Monthly Archives: April 2013
Robert Lewandowski finds himself in very illustrious company.
In the Champions League era, he became the first player ever to score four goals in a semi-final. He also became the first player to score four against Real Madrid in this competition that so defines los merengues.
It means that he puts his side in a wonderful position to go through to the final. Certainly, in as far as history is concerned, this is not a huge feat for Borussia Dortmund. In context however, it means that a young team, experiencing only its second ever Champions League is potentially continuing a dream run.
It will certainly raise eyebrows. Those in Manchester will wonder Read the rest of this entry
Such is the nature of football that even in a score-line as emphatic as 4-0, it is the slimmest of margins that illuminate.
As such, it has been coming for some time now. Barcelona was bound to lose out someday. Dethroned they have been, but nobody thought it would come in this way.
Of the many traits that have been bestowed on this Barcelona side is the fact that it was never expected that they would capitulate in the same manner that Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team did in the 1994 Final. Whereas Cruyff considered identity above everything else, this Barca side had the insatiable desire to produce results on a constant occasion. Thus success has Read the rest of this entry
[This is a Champions League semi-final preview of Bayern vs Barcelona. For Dortmund vs Real Madrid, click here]
The change of guard is probably here. As the players step onto the pitch and listen to that Champions League anthem, they will know that the shaking of hands that follows may very well symbolise the passing on of the baton.
Bayern Munich are most certainly the next kings of Europe. It is they who look most likely to dominate Europe in years to come the same way Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona did. As such, Guardiola himself seems to acknowledge – he will be coaching the Bavarian side as from next season.
Bayern come up against a wounded Read the rest of this entry
[A Champions League semi-final preview of Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid. For Bayern vs Barcelona, click here]
When Santiago Bernabeu became President of Real Madrid, this was exactly what he envisioned. As Madrid went on to win the first five European Cups from 1956 to 1960, it was done with a galaxy of stars who invoked fear as they went about conquering Europe.
As such, it defined what a club from Madrid would eventually come to be associated with. So, nothing at the moment is bigger at Real Madrid than the fact that finally, the 10 year wait for a European Cup seems likely to be over.
It is so big it papers over the cracks of the civil war that has existed Read the rest of this entry
A statue of Dennis Bergkamp will stand outside the Emirates stadium.
Alongside the bronze cast immortalisations of Herbert Chapman, Tony Adams and Thierry Henry, the figure of this majestic non-flying Dutchman will forever be grounded. Ultimately, it is as appropriate as it is symbolic to have Bergkamp’s statue. For a club like Arsenal, beyond the early years of English pragmatism and 1-0 to the Arsenal regime of George Graham, Bergkamp may very well epitomise evidently the new Arsenal. The Arsenal whose history changed on that day in November 1996 when Arsene Wenger walked through Highbury’s gates.
It also, inadvertedly, epitomises much Read the rest of this entry