In sports, the term champion refers to a team or person winning some medal, trophy, belt, or some other prestigious commodity. Shifting that focus to a team sport environment, and what we see is a team winning something established and forged in history for a particular league. As a result, what we get is a team, or champion, winning the league. But only in football/soccer do we see the two words ‘champion’ and ‘league’ together in the same name. Adding a ‘s’ to the end of champion signifies that multiple participants from clubs all over Europe (or those that operate under UEFA rules and regulations) participate in this annual showdown in countries like Germany, the UK, and Spain.
As of now, there are four teams remaining in the quest to see who really is the best of the best: Juventus (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Real Madrid (Spain), and Bayern Munich (Germany). With the aid of the UEFA governing body, the matchups were Juve-Real and Barca-Bayern. After the first leg, we were treated to a 2-1 surprise win from Juve and a shellacking (of sorts) from Barca courtesy of a 3-0 score line. Following are my predictions on who will advance to the illustrious competition’s final.
I think that given the injuries that Bayern’s had to deal with, including two-thirds of their attacking trio, it’d be hard-pressed to see them move to the final in Berlin. As much as the Bavarians can score at home (see: 7-0 shellacking to Shakhtar Donetsk), it’s going to be an uphill battle, especially if Messi plays like Messi. Here’s hoping we have EMTs ready if Boateng gets crossed up again. Final score: Barca 2, Bayern 1.
I am going to speak on behalf of the Juventus fans out there and say that they will make the final this year, NOT Real Madrid. The reason? Ancelotti’s decision to make Ramos into a midfielder. Juve carved up their defense like Barca did five years back, and while it wasn’t exactly a 5-0 drubbing, it proved the experiment from the former PSG and AC Milan skipper isn’t working. So long as the Turin team did what they did in the first leg, it’ll be all over for last year’s Champions League winners. Final score: Juve 1, Real 1.
Until next time folks,