Reuters Soccer Blog
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South Americans often claim that the Libertadores Cup is a tougher tournament than its European equivalent, the Champions League, and Argentine champions Boca Juniors are unlikely to disagree after their marathon journey to the Venezuelan Andes for a game this week.
In terms of quality of play, the Champions League obviously wins hands down. But bring in factors such as hostile conditions, heat, altitude and travelling and the Libertadores is a much tougher proposition.
None of the teams involved in last week’s Champions League second round ties face flights of more than a couple of hours to get to their games, with the exception of Panathinaikos who had a slightly loger trip to visit Villarreal in Spain. But even that was a short hop compared to Boca’s epic trip.
After playing Huracan in the Argentine championship on Sunday evening, Boca were up at the crack of dawn to catch a morning flight to Lima, with flying time of around four hours. That was followed by a three-hour flight to Bogota, immigration and a 90-minute domestic connection to the border town of Cucuta where the team will stay for two nights.