The Copa De Libertadores is the trophy all the soccer teams in South America compete to win and it`s the most difficult because first the teams have to win their national championships. Unlike Europe, where the zenith of achievement is the European Champions` League FInal and the cup for the winners, the Copa De Libertadores was viewed by the South Americans as the qualifying round of competition for the `big game`, which was the Intercontinental Cup Final. The clubs of all five continents could play to reach the World Club Cup FInal after the year 2000 when the IC became the World Cup for clubs.
Manchester United didn`t understand the huge importance afforded the cup when they met Argentina`s Estudiantes De La Plata in 1968. United had the powerful striking boots of England`s deep lying left sided centre forward, Bobby Charlton, and defensive half back Nobby Stiles, who`d won the World Cup of nations with England at Wembley`s London stadium in 1966 and had encountered Argentina en route to the Final. Manager Sir Alf Ramsey`s team had a torrid experience with a typically South American style of play from players wanting to win the World.
The quarter-final was known in Argentina as `el robo del siglo`, `the theft of the century`, which England won, 1-0 , after an `offside` goal from striker, Geoff Hurst. Argentine captain, Antonio Rattín, was sent off for dissent. Ramsey described the South Americans as `animals` to the press. When Manchester United met Estudiantes De La Plata, Otto Gloria, the manager of Benfica, the Lisbon team of Portugal, beaten 4-1 by United to qualify for the World Club Cup, gave an interview in which he described defensive half back star, Nobby Stiles, as `an assassin`. Blackguarded before the match Nobby was told to stand away from Estudiantes` violent midfielder, Carlos Bilardo, at one point by referee, Paraguay`s Hugo Sosa Miranda, which interfered with Stiles` positioning play. Finally retaliating to provocation Stiles was sent off in the first leg in the 79th minute and missed the return at Manchester United`s Old Trafford stadium. In Buenos Aires, Marcos Conigliaro, the Estudiantes` forward, had headed a 28th minute goal from a corner by right winger, Juan Ramon Veron, `the little witch`, which meant De La Plata would have a 0-1 advantage in Manchester and wouldn`t have to deal with Nobby Stiles` defensive genius. Although Willie Morgan, Scotland`s right winger, scored for United in the 89th minute at Manchester`s Old Trafford stadium, right winger Juan Ramon Veron had headed a 7th minute opening goal for Estudiantes and, when George Best was sent off for punching defender Jose Hugo Medina in the 88th minute, the Club World Cup was on its way to `The Silver`, capital city of the Argentine province of Buenos Aires.
Manchester United had understood the importance of the World Club Cup to the South Americans who qualified by winning the Copa De Libertadores, which was the championship of South America. Unlike the European Cup, the Copa De Libertadores was perceived by the South American soccer nations as giving their winning team entrance to the Final of the Intercontinental Cup, whereas in Europe the Champions` Cup was perceived as the zenith by each nation`s champion. The Cup of the World`s Clubs was too high and great a trophy for the Europeans to reach for and so they elevated the European Cup to a standing greater that its merit.
As the first English team to agree to play for the European Cup in 1957, after winning the English 1956-57 championship, Manchester United were encouraged by the English Football Association because football was a world game and the English championship was held as a prize higher than the European Cup in England. United lost a team on February 6, 1958, in the snow and ice of Munich after a 3-3 draw in Yugoslavia against Red Star Belgrade, who they subsequently beat 1-0 in the Final of the European Super Cup in 1991, another trophy for which the teams qualified to compete as Finalists by winning either the European Cup or the European Cup Winners` Cup, which was the silverware Manchester United had won in 1991 against Spanish giants, Barcelona, 2-1, and had qualified for that competition in 1990 by winning the F.A. Cup in England. Winning a trophy to qualify for a FInal didn`t raise the value of the Intercontinental Cup in the eyes of the qualifying winners of the European Cup, although it`s a standard means to progress. The European clubs were cowards. Without seeking to test their skills against the South Americans, the Europeans sought the trappings of superiority rather than to prove it. If the Intercontinental Cup was perceived as inferior, losing it wasn`t, and the South Americans were.
The Manchester United plane crash on 6 February, 1958, during an attempted take off in the snow and ice at Munich airport in Germany, underlined the importance of the European Cup to the English Football Association. Manchester United lost their team for the 1957-58 European Cup campaign to dethrone Real Madrid (1956-60), who would go on to win the first five European Cups, while the England team had lost the heart of theirs for the World Cup of 1958 in Sweden, which was won by Brazil and a young centre forward, Pele, who`d go on to be a superstar in full magnitude and win two more World Cups in 1962 and 1970, sandwiched between Manchester United`s Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles` own World`s triumph in 1966.
