December 20, 2012
Rise Of The Fullback

May 19, 2012
Chelsea FC. Champions League winners for the 2011/12 season.

Chelsea FC. Champions League winners for the 2011/12 season.

April 27, 2012
Didier Drogba scores Chelsea’s second goal in their 3-2 loss to Bayern Munich in 2005. Even though they lost this match, Chelsea had beaten Bayern 4-2 in the previous match at Stamford Bridge. They won the tie 6-5 on aggregate to progress to the semi-final of that seasons Champions League. The two sides are now reunited in this years final. Can Drogba score again for his side? Of the players that lined up for each side that night only Bastain Schweinsteiger remains for Bayern while Chelsea still have Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, John Terry (who will be suspended for the final) and Frank Lampard.

Didier Drogba scores Chelsea’s second goal in their 3-2 loss to Bayern Munich in 2005. Even though they lost this match, Chelsea had beaten Bayern 4-2 in the previous match at Stamford Bridge. They won the tie 6-5 on aggregate to progress to the semi-final of that seasons Champions League. The two sides are now reunited in this years final. Can Drogba score again for his side? Of the players that lined up for each side that night only Bastain Schweinsteiger remains for Bayern while Chelsea still have Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, John Terry (who will be suspended for the final) and Frank Lampard.

April 27, 2012
Home advantage?

Bayern Munich will take on Chelsea FC in this years Champions League final. The match itself will be played Bayern’s home stadium the Allianz Stadium. So far, through out the history of the Champions League (or European Cup) there has only ever been three years where the host venue has had it’s home team make the final. Real Madrid in 1957, Inter Milan in 1965 and Roma in 1984.

Real Madrid played in the Bernabeu against Italian side Fiorentina in ‘57. Real won the game 2-0 thanks to a penalty from Alfredo Di Stefano in the 69th min and a 75th min winner from forward Francisco Gento. The win saw Madrid successfully defend their European Cup title and would be the second of five consecutive Cups they would win. A feat that will surly never be repeated.

Internazionale in 1965 after beating Benfica 1-0 in the San Siro. The victory saw Inter win their second European Cup as well as (just like Real in ‘57) defend the title they had won the previous season. The match was won thanks to a 42nd min strike by Brazilian winger Jair da Costa. It would be the last time the club would win the Cup until Jose Mourinho’s Inter side of 2010.

Roma lining up before the 1984 European Cup final in the Stadio Olimpico. Liverpool FC lined up against the Giallorossi that night, where the matched ended 1-1. To date this was the only time Roma have managed to make the final of the European Cup. Roma went on to lose the match on penalties. The shoot out has become legend thanks to the antics of Liverpool keeper Bruce Grobbelaar. Grobbelaar employed the strange tactic of wobbling his legs while lining up to stop Roma’s penalties. The tactic seemed to work as Francesco Graziani blased his penalty over the bar, leaving Alan Kennedy to score the winning penalty. It was Liverpool’s forth European Cup. 


April 24, 2012
My preview of Real Madrid v Bayern Munich

April 16, 2012
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid preview.

This is what the Champions league is about! No more pretenders, no more fairytale sides, now we’re down to the real business - the end of the season. This is a tie steeped in tradition. The game brings together two of the most successful sides in the competition’s history. Four-time winners Bayern Munich take on nine-time winners Real Madrid. The first leg will be played at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Tuesday.

These two sides have met 18 times in the knock out stage with Bayern winning in 10 of those. There are also some other interesting sub-plots to this tie.

  • Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes managed Madrid for one season in 1997-98, where he won the Champions League but was sacked after the club finished 4th in the league.
  • Jose Mourinho defeated Bayern Munich in the 2009-10 final with Inter Milan
  • Arjen Robben will be keen to score against his former employers Madrid. While the other star, Bayern man Ribery, has been linked heavily with a move to Madrid in the past.
  • Real have never won a match in Munich where this year’s final will be held. They have also only ever won one match - of a possible 22 - on German soil.

Madrid will go into the game as favorites and find themselves in good form having won six of their last seven games and scored 25 goals in the process. Bayern, on the other hand, were held to a 0-0 draw on the weekend by 12th placed Mainz and recently lost 1-0 to rivals Borussia Dortmund, a result that sees them out of the title race. But they did manage to win 12 games in a row before those last two results so should go into the match quietly confident of equalling Jose Mourinho’s men.

Both sides have plenty of attacking talent and will try to keep their opponent’s defense busy. Both sides have their star attackers: Upfront for Bayern they have Mario Gomez who has 11 goals in this season Champions League, while Ronaldo has 8 goals for Real. But overall Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 53 goals in 48 games, a quite remarkable feat. Then there is also the attacking threat of Robben, Muller and Ribery for Bayern, while Madrid can boast Benzema, Higuian, Di Maria, Kaka and Ozil to help out in attack. With so much attacking talent on display for both sides it might come down to which keeper has the better match. Again in that regard both sides can call upon world class keepers in the form of Iker Casillas for Madrid and Manuel Neuer for Bayern.

In terms of injuries, Bayern Munich will be without their defenders Daniel Van Buyten and Breno but welcome back Bastian Schweinsteiger from a one match European ban. Real Madrid will be without defender Ricardo Carvalho and utility man Lassana Diarra. 

Jose Mourinho will be going all out to win the tie as he attempts to become the first manager to win the Champions league with three different clubs. Bayern will want to establish themselves amongst the elite of Europe’s clubs, particularly as their stadium will be hosting this years final. This tie has all the ingredients for a goal fest extravaganza, but  more often than not these matches turn into tactical battles and cagey affairs that are often settled by a single goal. So despite the plethora of attacking talent on display don’t expect many goals. Both sides are lead by managers who have won the title before and will know what is required to get to the final. The match itself could be decided by a moment of individual brilliance in a match that may ultimately prove to be an anti-climax. I just pray to the football God’s I’m wrong.