Copa Libertadores Review: Veron makes Estudiantes comeback as Gremio stay perfect
Juan Sebastian Veron finally took to the field but the former Argentina and Manchester United star was unable to prevent defeat on Tuesday.
Juan Sebastian Veron made a sensational return to professional football as Estudiantes lost to Barcelona in the Copa Libertadores, while Gremio preserved their 100 per cent record.
Club president and 42-year-old midfielder Veron started in 10-man Estudiantes' 2-0 loss to Group 1 leaders Barcelona on Tuesday.
Veron was due to make his return on matchday one against Botafogo last month having made himself available after fans reached his target of box sales in Estudiantes' new stadium.
The comeback was delayed because of a ban dating back to 2011, however Veron finally took to the field at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata but the former Argentina, Chelsea and Manchester United star was unable to prevent defeat against the Ecuadorian champions.
Jefferson Mena and Ariel Nahuelpan scored in the second half as Estuadiantes had defender Sebastian Bubarbier sent off for two bookable offences and lost back-to-back matches in the South American competition.
Gremio made it two wins from two matches after edging Deportes Iquique 3-2 in Group 8.
A three-goal first half inspired Brazilian hosts Gremio, who raced out to a 3-0 lead by the 29th minute thanks to Luan's brace.
The visitors - condemned to consecutive losses to start their campaign – hit back courtesy of goals from Rafael Caroca and Misael Davila after the hour but it was too little, too late.
Angel Gonzalez completed his brace in the 90th minute as Godoy Gruz stunned Libertad 2-1 in Group 6, while Wilstermann came from behind to beat Atletico Tucuman by the same scoreline in Group 5.