The Last (?) UEFA Champions League Final Spectacular 2021

Here we are, the Champions League final! Which, for a wild weekend and change, almost didn’t happen. The Super League loomed large over this competition and football as a whole for a bit and then it just died… but did it? This idea has been brewing for quite a while and given a lackluster reform by UEFA, I feel like it might still happen. The owners will lick their wounds and try again, they just need better PR. It’s really hard to appear more corrupt than FIFA and UEFA. Hell, FIFA tried their own PR stunt with United Passions and boy did they fell flat on their face

Your kids didn’t need college that much, Tim

Anyway, the day has come, the final is here: Chelsea v Manchester City. And what a ride this tournament was.

An incomplete list of who we lost

Juventus

Is Cristiano done at Juventus? They brought him to win Champions League and they seem to be worse each year, granted it hasn’t been Cristiano’s fault, he has done well and from a business perspective he has been fantastic (both for the team and Serie A) still might be good to get some money for him and hey maybe his homecoming to Man U is not that farfetched.

Barcelona

Barcelona did their yearly embarrassing Champions League display this time losing 4-1 against PSG in their first leg and that was that. They looked old and slow and have nothing to show for after spending too much money on signings that have just not worked. They’re still part of signing rumors, but we know they’re not getting Neymar and they don’t have Haaland money and besides what they need are defenders and defensive minded midfielders. Those signing usually don’t grab headlines but you can’t keep trotting Piqué and Busquets, they just don’t have it anymore. The Super League made sense for them because they’re desperate for money, they need to clean house and they also need to fix La Masia. It’s going to be rough

Bayern Munich

The reigning Champions, Bayern are having an off year by their standards, of course it was almost impossible to follow a sextuple year. They are going to win the Bundersliga but not as dominant as other years and PSG was able to defeat them because they have Mbappe. Worst thing though is that their coach is reportedly leaving at the end of the season. Is it time for alarm? Nah, not really. They have a solid base, good finances and they also don’t have the Super League stigma as they told them nein

Liverpool

If you truly want to talk about off years, there’s Liverpool. After convincingly winning the Premiere League last season now they barely made it to European competition spots. They have lost to the likes of Fulham, Burnley and had that 7-2 trashing against Aston Villa. Any other coach would have been fired by now, but Klopp has a ton of leeway after given them the Premiere and Champions League. Besides, he’s so likable, would you have the heart to fire him?

Real Madrid

Madrid are Champions League royalty and that is basically what took them all the way to the semifinals, their team is a mess and Zidane keeps getting outcoached (and he’s now out as a their coach, again). Chelsea should have won by way more goals but Werner just doesn’t know how to keep himself onside. At least Hazard was happy for his old teammates

PSG

Man, if only the Super League had gone through they would have won by default, alas the games had to be played and they just didn’t have it. In the first match of the semi final against City they played a fantastic first half, but they missed too many chances and they paid for it. The second half was atrocious with a rare miss by Navas and then a wall that just opened on a free kick. For the second match they did not have Mbappe, so the game was decided even before being played. Neymar did not step up, Di Maria got sent off early and not only did they not win they didn’t have a single shot on target. They were completely outclassed.

Anyway, who do we still have

The Finalists

Chelsea

If we have learned something by Chelsea’s current form is that Lampard was really way over his head. Tuchel took this team and has made it so much better or at least he was until things took a turn for him after the FA Cup loss and then almost missing the Champions League spot, but Leicester shat the bed against Spurs and now they’re safe.

Chelsea right now is really built on potential, with great young players that I believe can still give more. Just some tweaks on Werner’s positioning, work with Havertz, give more time to Pulisic and they’ll be scary and fun. And yeah, that part is fun, but the thing that Tuchel has really given them is order, they are solid on defense, they are in their adequate positions and they have the fantastic N’golo Kante a player that seems to just get better with age. He seems to reinvent himself every so often and dominates the midfield in a way that is rarely seen. He will be key against City

Manchester City

It’s now or never for Pep, after trying over and over to get to this point again (and probably still having nightmares about Sterling’s miss last year) he’s here. They haven’t had the toughest path so far, they got the weakest rival in the R16, then a young Dortmund squad and then a PSG squad that didn’t have Mbappe in the second leg, still they have played well and they have the momentum of a Premiere League that they have dominated. With a Kun Aguero that is back and on his last hurrah (and hopefully won’t try more Panenka style PKs), an always inspired DeBruyne and hell even the likes of Phil Foden (which could be the future) they are the favorites this time around.

Who will win?

Well, we got a taste of this already in the League and Chelsea won, of course the pressure is not the same at all this time around. City basically already had the League, that’s how you get PKs like that one from Aguero. Still, Chelsea showed how it can be done and it’s fairly doable. Besides, Pep losing again would be kinda funny