Thursday Kickoff: San Lorenzo win first Copa Libertadores; Martinez suffers serious injury; and more

Thursday Kickoff: San Lorenzo win first Copa Libertadores; Martinez suffers serious injury; and more

South American Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: San Lorenzo win first Copa Libertadores; Martinez suffers serious injury; and more

SanLorenzoCelebratesCopaLibertadoresTitle (AP)

By DAN KARELL

For the first time in club history, San Lorenzo are the champions of South America.

Nestor Ortigoza’s first-half penalty kick goal was enough to lead the Argentine club to their first Copa Libertadores title, winning the second leg against Nacional of Paraguay, 1-0 (2-1 agg.). The loss for Nacional represents the second straight year that a Paraguayan team has fallen in the Copa Libertadores final, after Olimpia fell to Atletico Mineiro in 2013.

In the 35th minute, Nacional’s Ramon Coronel was whistled for a handball in the box when his arm stopped a shot on goal. Ortigoza stepped up to the spot and forced Nacional goalkeeper Ignacio Don the wrong way to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in front of more than 40,000 screaming fans.

“This is a historic triumph, we are immensely happy,” San Lorenzo coach Edgardo Bauza said following the match.

With the win, San Lorenzo has earned themselves a place in the 2014 Club World Cup, set to take place in Morocco. They’ll be joined by Real Madrid, Cruz Azul, Auckland City,  Moghreb Tétouan, and two teams yet to be determined. San Lorenzo is also the favorite club of Pope Francis and the team will reportedly fly to the Vatican to meet the Pope in the coming days.

Here are some more stories from across the world:

MARTINEZ HIT WITH SUSPECTED ACL TEAR

Bayern Munich’s season could be heading off the rails before the train even hits top speed.

After being forced off in the DFL Super Cup, which saw Borussia Dortmund defeat Bayern Munich, 2-0, Javi Martinez admitted in a video message on Facebook following the match that he believes it’s “99 percent” a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The club refused to confirm that diagnosis, but everyone from the players to manager Pep Guardiola seemed to think the injury is a serious one.

“The doctor told me it was 99 percent a torn ACL,” Martinez reportedly said.

Martinez has been a vital player for Bayern since his signing in the summer of 2012. His versatility has allowed him to play either as a tremendous passing centerback or a holding midfielder in front of the back four, where he can distribute as well as break up attacks in the midfield.

IBRAHIMOVIC REITERATES DESIRE TO RETIRE IN PARIS

One of the world’s best players looks set to retire at the top of his game in two years time.

Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is heading into his third year in Paris, and after two Ligue 1 titles, he’s targeting UEFA Champions League glory. Outside of that though, Ibrahimovic reiterated his hopes to retire when his contract ends in 2016.

“I have a contract until 2016,” Ibrahimovic told ESPNFC when asked if he expected to finish his career at PSG. “I will be 34 next season and I don’t see myself continuing to play at the top level after that. So probably the answer is yes.”

Ibrahimovic began his career as a 17-year-old with Malmo FF in Sweden before moving to Ajax at age 20. From there, the Swedish international moved to Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, and AC Milan before heading to Paris.

QUICK KICKS

The Italian FA and Puma are working together to raise funds to sign Antonio Conte to a two-year contract to manage the Italian national team. (REPORT)

AS Monaco defender Eric Abidal, 34, has announced his retirement from the French national team. (REPORT)

Diego Lopez has completed his move to AC Milan from Real Madrid, signing a four-year contract at the San Siro. (REPORT)

Swansea City are closing in on signing Argentine centerback Federico Fernandez from Napoli for a 7 million pound transfer fee. (REPORT)

Everton have signed Ghanian international Christian Atsu a season-long loan from Chelsea. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? What do you think of San Lorenzo’s achievement? Do you see Bayern winning the Champions League without Martinez for much of the season? Think Ibrahimovic would retire at age 34?

Share your thoughts below.

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