The Champions League Final.

The Champions League–celebrated here in the past–is the tournament for the best club teams in Europe. The final, Saturday at the Bernabeu in Madrid, pits two classic sides against each other: the German stalwarts Bayern Munich against tenacious Inter Milan.

Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben

For those not following the blow by blow, Inter, under the maniacally brilliant leadership of Jose Mourinho, ousted favorites Barcelona in the semifinals. They held Barca, with the best offense in the game, to just two goals over two games–it wasn’t pretty, just effective. Mourinho, the impossibly egomaniacal and successful manager from Portugal, calls himself ‘The Special One’ without irony. He gets into the heads of referees, of rival managers, and of his opponents. More importantly he gets into the head of his own team. They feel the world has conspired against them and play fiercely competitive football. Their midfield is led by the peerless Dutchman Wes Sneijder who can take over a game with visionary passing and deceptive ball control. The frontline is spearheaded by Samuel Eto’o who can appear out of nowhere and score the only goal Inter needs.

Jose Mourinho, The Special One.
Samuel Eto'o of Inter Milan
Inter Milan's Wes Sneijder

Standing in their way is Bayern, the giants of the German game who last raised the Champions League trophy in 2001. This year they started slowly and have only gotten better and better. Nobody’s played with more precision than Arjen Robben, the Dutch striker who has a habit of scoring outrageous goals at crucial moments. Just ask fans of Fiorentina and Manchester United–he sent them both home with exquisite skill from distance that left neutrals gasping. Can he do it against Inter? With Sebastian Schweinsteiger’s service he may well. The problem for Bayern isn’t scoring–it’s a weak back line, particularly against the counter attack.

Sebastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich

Inter believe they’re the leading players in a script written by the Special One. The final act is tomorrow in Spain.

Oh, and if that’s not enough for you: it’s three weeks to the World Cup.

Comments on “The Champions League Final.

    nick on May 21, 2010 11:12 AM:

    Well played. Shame, in some respects, that we won’t see Mr. Ribery on this stage.

    Exit Lines on May 21, 2010 11:20 AM:

    It’s too bad Ribery’s ruled out because of his red card, Nick. We would love to see him on one of his rampaging runs–DC.

    jonathon cooke on May 21, 2010 11:57 AM:

    Really looking forward to the game, kind of gutted there isn’t an english team playing but hey ho you can’t have everything! good luck to both teams

    silvestre on May 21, 2010 12:21 PM:

    Aren’t you forgetting someone? Ivica Olić scored 3 goals in the semi-finals and is the second best scorer this season (and the best scorer in the final, since Messi is out). He may be not the most popular this season but he is one to be mentioned! Especially just before the finals.

    Exit Lines on May 21, 2010 12:49 PM:

    That’s true, Silvestre, and he scored the goal against United that changed everything. Can he do it against Inter?

    Turling on May 21, 2010 1:07 PM:

    Stocked up on beer. Have my chair ready. Buddies coming over. Barbeque. Been looking forward to this for weeks since it was announced it would be on network television.

    US and England. June 12th. Spurs in Champion’s League next year. It’s been a good year and getting better.

    Jevan on May 21, 2010 1:21 PM:

    Should be a great battle. It pains me Liverpool won’t be present next year. At least we have the World Cup! If you haven’t already, do it now, check out Nike’s “Write the Future” commercial. Amazing!

    TA on May 21, 2010 1:57 PM:

    Wow I didn’t know you are into soccer. Really surprise.

    thorn on May 21, 2010 2:41 PM:

    first of all america rules, and i pray for a repeat of 1950 on june 12th. that said, i’m filled with doubt they’ll make it out of the group stage. if they make it to the final, i’m dressing up like ben franklin.

    second, i’m still beyond gutted that barcelona got stopped by inter, hopefully the addition of villa along with the probable homecoming of fabregas will keep them from ending up in the same situation next year.

    third, man bayern had better run riot all over inter, the seething hatred i have for italian football and mourinho knows no bounds, and it would bring me great joy to see inter just annihilated.

    Darjan on May 21, 2010 4:17 PM:


    maurizio on May 21, 2010 5:18 PM:

    inter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NoSam on May 21, 2010 7:45 PM:

    Goran Pandev will score two. Amazing player! Crazy Mac!
    Forza Intrenazionale. Forza I Nerazzurri!

    Jacob on May 21, 2010 8:49 PM:

    Points for not using the word soccer! But even more points
    for minimal use of the word ‘football’.
    As an Australian I’m acutely aware that neither Aussies nor Americans can get
    away with using that word without sounding like a huge douche, haha.

    John on May 21, 2010 11:13 PM:

    Too bad the artists of the game, Barcelona, were knocked out in the semis. Now the technocrats and lawyers can grind out a scintillating 1-0 final. Olic to score and Mourinho to eat a crap sandwich. Here’s a taste of what we’ll be missing…

    avan on May 22, 2010 8:47 AM:

    Inter, best team, ET’OOOOOOOOOO

    maurizio on May 22, 2010 5:09 PM:

    …. and Inter is !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    corkgrips on May 23, 2010 3:17 PM:

    A great game, was really happy to see Inter take it.

    Rich on May 23, 2010 8:20 PM:

    Cool post, but I don’t get it.

    No barbour jackets, no war, no old guys fishing. Is his jacket a really cool japanese trench or something?

    Pedro on May 24, 2010 10:35 AM:

    What an appetizer for the World Cup!
    Vamo Brasil!

    Dundas FC on May 24, 2010 1:34 PM:

    Yikes, not a mention in this entire post about Melito… Oooops.
    Great match. Inter deserved to win it. Bayern had no Plan B…

    Dundas FC on May 24, 2010 2:17 PM:

    *Milito… Double oops.

    Exit Lines on May 24, 2010 2:20 PM:

    We picked the winner–if we could pick the goal scorer too we’d never have to write again. Milito was clinical. -DC.

    John on May 24, 2010 2:25 PM:

    Here’s a little taste of some classic Kop. We had a rough season, but this is what we come from….

    william on May 24, 2010 3:07 PM:

    Arghhh…Now we have to endure a Mourinho with an even larger ego.

    wayne pate on May 24, 2010 5:00 PM:

    Two of the biggest egos in the world of football will be at Real Madrid next season.
    Mourinho and Ronaldo or should I say Mourinho vs Ronaldo. Should be entertaining
    to say the least. Hats off to Inter for the historical Treble.

    Ryan Scails on May 25, 2010 2:09 AM:

    Samuel Eto’o has some great style, fashion wise. His game is to be admired, no one else plays like him, it’s all speed and utility.

    jus on June 5, 2010 3:14 PM:

    “Bayern Munich against tenacious Inter Milan.”
    are you sure? did we see the same match? Bayern Munich against Inter MILAN?
    wow, one team against two, of course Bayern lost the match
    Please correct

Comments are closed.