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The Copa Libertadores was named in homage to the Latin American liberators of the 17th-18th Centuries - Bolivar, San Martin et al - who dedicated themselves to liberating South America from Spanish/Portuguese Imperialism for independence and self-determination. Almost two centuries earlier, Colo Colo, a Mapuche Chieftain, preceded them, leading his people against the Spanish insurgents in Chile. In this sense, he was one of a number of original Libertadores, defending native rights, culture and beliefs against a vast empire in a rapidly globalising world. This is from whom Club Social y Deportivo Colo-Colo derive their name and of course Colo Colo appears prominently on the club crest. Stern and formidably. Defending a culture and way of life.

Domestically, the club are Chilean giants, the best supported club in the country, Santiago-based, record title holders. On the continental front, they take on the role of underdog, fighting against all the odds, against the Brazilian and Argentinian footballing empires and 1991 they toppled them. They led Chile against the best of South America, claiming the 1991 Libertadores title, the first Chilean team to do so. Never has a team name been so apt for a Libertadores winner.

Luke Connelly

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