Manchester United`s dead on February 6, 1958, were centre half, Mark Jones, captain and left back, Roger Byrne, full back, Geoff Bent, midfield giant, Duncan Edwards, left winger, David Pegg, centre forward, Tommy Taylor, and Irish inside forward, Liam Whelan. Manchester United`s win against Red Star Belgrade, European champions, in the European Super Cup Final of 1991, underscored the qualifying ground`s degree of difficulty, which the Manchester United team had overcome on the icy runway at Munich. When manager, Alex Ferguson, knighted for his winning of the European Cup in 1999, as Sir Matt Busby had received the honor from Queen Elizabeth II for his 1968 win, flew his team to the Final of the Intercontinental Cup against Palmeiras, winners of the Copa De Libertadores and South America`s champions, the qualifying grounds were a 2-1 defeat of German Bundesliga champions, Bayern Munich, in the European Cup Final after going behind to a free kick on the left of the United area from the right boot of inside forward, Mario Basler, in the 6th minute. Playing against a good German defence for 90 minutes of normal time, Manchester United stuck to their task and struck twice in time added on for `stoppages` in the 91st and 94th minutes through substitute strikers, England`s Teddy Sheringham and Norway`s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who had been sent on because the forwards already on the field, Swedish left winger, Jesper Blomqvist, and England centre forward, Andy Cole, were tiring.
Manchester United had already won the English league title and F.A. Cup for a unique treble and the Intercontinental Cup would make it four trophies. For the England Football Association victory in the World Cup Final of 1966 was of paramount importance but Manchester United`s participation in the European Cup was required so that the other English champions would follow the `red devils` into a European competition that would prepare the English team for the World.
When Manchester United beat Bayern Munich, 2-1, in the European Cup Final of 1999, it was the qualifying ground for entry into the Intercontinental Cup Final, which was the Clubs` World Cup. Manchester United lost a team preparing England for the World Cup of 1966, but the World Club Cup in England ranked as much importance as the Manchester Senior Cup (1885-), or the Lancashire Senior Cup (1879-), which Manchester United continued to compete for after the introduction of the F.A. Cup as a national competition in 1871-72 and the formation of the English national league in 1888. Although the English Football Association accorded the F.A. Cup and the league title importance, Manchester United`s European Cup Final successes of 1968 and 1999 were accorded an importance equal to England`s World Cup campaigning only insofar as they illustrated English superiority to the Europeans, despite victory in the European Cup giving United the opportunity to be crowned champions of the world if they succeeded in winning the Intercontinental Cup.
After midfield dynamo, captain Roy Keane, arrived before Palmeiras` right post in the 35th minute to drive in a cross from winger, Ryan Giggs, far out on the left, the only goalscorer of the contest was ready to receive the world into his hands, which was what the club had prepared for. Irrespective of the smallness of English fears of the world being too big, Manchester United had `grasped the nettle`. Because of fear of teams like Argentina, English clubs had contributed to the small English belief that the Intercontinental Cup was as small as they thought it should be, by not competing. Liverpool refused to play for the World Club Cup against Argentine side, Boca Juniors, in 1977 and 1978, a refusal in stark contrast to Manchester United`s decision to play in the European Cup of 1956-57 to help the English Football Association`s preparation for the World Cup.
Manchester United lost a team in the ice and snow of Munich airport in an aircrash that occurred because the plane couldn`t leave the ground, but Manchester United had left their ground at Old Trafford to compete for England. When captain, Irishman Roy Keane, held aloft the World Club Cup of 1999, it was the world he`d played for, not England, and his compatriot, Irish inside forward, Liam Whelan, who`d lost his life at Munich, would have understood. Football is bigger than nations. There weren`t any European players in the Manchester United team that beat Benfica in 1968 at Wembley`s national stadium, London, but there was a Scot, Pat Crerand, and Irish, right full back Shay Brennan, winger George Best, and left full back Tony Dunne. When United beat Bayern Munich in 1999, Denmark`s Peter Schmeichel was the `keeper, Norway`s Ronny Johnsen and Jaap Stam of Holland were the centre backs, and West Indian centre forward, Dwight Yorke, was from Trinidad and Tobago.
