” Emerson told Fox Sports.
“Our crowd represents 33 million fans. Since this year’s Libertadores started, we have dreamt of clinching the title. We were all in need of this achievement.”
Corinthians’ undefeated campaign was powered by five goals from the 33-year-old Emerson, as well as four goals from attacking midfielder Danilo – who won the title with Sau Paulo in 2005.
On a disappointing day for Boca, midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme also announced Wednesday’s game would be his final appearance for the club.
The 34-year-old began his career with Boca before spending six years in Spain with Barcelona and most notably Villarreal.
The former Argentina international returned to Boca in 2008, helping his first club to two domestic titles to go with his three earlier Libertadores successes (2000-01, 2007).
“This afternoon, I spoke with the president and informed him that I would not continue,” Riquelme told reporters.
“I am very grateful to the club and the team, I know I am, but I have nothing left to give the club, I’m empty. The relationship I share with Boca is great, I’m a fan of this club but now I have reached the end of the road.
“Now I just want to go home, have a barbecue with my friends, see my children and greet them. All I ask is for forgiveness from my child that I could not win the cup again.”