Tuesday, May 26, 2009
UEFA Champions League Finals Preview
Ok well after a great season of Champions League football, we are less than 24hrs away from the final being played in Rome. This has been a season of some brilliant games and great goals in the Champions League this season. As an Arsenal fan, i was hoping that my team had a chance to make it to the finals with a shot at their only silverware of the season but Manchester United spoiled that dream. So in the style of most American sports fans i have to root for the other team, in this case FC Barcelona. This is not a problem as I adore Thierry Henry, in fact he is partially the reason that i'm such a huge football/soccer fan over the past 5 years since watching him with France in the 2004 Euros.
This will be billed as one of the better Champions League Finals in recent years. With Barcelona and Manchester United both having won their leagues and a few pieces of silverware already they are clearly the best teams. The season long argument of who is the best player in the world Messi vs Ronaldo will take centerstage in all the hype and build up to the game. As a neutral observer i will have to say Ronaldo is the best player in the world, his ability from the dead ball/free kicks, along with his use of both feet, head, and other tools tell me he is the best. Yes he is a whiny prat when he is knocked on his butt, never letting his hair get messed up on the ground, as he looks up at the ref for a call going his way but he is still the best. Messi can have moments of brilliance, but he is not a dead ball player, and being only 5 foot something tall he can't outjump defenders and use his head..
THe supporting casts of these teams is where the game will really be won. I think Barcelona is LOADED.. look at the scoring trio of Henry, Eto'o and Messi this season. They combined for 71 goals between them, that is more than all but 2 entire TEAMS have scored, with only Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid having scored more goals as a team than that trio of player. Barcelona will be hurt by the suspensions of Dani Alves and Eric Abidal for sure, but they are a deep squad and should be able to manage for 90 minutes.
The coaching advantage everyone is saying goes to Sir Alex with his years of experience, but i think that Pep Guardiola has the full respect and trust of his team, not saying that Sir Alex has lost his dressing room, i just think this is an even matchup.
I hope everyone gets a chance to watch this game, 2:45 EST in the USA, just before Noon on the west coast, and the evening in Europe.. catch the game..
I'm calling for a 2-1 Barcelona win and a helluva a party that night on Las Ramblas.. whatever the case lets hope for a game for the ages!!!