The day has come, the final is here: Bayern Munich v Paris Saint-Germain. And what a ride this tournament was.
When I last posted about this we still had a lot of the powerhouses and each of them failed in different ways.
Who we lost
Cristiano tried, scoring twice but Lyon were better. Juventus fired the coach and, well not sure what’s gonna happen now. The whole point of bringing CR7 was to get the Champions League Cup, the Serie A is an afterthought. Will they get more people? Will Cristiano leave? Will Andrea Pirlo take them to glory now as a coach? We’ll see
Madrid were in turmoil until Zidane took them again and got them to La Liga glory. Then they faced Man City, Varane forgot how to play defense and here we are. They do really need Ramos, who not only anchors their defense but scores a lot. Anyway, disappointment sure, but not read alarms for this team. They’re doing good things and the new kids are showing good stuff. People mention Barcelona’s La Masia a lot, but Real is doing much better in that front recently
Atletico de Madrid
I have nothing to say about them, they looked like trash against Leipzig, they seem lost. Only their “garra” is what keeps them alive
Is Pep’s problem being Pep? Is tiki taka no longer valid? Personally, I think Pep, again, got way too much into his head, going for a super conservative lineup against Lyon, a team which, at least looking at the roster, is much much worse than them. Of course you have to play the games and Lyon just gave a great practical game. They put 5 on defense, a midfield close to them and two speedy strikers and that was that. And, I mean, I’m no Pep but even I saw that coming. I don’t know what the future holds for Pep, but he keeps failing at this stage. Of course I could be writing something completely different if Sterling hadn’t bottled it up. If only *checks notes* Aguero? That was the other option? Jesus
I’m tempted to just write lolololol and call it a day, that was just an epic trashing fromm Bayern and the cherry on top were the two goals and one assist from Coutinho, a Barcelona player on loan. Barcelona are a mess, I wrote before that maybe a loss to Napoli is what they needed to wake up. They won that game and then they were pile driven into the center of the Earth. They are old (I mean, soccer old, mid 30-s, which in real life is super young), they made expensive and bad signings and the talent from La Masia has in part dried up and in part looked elsewhere because there are no spots free in the main team. Hell, there’s even talks of Messi leaving… of course his clause is 700m so maybe not. They could sell the rest, but who wants a 33 year old Suarez? Even his teeth might have lost their shine
They were my pick for the Cinderella story and they did really well, until somehow PSG did not choke. They have a great future and it’s good to see Serie A teams getting out the super defensive cliche mode
Now this was the Cinderella story, they had some of the hardest brackets and still were able to go past Juventus and Man City, of course Bayern took them out of the clouds, but still great job. Will be great to see them next year… wait, what do you mean they finished 7th in Ligue 1?
It’s insane that this team has existed for 11 years and it’s now reaching these heights. Truly red bull gives you… ehem, anyway, they are a young team, with young players and the thing with young players is that they just don’t know what the norms are supposed to be. Even after losing Timo Werner to Chelsea they still gave their all.
Anyway, who do we still have
PSG had been shitty for a while, then Qatar Sports Investments threw a lot of money at them and things turned around. Money can buy happiness, because it can buy a lot of great players. Of course, when you just spend for spending you might end with teams that have great players but are not a proper team. That and the tendency to choke have been PSG’s legacy on the Champions League, but this time the stars have aligned and now with Di Maria and Mbappe in health and with a Neymar that seems to really want it (even if he misses so many times). Maybe this is the time? Well, sure, but not when you have the Germans against you
Bayern have won every match, not only that but have crushed everyone before and after the break (after the 8-2 it seems like folks have forgotten that they trashed Spurs 7-2 in the group stages). They play great purposeful football, have great chemistry and even have a Space Investigator. Every of their lines is stacked, from Neuer on GK to Müller and Lewandoski up front and of course, the best Canadian player I’ve ever seen: Alphonso Davies, this kid is going places
Who will win?
Bayern are the favorites and for good reason. Their only possible downfall is that they play too high and might be surprised on the flanks and Mbappe could be key for this. I’d put my money on Bayern and hopefully this is a good open match, not like the trash final we got last year