Most of the mainstream English-speaking press shies away from the Copa Libertadores, and that's a shame -- especially if you're gaga over the UEFA Champions League. South America's version of the ultimate continental club championship is vastly more unpredictable, has just as intriguing central casting and always -- always -- has a multitude of surprises in store.
Boca Juniors -- perhaps the biggest superclub of South America -- is 90 minutes away from its sixth crown, which would put it one behind the record set by fellow Argentines Independiente in 1984. Los Xeneizes jump five places to No. 3 on the June 14 edition of the World Power Rankings.
Last time around, I harped on the idea that, if you win the most prestigious club competitions there are, you deserve the distinction on the Rankings. This next one is a nasty topic for debate too, but my feeling is that the Copa Libertadores plays younger sibling to the Champions League. Why else would South American clubs make such a big deal of their dominance in tournaments between the two winners, such as the Club World Cup and the now-defunct Intercontinental and Toyota Cups? (Internacional and São Paulo will be quick to remind you of this.)
So here's the big question: Regardless of who wins the finals -- Boca or Grêmio -- should we award them No. 1? Or does AC Milan still deserve the top spot?
To be honest, I'm undecided -- and could be swayed by your responses next time around. So fire away.