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John Kennedy brought the title to FluminenseVeterans in tears after winning the title
Fluminense won the first South American championship title

John Kennedy brought the title to Fluminense

In a game that was won only after extra time, the decisive goal was scored by a player with a very interesting name. John Kennedy decided the final of the most prestigious competition in South America with a great goal. Yes, you read that right, the title of Fluminense was brought by a guy who shares a first and last name with the 35th president of the USA.

By the way, November marks the 60th anniversary of the assassination of the aforementioned former US president. It’s as if some cosmic force arranged for Kennedy to bring the historic title to Fluminense. We have already written about Dinizismo, a chaotic style of football promoted by the coach of the team from Rio de Janeiro, Fernando Diniz. In the end, that way of playing led Fluminense to the greatest success in the club’s history.

In 2008, Fluminense played in the Copa Libertadores final but was defeated by the Ecuadorian team, LDU Quito, after a poor penalty shootout. This is the sixth time in the last seven years that the champion of South America has been a club from Brazil. In the previous four years, the champions were Flamengo and Palmeiras twice, while Gremio won the title in 2017.

The absolute hero of the evening was the Kennedy as mentioned above, a twenty-one-year-old Brazilian striker who entered the game as a wildcard for coach Diniz, who told him before entering the field that he would decide the final, and that’s how it was in the end. In the ninth minute of overtime, Kennedy threw the Maracana into delirium and Fluminense was one step away from winning the title they had missed in the club’s history.

Kenedy could have been a tragedy because he earned a second yellow card for celebrating the goal and had to leave the field. The whole atmosphere got carried away and he couldn’t control himself. Given that Fluminense won the title in the end, no one will have anything to complain about.

Neither Boca nor Fluminense shone in their championships, so this final should have been the season’s salvation. Few believed that Fernando Diniz, who is currently the temporary coach of the Brazilian national team, would do such a feat, but Dinizismo brought delirium to Maracana, the same place where Fluminense lost the title exactly 15 years ago.

Veterans in tears after winning the title

This was a great moment for Fluminense, but also for two older guys who came to play for this team at the end of their careers. Marcelo and Felipe Melo were in tears celebrating this great success for Fluminense. Even during the singing of the Brazilian national anthem, it was clear how much this game meant to Melo, although he was already the best in South America twice with Palmeiras. The legend of Boca Juniors, Juan Martin Riquelme, also has three South American championship titles.

“Yes, this is my third cup in the competition, now I can say that I have as many as Riquelme. We won this trophy because our blood flowed instead of sweat. We dreamed about this night and thought about it every day, this is for our fans who have been with us the whole time. And when Boca equalized, all these people stayed with us and believed. They cheered even harder. I am very proud of everyone on the team, thanks to Jesus Christ who led us to the title”.

Marcelo is one of the players with the most trophies in the history of Real Madrid, and by winning this trophy, he entered the select group of players who managed to win both the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores. He returned to his boyhood club to say goodbye as the great champion he was throughout his career, although he still failed to win the world title with Brazil.

We could also see him in tears after Kenedy scored what would later turn out to be the goal for Fluminense’s historic success. Like Kennedy, he could have been a potential tragic as he provoked and sneered at Boca Juniors’ equalizer scored by Luis Advincula.

“I felt that I had a debt to the club. Nothing was written, nothing was said. People criticized us, and today Fluminense is the champion of South America. Congratulations to everyone at the club, from the staff to the president. I was very nervous before the match, now I’m overjoyed,” Marcelo said after the match.

The scorer of the leading goal in the match for Fluminense was otherwise a passionate fan of the club from Buenos Aires, German Cano. “As a child, I supported Boca with all my strength, but then I started playing for Lanus, which became close to my heart. However, my biggest dream is to play for Boca, but it probably won’t happen. I don’t see myself playing in Argentina again, that chapter is closed for me”

We can safely say that Fluminense won the biggest trophy in the club’s history with a team made up of retirees. Goalkeeper Fabio is 43 years old, Felipe Melo is 40, Marcelo is 35, Cano is 35, Ganso is 34, and Keno is 34. Half of the starting line-up that won the title of South American champion was born in the eighties of the last century. Cano ended the Copa Libertadores as the top scorer with his 13 goals.

It was a final to remember, in which a real men’s fight was seen, and at the end, the home fans rejoiced. The players of both teams were visibly exhausted and in the end, Fluminense deservedly won the title. Boca Juniors missed the chance to tie with Independiente and win the seventh title of South American champion.

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