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South American football in trouble as Copa Libertadores product sells itself short

Last week I was asked what I most liked about covering South American football. The reply I gave -- the thought that first came into my head -- was the immense privilege of getting an early view at the finest talent in the global game. There are too many examples to mention, but at the top of the list would be a tiny, 17-year-old Lionel Messi playing for Argentina's Under-20s at the start of 2005, or a 10 minute glimpse of Neymar at Santos back in 2009.

But I perhaps should have mentioned something...

Ex-Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari returns to country to coach Palmeiras

SAO PAULO -- Former Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has signed a contract with Sao Paulo giants Palmeiras, returning home after three successful years at Guangzhou Evergrande.

Palmeiras made the announcement on their social media channels on Thursday. Scolari's contract is valid until 2020.

On Wednesday, the club fired Scolari's predecessor Roger Machado after a 1-0 defeat at Fluminense in the 15th round of the Brazilian championship.

The 69-year-old Scolari led Brazil to their record fifth...

 By Tim Vickery

Boca Juniors, Palmeiras provide rare Copa Libertadores group stage treat

Getting Carlos Tevez back healthy will be a boost to Boca Juniors.

In the last decade six teams have won Europe's Champions League. And from a pool of 40, 15 clubs have made it through to the semifinals. This astonishing pattern would seem likely to be repeated this season, as Roma and Sevilla are the only ones who could add their name to the list of semifinalists, which seems unlikely after last week's action.

The Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona, are well placed to reach yet another semifinal -- they have appeared in seven in the last 10 years. Bayern...

Barcelona sign central defender Yerry Mina from Palmeiras

Barcelona have completed the signing of defender Yerry Mina from Palmeiras, the Spanish club announced on Thursday.

Mina, 23, moves to the Camp Nou for a fee of €11.8 million, and the Colombian's five-and-a-half-year contract includes a €100m release clause.

Barca had an option to sign Mina for €9m after the 2018 World Cup, but have decided to fast-track the transfer because of Javier Mascherano's pending move to Chinese Super League side Hebei Fortune.

As a result, they have...