In the Intercontinental Cup Final win of 1999, Australian Mark Bosnich was the `keeper, and French defender, Mikael Silvestre, was at centre back. To gain entry into the World Club Cup of 2008 Manchester United had to beat London side, Chelsea, in the Final of the European Cup, but English fears of big things to come perceived the encounter as a season finale, whereas for players on the world`s stage, Dutch `keeper, Edwin Van Der Sar, Serbian centre back, Nemanja Vidic, French left back, Patrice Evra, Portuguese right winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentine centre forward, Carlos Tevez, Brazil`s Anderson, and Portugal`s Nani, the European Cup Final was but a step to the world championship. When Welshman Ryan Giggs scored from the penalty spot to send Manchester United through to the Finals of the Club World Cup, Manchester United`s world players had the stage they`d prepared for.
Argentine striker, Carlos Tevez, had won the Copa De Libertadores with Boca Juniors against Brazil`s Santos, and the Intercontinental Cup against A.C. Milan in 2003, so Carlos knew what the World Club Cup meant to South America, but the Cup of the Liberators was now the official World Club Cup and teams participated from South America, North America (including the USA and the Caribbean Islands), Asia, Oceania, Africa, and Europe. The Copa De Libertatores lived up to its traditions and Manchester United faced Ecuador`s Liga Deportiva Universitaria (LDU) De Quito, winners of the South American championship, in the World Club Cup Final, which United won 1-0 after a 73rd minute goal from England centre forward, Wayne Rooney. Nemanja Vidic, centre back, had been sent off in the 51st minute and Carlos Tevez had been the player to be replaced by England centre back, Jonny Evans, but the loss of Tevez and being reduced to ten men would make it difficult to score the vital goal needed.
England centre forward, Wayne Rooney, found a solution. Remaining where he was at the left corner of the LDU Quito area, he played the ball back to left sided Brazilian midfielder, Anderson. Wayne waited while Anderson played the ball into the path of England right central midfielder, Michael Carrick, in front of the LDU Quito area. Carrick pushed the ball forward to Manchester United right winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, inside the LDU Quito area with two players in attendance. With his back to the goal, Cristiano Ronaldo turned to his right and slipped the ball to Wayne Rooney, who was still waiting at the left edge of the LDU Quito area where he`d begun the play. Rooney drove a shot low and right footed into the right corner of the LDU Quito net.
A galaxy of the world`s stars had played for Manchester United that 2008 day, December 21st, including Brazil`s tenacious attacking right back, Rafael, and South Korea`s tricky midfielder, Park Ji Sung. Manchester United had looked to European players to give them the European Cup and Intercontinental Cup of 1999, but had looked further to South America`s Brazilians, Rafael and Anderson, and Argentina`s Carlos Tevez to win the Club Cup of the World in 2008. Soccer as a world game had arrived, and Manchester United`s successes in the Manchester Senior Cup could no longer be pooh-poohed. England`s disease is to see Manchester United as small, because of the English fear of being ignorable to a bigger, wider world, which flies on wings at Manchester United to succeed against the narrowing eyes and minds of smaller hearts. Just as the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup prepared players for the F.A. Cup, European Cup Winners` Cup, and European Super Cup, so the English league title prepared players for the European Champions` Cup, and the World Club Cup.
In 1982 British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was criticized for sending a fleet to recapture the tiny Falkland Islands, invaded by the Argentine dictator, General Galtieri, because the Malvinas, as the Argentines called them, weren`t significant. Just as Liverpool had refused to play against Boca Juniors of Argentina in 1977 and 1978 in the Final of the Intercontinental Cup, because it wasn`t significant, although the English Football Association had asked them to, as it would have helped the national team in the World Cup Finals in Argentina in 1978, which that home nation eventually won. Although Liverpool played in the 1981 Intercontinental Final and lost to Flamengo of Brazil, 3-0, it was too late to show the flag in South America as a political signal that could have helped to prevent the 1982 Falklands war. The Copa De Libertadores translates as `the Cup of the Liberators`, that is, freedom, won for South America by its leaders. Just as Margaret Thatcher may be ranked amongst the Libertadores, so Manchester United are `Liberators`, because they fought for `Freedom`s Cup` in disputing the title of World Club Champions with Estudiantes, Palmeiras, and LDU Quito. Manchester United didn`t disdain the South Americans as inferior, and continue to play for the supposedly inferior, Manchester Senior Cup. Just as Margaret Thatcher didn`t perceive the Falkland Islands as inferior, because small, Manchester United have always sought to play for `Freedom`s Cup` against the South American winners of the Copa De Libertadores in the World Club Cup FInal, because the World is not a place too small to fight for.
