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Santos - Team profile for Copa Libertadores final

Santos - Key stats, players and strengths ahead of Copa Libertadores final

January 27, 2021 By Oscar Rojas
The 'Peixe' will be looking forward to end a ten-year-drought in the competition. Have a look at their team profile before the Copa Libertadores final kicks off.

The all-Brazilian Copa Libertadores final will see Santos trying to win their fourth-ever title. The team where Pelé became a true superstar returns to a title match after ten years, and they will want to make it count in a year where they have undergone stress due to their players being diagnosed with COVID-19, financial issues, and even the sacking of two coaches that led to Cuca's appointment. This resilient team will try to prove why they made it almost unharmed to the title clash, and here are a few details you need to know before the game kicks off at Maracaná Stadium.

Road to the final

Santos earned their spot in the KO stage by winning Group G, where they had to beat over Ecuadorian side Delfín, Argentine club Defensa y Justicia, and historic Paraguayan side Olimpia. The Brazilian club had a record of five wins and one draw during the group stage, whcih earned them the No.2 seed for the final round.

Once in the knockout stage, Santos struggled to beat Liga de Quito in the Round of 16. Their two away goals where the deciding factor to see them through. In the Quarterfinals, Cuca's men breezed past Gremio thanks to a 4-1 win in the return leg. Once in the semis, Santos managed to escape Boca's stadium with a goalless draw, and they sealed their spot in the final by beating Miguel Angel Russo's men with an emphatic 3-0 win.

Key Players

Lucas Verissimo - The Brazilian center-back will put an end to his professional relationship with Santos when the final whistle is blown, and he will want to join Benfica on a high note by winning the Copa Libertadores. Verissimo has played ten games for the "Peixe" in the tournament, including the return leg against Boca where he picked up a nasty cut to his head. Added to his leadership in defense, Verissimo has also been able to contribute with one goal during the tournament.

 

Yéferson Soteldo - The little man from Venezuela is one of Santos' driving forces thanks to his speed, his dribbling skills, and his cool-as-ice attitude in front of goal. He had proven to be quite an asset during his days at U. Católica and Huachipato in Chile, but he has proven that height has nothing to do with quality with the Brazilian side. He has scored two goals (one of them against Boca in the semi-finals), and has handed out two assists for the "Peixe" in the tournament.

Kaio Jorge - The 19-year-old ace is seen by many as the new gem in Brazil after winning the U-17 title with A Canarinha. He is the top scorer in the competition for the all-white side, and if Santos want to win the title, they will try to get him involved in the game as soon as possible.

Coach profile - Alexi Stival "Cuca"

The 57-year-old coach from Brazil is living his third stint as Santos' boss, and it has been the most successful by far. "Cuca" has collected a number of trophies in his seasoned coaching career, including  the 2013 Copa Libertadores title with Atlético Mineiro, and he will try to join the club of coaches who have led two different Brazilian sides to a continental trophy.


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