Boca Juniors Faces Synthetic Grass Challenge Against Palmeiras in Copa Libertadores Semi-Final

Boca will visit Palmeiras this Thursday from 9:30 p.m. at the Allianz Parque, for the second leg of the Copa Libertadores semi-final, and to get the pass to the final that Jorge Almirón’s team so longs for, they will have to, in addition to overcoming the difficult team of Abel Ferreira, overcoming the challenge of playing on synthetic grass.

“We are going to play on a carpet court, which is not the same game as playing on land. The ball hits differently, it goes faster,” anticipated the club’s vice president and idol Juan Román Riquelme prior to the trip to Brazil. The truth is that, on an international level, Palmeiras turned their synthetic grass field into a fortress that they fear from the outside: they played 23 games, of which they won 15, drew five and only lost three (of which two were with River and Defense and Justice).

Palmeiras debuted this surface in 2020 and in the first games it received criticism from its rivals, such as Renato Gaúcho, Gremio coach: “Palmeiras is used to playing here, it has that advantage… It is the first time we play with this grass.” Furthermore, the legend Zico was another of the voices that spoke out against: “Palmeiras has a special field for them, it is different from the rest… They have a very big difference, the ball goes faster. None of the other teams play “On a synthetic field, they train and play. That counts a lot. I don’t understand why FIFA allows them that.”

Faced with these accusations, the Verdao coach – Abel Ferreira – came out on the defensive: “If it is to have fields like the ones Palmeiras had before, weak, then I will put in a synthetic one.” However, the criticism continued: “Muscle pain appeared in other players due to Palmeiras’ synthetic grass. In the last game things got worse because of the synthetic field. It increases the pain,” Renato Gaúcho shot again. And Bruno Spindel, Mengao’s leader, joined in: “Flamengo’s position is to oppose synthetic fields. I understand that it is another sport. It harms the player’s health. The recovery period after playing on synthetic fields is longer.”

Boca, with its “guard up”: the sayings of Riquelme and Chiquito Romero against synthetic grass

In a conversation with ESPN, Román anticipated this: “Palmeiras has had the same coach for three years, who is not very attractive to play with but they do it wonderfully. They are very clear about what they want to do and they are very difficult in their court because we are going to a carpet court which is not the same game as playing on land, we also take that into account.

After what was a goalless draw in the first leg of the semi-final played in La Bombonera, goalkeeper Sergio Romero said about the second leg: “It’s going to be very hard, we know that at home they are very strong. They are very used to it. to play on the synthetic. I am worried that it is not natural grass, it is a little strange that at this point in life we ​​are talking about a soccer team having a synthetic field. The truth is that CONMEBOL or FIFA should say or hybrid or natural grass, because this is football, for synthetic grass there is hockey”.

The background of Boca playing on synthetic grass

2 games (one loss and one victory).

Athletico Paranaense 3-0 Boca, for the group stage of the Copa Libertadores 2019.Athletico Paranaense 0-1 Boca, for the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores 2019.
2023-10-04 10:14:00


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