Manuel Jose Joaquin Del Corazon Jesus Belgrano (3rd June 1770-1820 June 20) is named as one of the Libertadores of South America. General Belgrano took part in the Argentine wars of independence from Spain, and created the flag of Argentina. `ARA General Belgrano` was the name of the cruiser too close to the aircraft carrier taskforce, sent by Margaret Thatcher to restore democracy to the Falkland Islands, and was sunk by a torpedo from the British Conqueror submarine on 2 May, 1982, although some believed the Belgrano was outside of the `exclusion zone` when sunk by the Conqueror. The Belgrano had been in service since 1951 with the Argentine navy and couldn`t be blamed for Galtieri`s dictatorship, but Margaret Thatcher and General Belgrano remain `Libertadores` to South Americans, because the Conservative Party leader, a woman, was prepared to fight for the prize, `Freedom`s Cup`, when received wisdom believed it too small a bauble to be worth fighting for.
The `statue of Liberty` bearing `freedom`s torch` in New York harbour is the symbol of the United States of America which, as a soccer nation, participates in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, which is CONCACAF rather than Conqueror, in keeping with its traditional belief in democracy and not empire, as its `Declaration of Independence` from Britain on 4 July, 1776, says. On December 7, 1941, the United States began the defence of `the pearl of great price` (Matt: 13. 45-6) at Pearl harbor, where the red sun of the flag of Japan`s aspirations to a global fascist empire launched a `sneak attack` on the US Pacific fleet becalmed at Hawaii.
In the Bible `the woman clothed with the sun and with the moon at her feet`, giving birth while the `red dragon` waits in vain to devour her child, corresponds to `Liberty` after the USA`s defeat of Japan through the destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on 6th and 9th August, 1945, by the power of the sun, the atomic bomb. When the flag of the yellow moon of Al Qaeda`s terrorists, `the base`, cowardly flew hijacked planes into the Twin Towers of New York`s World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, `Liberty` reflected on the silvery moon in her waters, and on May 2nd, 2011, the `liberators` of US Navy Team Six killed Al Qaeda leader, Osama Ben Ladan. `Liberty` was `with the moon at her feet` and `the pearl of great price,` heaven, was defended.
In 2008 Manchester United were the sporting conquerors of Gamba Osaka of Japan, 5-3, in the semi-final of the World Club Cup, while Ecuador`s LDU Quito beat Pachuca of Mexico, a Central American club from CONCACAF, 2-0, but a team from the United States could have made the Final. When the United States of America wins the Cup of the World`s clubs, with a team like L.A. Galaxy, whose players benefited from having ex-Manchester United right winger, and World Club Cup winner, David Beckham, in the side for consecutive Major League Soccer Cup wins (1911-12), it will be a great occasion for all of freedom`s `liberators`, but the soccer nations of the world will try to prevent the USA from succeeding, because the world prizes freedom`s cup as highly, if not more so, than `the home of the brave and the land of the free`,1 and won`t be belittled by anyone who doesn`t value it.
American Football has its Superbowl Final and its leagues where the ball is carried or thrown for a touchdown or TD in the endzone for six points and another for a kick between the posts in celebration of the `TD`, which was the metaphor used for the moon landings by the North American Space Administration`s (NASA) Apollo space program to put a man on the moon. When Neil Armstrong finally stepped onto the lunar surface on June 20, 1969, he said:
`One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.`
The United States` tradition of developing their own sports, such as baseball and football, underlines their superiority to themselves as the nation that `conquered` the moon. Although the United States` defeat of Al Qaeda, `the base`, corresponds to a baseball victory, because Al Qaeda, `the base`, didn`t make it to `second base`, which dictator Saddam Hussein had offered in Iraq, the foot of Neil Armstrong, in American football terms, missed the one point for the United States after the `touchdown`, which is `futanarian` woman with her own penis` `seed` for self-reproducing her own brains` power can reach `the pearl of great price`, the moon, and the planets and stars of heaven.
An army is a demon with many arms, but football teaches its exponents not to touch, which is what Jesus` taught, `nole me tangere`; `touch me not`. A woman in the arms of a demon is a `futanarian` human that can`t breed her own species with her own penis` semen, and so football is Jesus` teachings of respect for woman`s reproduction, because it`s `futty` and the object is to put the ball in the net, that is, fertilize the egg with the sperm, without touching a man, which is what Jesus` birth from his mother, the Virgin Mary, teaches.
Although Al Qaeda, `the base`, represent defeat by the United States, the women of Arabia in their traditional one piece coverall, the abiyah, which hides their `futanarian` human nature, want women to have their `fut` on the moon. In the USA it`s difficult to get to `first base` with a woman, while `futty` is a world sport and very popular in the Middle East. The United States must climb down from their self-perceptions of superiority and participate in the world game of football, or the Earth will never perceive the USA as `liberators` of women`s `seed`, but too small to compete for anything other than slave cups.