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.
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 â€˜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.
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.
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.”
Well played. Shame, in some respects, that we won’t see Mr. Ribery on this stage.
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.
Really looking forward to the game, kind of gutted there isnâ€™t an english team playing but hey ho you canâ€™t have everything! good luck to both teams
Aren’t you forgetting someone? Ivica OliÄ‡ 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.
That’s true, Silvestre, and he scored the goal against United that changed everything. Can he do it against Inter?
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.
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!
Wow I didn’t know you are into soccer. Really surprise.
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.
FORZA INTER PER SEMPRE!!!
Goran Pandev will score two. Amazing player! Crazy Mac!
Forza Intrenazionale. Forza I Nerazzurri!
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.
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…
Inter, best team, ET’OOOOOOOOOO
…. and Inter is !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A great game, was really happy to see Inter take it.
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?
What an appetizer for the World Cup!
Yikes, not a mention in this entire post about Melito… Oooops.
Great match. Inter deserved to win it. Bayern had no Plan B…
*Milito… Double oops.
We picked the winner–if we could pick the goal scorer too we’d never have to write again. Milito was clinical. -DC.
Here’s a little taste of some classic Kop. We had a rough season, but this is what we come from….
Arghhh…Now we have to endure a Mourinho with an even larger ego.
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.
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.
“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
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