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CONMEBOL Libertadores

Copa Libertadores holders River to take on Internacional in 2019 group phase

9:09 AM SGT 18/12/18
Pity Martinez Libertadores Madrid River Boca
After beating their Superclasico rivals to take the 2018 trophy, the Millonarios now await a Brazilian giant in next year's first round

An emotional potential homecoming for Andres D'Alessandro was one of the big stories from Monday's 2019 Copa Libertadores draw as the veteran Internacional star saw his team paired with holders River Plate.

River, who beat out Boca Juniors in December's Superclasico final, will take on the Porto Alegre giants, Peru's Alianza Lima and a qualifier from the competition's preliminary phases in Group A.

D'Alessandro, 35, began his career at the Monumental before moving to Europe, where he represented the likes of Wolfsburg, Portsmouth and Zaragoza.

In 2008 he joined Inter, leading the Brazilian side to Libertadores glory two years later and becoming a legend with O Colorado.

The playmaker also spent 2016 on loan at River, returning to Porto Alegre to help Inter recover following an historic relegation to Brazil's Serie B that year, and is guaranteed a warm welcome in Buenos Aires when the two sides meet.

Beaten finalists Boca, meanwhile, will be happy with a group that on paper looks one of the most accessible in the competition.

The Xeneize were drawn at the head of Group G alongside Brazil's Copa Sudamericana champions Atletico Paranaense, Deportes Tolima of Colombia and Bolivia's Jorge Wilstermann.

Elsewhere Sao Paulo heavyweights Palmeiras will face Colombian champions Junior and Buenos Aires' San Lorenzo in a tough-looking Group F that will be completed after the preliminary phase.

The Libertadores kicks off with the first preliminary phase on January 22, with the groups beginning between March 5 and 7.

The competition's first-ever single final is scheduled for November 23 in Santiago's Estadio Nacional in Chile.

The draw for the 2019 Copa Sudamericana first round was held prior to the Libertadores draw, with 44 teams drawn between two zones representing the northern and southern regions of the continent.

Two former Libertadores winners will face off in the opening stage, as Argentina's Racing Club were drawn against Corinthians of Brazil.

Seven-time Libertadores champions Independiente, meanwhile, face a continental newcomer in the shape of Deportivo Binacional, who just a year ago were playing in the second tier Copa Peru before winning the first promotion of the club's short history, having been founded in 2010.

A further Argentina-Brazil clash came in the shape of 2018 Sudamericana quarter-finalists Defensa y Justicia's tie against Rio's Botafogo, while 2016's champions Chapecoense take on Union La Calera of Chile.

Bolivia's remaining participants in the Libertadores and Sudamericana will be determined by the final positions in that country's league, which finishes at the weekend.

The Sudamericana ties will begin in the first week of February, with the second legs scheduled between the end of that month and the beginning of May.

Full Copa Libertadores Draw:

1st Preliminary Round:

1. Delfin (ECU) vs. Nacional (PAR)

2. Real Garcilaso (PER) vs. Deportivo La Guaira (VEN)

3. Defensor Sporting (URU) vs. Bolivia 4

2nd Preliminary Round:

1.Danubio (URU) vs Atletico Mineiro (BRA)

2. Melgar (PER) vs Universidad de Chile (CHI)

3.  Bolivia 3 vs Libertad (PAR)

4. Palestino (CHI) vs Medellin (COL)

5. Talleres (ARG) vs Sao Paulo (BRA)

6. Winner 1st Prelim 2 vs Atletico Nacional

7. Winner 1st Prelim 1 vs Caracas (VEN)

8. Winner 1st Prelim 3 vs Barcelona (ECU)

3rd Preliminary Round

1. Winner 2nd prelim 1 vs 8

2.Winner 2nd prelim 2 vs 7

3. Winner 2nd prelim 3 vs 6

4. Winner 2nd prelim 4 vs 5

Group Stage:

Group A

River Plate (ARG)

Internacional (BRA)

Alianza Lima (PER)

Winner 3rd Prelim 4

Group B

Cruzeiro (BRA)

Emelec (ECU)

Huracan (ARG)

Deportivo Lara (VEN)

Group C

Olimpia (PAR)

Cristal (PER)

Godoy Cruz (ARG)

Universidad Concepcion (CHI)

Group D

Penarol (URU)

Flamengo (BRA)

LDU Quito (ECU)

Bolivia 2

Group E

Nacional (URU)

Cerro Porteno (PAR)

Zamora (VEN)

Winner 3rd Prelim 1

Group F

Palmeiras (BRA)

San Lorenzo (ARG)

Junior (COL)

Winner 3rd Prelim 2

Group G

Boca Juniors (ARG)

Atletico Paranaense (BRA)

Tolima (COL)

Jorge Wilstermann (BOL)

Group H

Gremio (BRA)

Universidad Catolica (CHI)

Rosario Central (ARG)

Winner 3rd Prelim 3

Full Sudamericana Draw:

Montevideo Wanderers (URU) - Sport Huancayo (PER)
Liverpool (URU) - Bahía (BRA)
Independiente (ARG) - Deportivo Binacional (PER)
Bolivia 2 - Rio Negro (COL)
Argentinos Juniors (ARG) - Estudiantes Mérida (VEN)
Colón (ARG) - Deportivo Municipal (PER)
Unión Española (CHI) - Mushuc Runa (ECU)
Cerro (URU) - UT Cajamarca (PER)
Deportivo Santaní (PAR) - Once Caldas (COL)
Colo Colo (CHI) - Universidad Católica (ECU)
River (URU) - Santos (BRA)
Deportivo Guabirá (BOL) - Deportivo Macará (VEN)
Bolivia 1 - Monagas (VEN)
Sol de América (PAR) - Mineros (VEN)
Unión La Calera (CHI) - Chapecoense (BRA)
Guaraní (PAR) - Deportivo Cali (COL)
Bolivia 3 - Zulia (VEN) 
Racing (ARG) - Corinthians (BRA) 
Independiente (PAR) - La Equidad (COL)
Antofagasta (CHI) - Fluminense (BRA) 
Unión (ARG) - Independiente del Valle (ECU)
Defensa y Justicia - Botafogo (BRA)