My fondest memories of the Copa Libertadores are from the 80s, a great decade for the Uruguayan teams Peñarol and Nacional. As a boy, I remember watching with my friends. The two days that stand out for me are the two Copa Libertadores finals that Peñarol won.
Fernando Morena’s goal
The first was when Peñarol beat Cobreloa from Chile. After drawing 0-0 in Montevideo, they went to Chile and in the dying moments, my idol Fernando Morena scored the winning goal. At just 13 years old, you can imagine my emotions when my idol scored the last-minute winner in a Copa Libertadores final!
I can still remember the joy and celebrations now.
A party across Montevideo
My second memory is from another final, this time against América de Cali, in 1987.
After losing there, and winning in Montevideo, a third game was played, but if it ended in a draw, América would be crowned champions.
Right at the end of the game, Diego Aguirre scored the goal that sent us into orbit. I was at a friend’s house with my group of friends and when the match was over, we got on a truck outside that was passing by and collecting people to take to the city centre to join the celebrations. The centre of Montevideo was packed and full of emotion.
I always wanted to play in the Copa Libertadores as a player, but I never got the chance. Now I’m going to give it a go as a manager and I intend to make the most of it.