There will be an all-German finale to the European Champions League in Wembley on May 25, and I can’t say that I’m a big fan of it, because it will in a way be missing that special European flair. But at the same time, the 2 teams who reached the final this year were clearly the best ones in the competition, with Borussia Dortmund somewhat of a surprise contender, given their difficult draw in the groups stages, and their 20-point gap to German league winners Bayern Munich, who they will be playing the final against.
Bayern have well and truly earned the title, having been in 3 of the last 4 Champions League finals and clearly being the best team in the world this year, but hey, you never know! I don’t think I can watch another final and see them lose, it almost killed me seeing them somehow surrender a certain win to a harmless and hapless Chelsea last year, while I was drinking Coronas in a hotel room in Shenyang, China in the middle of the night staring at the TV screen in frank disbelief.
So this year, I will take it as it comes and may just check the news the morning after, but until then I will savour the press reactions to Bayern’s thorough thrashing of their predecessor as best team in the world, FC Barcelona, and nothing better for a German football fan than seeing the English press admiring us.
Take The Mirror:
Barcelona midfielder Xavi lauded Bayern as “extraordinary” and believes they thoroughly deserved their place in the final.
“Right now Bayern are at an extraordinary level,” said the midfielder. “They have been better and very much deserve to be in the final.”
It was the first time Barca had lost both legs of a European knockout tie since 1987 – against Dundee United.
Or the Guardian:
it was one of the quietest 95,000-plus crowds it is possible to imagine. A good number stayed behind to applaud the Bayern players. Even more headed for the exits as soon as Müller had connected with Franck Ribery’s cross to make it 3-0.
By that stage Tito Vilanova had taken off Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta. It seemed like the equivalent of planting a white flag in the centre circle and, after that, it was probably no surprise they finished the match looking so dishevelled
A Spanish one, from La Vanguardia:
El Barça cae goleado ante el Bayern Múnich en el Camp Nou
(beaten out of Camp Nou by Bayern Munich)
El Barça, humillado y fuera de Europa
(Barcelona humiliated and kicked out of Europe)
Here’s Robben’s 0:1 that sealed the deal last night:
Now to Wembley!