Well that was pretty bonkers. It was always going to be an entertaining game with goals, but nobody could have quite predicted the events that would lead to Real Madrid’s 13th European Cup, their 7th since the Champions League era began in 1992. It was also their third consecutive win, a record in the post-1992 period, and their 4th in the last 5 seasons. For younger readers, Madrid won the first 5 European Cups consecutively between 1956 and 1960, and they will struggle to either equal or supersede that record, but their achievement in the modern era is nothing short of remarkable, especially with the quality of the opposition hanging around the competition these days. Continue reading “Thirteen and counting”
Preview of the Champions League final
A couple of days ago, a loyal twitter follower reminded me of the closing tweet in my summary thread after last season’s Champions League final in Cardiff, in which I explained how the gentleman next to me said: “See you in the next Final!” as a manner of farewell. We were simply ecstatic, and indeed overconfident. Continue reading “A matter of focus”
Wrote this piece for BBC sport as a warm-up for Saturday’s Champions League final.
Final preview to be posted on Friday morning.
How nice, and how rare, that La Liga simmered to the final day with nothing much at stake, so that the focus could be on other matters and not on the infamous ‘maletines’ – the metaphorical (or literal, according to some) suitcases stuffed with euros that habitually change hands between gentlemen of shifty appearance and dark glasses, allegedly in the loos of Spanish motorway service-stations. Continue reading “Final day reflections”
Preview of La Liga’s final weekend
Last Sunday, I decided to go out for dinner. The football menu was a meaningless Levante – Barcelona, in which neither team had anything to play for, so it seemed the right Sunday to dine out. Continue reading “Football, always a priority”
Despite the winding-down of La Liga, now in the dying-swan phase of the season, the penultimate weekend produced some interesting stuff and the Second Division scene heated up a little bit more, with three games still to go and nothing at the top decided. And as we know, all good runs come to an end, empires eventually fall, Michael Jackson’s Thriller will one day be replaced as the biggest-selling album of all time and Barcelona will lose their record run to Levante in a 5-4 bonkers game, a thriller of its own with various zombies appearing in the Catalan defence, Yerry Mina and Jordi Alba in particular. Continue reading “’twas a rough night”
Preview of La Liga’s 37 week
Given that, except for Sevilla, no one really cares about these last two weeks of competition, La Liga could at least make their best effort not to become a nuisance for its participants. It’s nobody’s fault that the season ended prematurely because of the huge gap between the best team and the rest, and between the worst trio and the rest. But surely, La Liga should want their teams to do well in European competitions, right? Continue reading “Tebas roots for Olympique”