I suspect everyone who is subscribed to this channel will be well-aware of what the Copa Libertadores is, since it is a well-established fact that HITC Sevens subscribers are among the most well-informed and intelligent people on YouTube, which is no great feat if we’re being honest. For anyone who doesn’t know what the Copa Libertadores is, it is essentially South America’s Champions League, and if you don’t know what the Champions League is, I mean, what on Earth are you doing watching a video about football.
Anyhow, in today’s video I’m going to take a rapid-fire look at the top scorers in the competition over the last seven seasons, which actually includes nine players since on two occasions the battle for the Golden Boot has been a tie.
Here are the last 7 Copa Libertadores top scorers: Where are they now?
7. Gabriel Barbosa – Flamengo
We kick-start this seven with the star of last season’s Copa Libertadores, and that was of course Gabriel Barbosa. Gabigol lived up to his nickname last season, bagging 43 goals in 59 games, and nine of those goals came in the Copa Libertadores. Flamengo stormed to the Campeonato Brasileiro title and won the Copa Libertadores final in dramatic fashion against River Plate in 2019, with Barbosa – who else? – scoring in the 89th and 92nd minutes to secure an epic comeback for the Brazilians. Barbose was on-loan from Inter Milan at the time, but Flamengo successfully signed him on a permanent four-year deal last month.
6. Miguel Borja – Atletico Junior & Wilson Morelo – Colon
It was a tie for the Golden Boot between two Colombians who both bagged nine goals in the 2018 Copa Libertadores campaign. Miguel Borja is the better known of the two, capped 10 times by Colombia, and his goals helped fire Palmeiras into the semi-finals. Morelo is a diminutive and prolific striker who was on fire for Independiente Santa Fe, and he reached nine goals in two fewer games than his compatriot as Santa Fe finished third in their group and dropped into the Copa Sudamericana. Borja recently returned to Colombia with a loan move to Atletico Junior, meanwhile Morelo left Santa Fe to join Colon in Argentina last summer.
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5. Jose Sand – Lanus
The 2017 Copa Libertadores may be best remembered for the performances of Luan for Gremio en-route to their third title in the competition, but it was Jose Sand who led the scoring charts, also with nine goals. The veteran centre-forward, who won two caps for Argentina more than a decade ago and is 39 years of age now, helped Lanus to the final where they were beaten by Luan’s Gremio. Sand scored 44 goals in 68 games for Lanus between 2016 and 2018, and he returned to the club for a third stint in 2019, where he has since scored 16 goals in 35 games, recently becoming the clubs all time leading goal scorer.
4. Jonathan Calleri – Espanyol
Fourth place will be a more familiar name to viewers who don’t keep up with any South American football, since Jonathan Calleri spent a season on-loan at West Ham United following his top scoring Copa Libertadores campaign. Calleri was on-loan at Sao Paulo when he bagged the magic number of nine Copa Libertadores goals, helping the Brazilians reach the semi-finals. He didn’t top any scoring charts in the Premier League, bagging just 1 goal in 16 appearances, and he subsequently had rather more fruitful spells with Las Palmas and Alaves. The 26-year-old Argentine is still playing in Spain, incredibly still contracted to Uruguayan middle-men Deportivo Maldonado, but on-loan at Espanyol.
3. Gustavo Bou – New England Revolution
Argentinians rule the roost when it comes to the Copa Libertadores scoring charts, and uncapped Racing Club man Gustavo Bou took the crown with eight goals back in the 2015 season. He was just 24 at the time, and enjoying a rich vein of form with Racing Club. Following 45 goals in 100 appearances for Racing Club, Bou joined Mexican side Tijuana, and he stuck in North America in 2019 with a switch to New England Revolution. Since arriving in the MLS, Bou has bagged 9 goals in 14 appearances, giving him one of the best minutes per goal ratios in the division.
2. Julio dos Santos – Cerro Porteno & Nicolas Olivera – Retired
The top two scorers in the 2014 Copa Libertadores only bagged five goals apiece, considerably lower than the usual tally required, and they were Cerro Porteno midfielder Julio dos Santos and Defensor Sporting striker Nicolas Oliveira. Both players were veterans at the time, especially Olivera, and the pint-sized goal getter who won his first cap for Uruguay in 1997 has since retired. Dos Santos is still active, now aged 36, and recently returned to Cerro Porteno following five years away from the club.
1. Jo – Nagoya Grampus
Another former Premier League striker, and another one who didn’t exactly hit the ground running, Jo was one of those early big money Man City signings that didn’t quite work out. Five years on from his departure from the Etihad, Jo was playing for Atletico Mineiro, and it was with Atletico Mineiro that he topped the Copa Libertadores scoring charts with seven goals. He scored a crucial 87th minute equaliser against Olimpia to take the tournament final to penalties, where he converted from 12-yards as Atletico took their first Libertadores crown. Jo’s form for Atletico Mineiro saw him make Brazil’s 2014 World Cup squad, but he’s now scoring for fun in Japan with Nagoya Grampus, and he hasn’t been capped since 2014.
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