Friday, May 21, 2010

UEFA Champions League Final Preview

I've been a huge Bayern fan for decades and I've already written about one of the last times they made it to the finals. I'm certainly excited that Bayern are in the Finals, but this match-up has so many intriguing plot lines that should really pique the interest of the neutral fan.

Master vs Pupil

Inter coach Jose Mourinho knows that he's not the only "special one" in this match. In fact, he may have picked up some of tips on being special from Bayern coach Louis Van Gaal when Mourinho served as Van Gaal's assistant during the pairs wildly successful time at Barcelona.

Ex-Real Dutch Duo

In an ironic twist of fate, both teams are propelled by Dutch attacking midfielders who were cast offs from Real Madrid, who has continued their European mediocrity by crashing out in the second round of the tournament for the fifth year in a row. Wesley Schneider pulls the strings for Inter while Arjen Robben has been tearing up the field for Bayern.

UEFA Coefficient Battle
The UEFA Coefficient is an algorthm that compares the top leagues in UEFA and assigns the better leagues more teams in European competitions. As it stands today, four teams from Italy's Serie A qualify for the Champions League each year based on its superior coefficient. However, Germany is set to overtake Italy and gain an additional automatic qualification spot to its three current. Italy would then be reduced to three. The only way it can be prevented is if Inter defeats Bayern in tomorrow's Final. There is yet another ironic twist to the story because the fate of Italy's fourth automatic qualification spot rests on the shoulders of Mourinho, who just happens to be public enemy number one with the Italian soccer media. Delicious!

All this juiciness is in addition to the actual fact that this should be a great match-up on the field. The Zonal Marking blog has the best preview of the game that I've read anywhere.

See you guys at the Smokehouse Restaurant tomorrow for the watch party! If you can't make it down there, remember the game is on FOX 54. So, there's no excuse for not watching.

1 comment:

  1. Bayerns back line is soooo suspect. I'm thinking 3-1 Inter.