I have always pointed out that I am crazy about 5 football teams on this planet, but if you have never met or don’t know me I will mention them again. My top priority is Manchester United and then the rest come afterwards. Having said that Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Juventus and Real Madrid complete my list. So its Man Utd, Villa, Newcastle, Juve and R. Madrid in that particular order. Of these 5 teams 2 didn’t let me down this season with both Juventus (Scudetto) and Real Madrid (Copa Del Rey & Champions league) winning trophies. I fell in love with Real Madrid in the year 2000, after a certain Fernando Redondo single-handedly tore my beloved Man Utd side apart. I will never forget that game, it was the Champions League quarter final 2nd leg of that season. United had managed to hold the mighty Real to a goalless draw at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and hoping to finish the job at home. We thought wrong, United was beaten 3-2 that night and like I said earlier Redondo orchestrated our downfall. The only positive for me that night on a personal level was seeing David Beckham dribble pass Roberto Carlos, lol.
Back to the crux of the post. Real have been looking for La Decima simply put as a tenth Champions League crown since their last triumph in 2002 where they beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 with Zinedine Zidane scoring what is for me the best goal in Champions League history. After spending $1.2bn and waiting 12 years, Real Madrid are Kings of Europe once again. Their opponents in this season’s Champions league final Atletico Madrid were already crowned champions of Spain the preceding weekend. Real looked the better side from the onset but Atletico got into the game gradually though Real Madrid looked like they had the game covered. Oh did I mention I saw the game at Sylva Link (formerly known as The Roots) in Gbagada? Yea I did. Its always fun watching football with truck loads of people. You hear all sorts of facts or fables. Back to the game, Atletico Madrid for me are a great side, with wonderful team play and a fantastic manager. Atletico surprisingly (for me) took the lead through Diego Godin no thanks to an Iker Casillas gaffe and from then on it was all about Atleti. The first half ended 1-0 and it looked like Atleti were going to get their hands on the trophy.
The second half kicked off brightly for Real and it looked like they would get the needed equalizer. The game wore on and you wouldn’t believe how time flew, I didn’t know when they hit the 90th minute mark until I saw 5 minutes extra time being added. Well that’s how it is if a football match is interesting and its the team you are supporting that is a goal down. The yoghurt and ice I was having wasn’t helping matters as it was flowing smoothly and the gists and arguments? Priceless. Real however equalized in the 3rd minute of extra time to send the game into extra time. Even though peeps around me complained the 5 minutes extra time was too much. Wetin concern me? Na me be ref? This is no lie, I predicted the equalizer. I told one of dem dudes with me Luka Modric (obviously) would take the corner kick that led to the goal and Sergio Ramos would head home. Bang, just as I predicted. I wouldn’t say Sergio Ramos had a fantastic tournament but if I was to pick my player of the tournament from the Semi-final stage it would have been between the monster Cristiano Ronaldo and Ramos, well except for the needless yellow card Ramos picked up in the first half I think he had a wonderful game too. To cut the epistle short, Real Madrid banged in 3 more goals through a Gareth Bale (so happy for him) header, a Marcelo (love this dude) shot and a controversial Ronaldo penalty (Best player in the world toh sure) to win the game 4-1.
My man of the match without a doubt was Angelo Di Maria and not because it was Sir Alex Ferguson that handed him the award, he was a menace and the most purposeful of the lot. Those that were saying Ronaldo didn’t turn up or doesn’t turn up in big games and those that think Bale is also like that should understand that these so called big players bring something special to their team when the chips are really down. Ronaldo was clearly camera shy (not noticed) in the game and Bale fluffed 99% of the chances he had, but they were eventually counted after 120 minutes. I am so happy for Real Madrid fans especially the few true ones I know (Spikey, Damouche, Chips, Gbengene and Owobo). The La Decima was truly deserved and not forgetting to give special mention to the Atleti side for the beautiful season. Diego Simeone has really done a wonderful job of building this team and making them a force to be reckoned with world wide though I still fault him for starting Diego Costa on the night. I wish Atleti all the best and hopefully they would conquer Europe (win the Champions league)very soon.
I cannot categorically say what Raphael Varane did or said to Diego Simeone but truth be told, he shouldn’t be rude to a legend of the game.
Thanks for your time and please do have a wonderful week. BLESS!!!