Unreal images from Lima, where Flamengo’s Gabigol broke a legendary curse at the Copa Libertadores final against River Plate.
The Brazilian striker came on the pitch with the Brazilian squad and touched the trophy before the game even started.
Those who know about football are aware of this so-called “curse”, touching the trophy is strictly forbidden.
There have been countless times in which players from many squads dared to do this and they always lost the final.
Touching the trophy meant tampering with the unknown powers that be, it was almost sacrilege to do so.
But all curses are meant to be broken, and Gabriel Barbosa was the man who dared to do it.
Flamengo was facing a club that is arguably considered the most dominant in recent South American football history.
Just last year, Marcelo Gallardo’s River Plate defeated Boca Juniors at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
An unusual venue that was forced upon both South American squads, and Gallardo was the man who took that team to their second title in four years.
This time around, River managed to qualify for their second consecutive final after beating Boca in the semis.
The rival was Flamengo, and Gabigol knew that the Brazilian squad was the underdog.
With all this context in mind, the final was also played at a neutral venue by Conmebol’s decree.
Lima, Peru was the city that hosted an early match between the two squads.
Rafael Santos Borre scored an early goal for Gallardo’s team, which made everybody believe we were about to witness the second consecutive title for the Argentines.
At the beginning of the game, the world of social media bullied Gabriel Barbosa hard.
Despite having a player who already scored 28 goals in 38 matches for Flamengo this season, everybody knew about this curse.
The trophy is never to be touched by anybody before the game, which effectively jinxes any chances for that squad to win the game.
The River Plate players appeared confident after this happened, they managed to keep control of the game for the majority of the 90 minutes.
Even during the second half, there was a feeling that the Argentines were going to win the title.
But destiny works in mysterious ways, the final ten minutes of the match offered us a moment that will remain in people’s memories until the end of times.
Breaking this curse was very much like the time the Boston Red Sox broke the legendary “Bambino Curse”, only this one never happened before.
‘Gabigol’ honors his nickname.
With only a minute left on the clock, Gabriel Barbosa got that equalizer nobody expected for Flamengo.
Suddenly, all the naysayers were astounded to the spectacle we were all a part of.
The Brazilian striker got that first goal that effectively sent the match into extra time, but Gabriel wasn’t satisfied with what he did.
The referee gave the match another four minutes of overtime before the final whistle, which was more than enough for Barbosa to leave his mark in football history.
The man scored a volley after struggling with two River Plate defenders and scored a goal that gave Flamengo the Copa Libertadores title.
This goal also gave the striker a yellow card after taking off his jersey during the celebration, something that came back to haunt him a minute later.
Near the end of the game, Barbosa received a second yellow card after a foul he committed and left the pitch in anger.
None of this mattered after all the Flamengo players and fans realized what just happened.
This is the second time that the Brazilian club wins the Copa Libertadores, the first one being in 1981 with Zico as the star of the show.
And just like that, Barbosa writes his name right next to the ‘White Pele” in Flamengo’s history. What a night for the young striker.
How would you rate Flamengo and Gabigol’s performance against River Plate tonight? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.