Wednesday, March 08, 2006

That Ronaldinho certainly is some special player, isn't he just...? It would be a travesty were this beautiful Barcelona side not to win this year's Champions League, after fairly comfortably wreaking revenge on the Special One's expensive plodders tonight (though I do fear Chelsea taking out their frustration on Spurs this Saturday...)
But then, for all their fame, fortune and heroic image, it's astonishing Barca have only won one solitary European Cup, back in 1992 at Wembley, while their hated rivals Real have snaffled nine, leaving the Catalunyans counting as many European Cuo trophies as such leading lights Aston Villa, Celtic, Hamburg, Red Star Belgrade and Steaua Bucharest.
Ah, Steaua, the team which actually defeated El Tel's Barca in the 1986 final, after perhaps the shoddiest penalty shoot-out I can recall - the Spaniards fluffed all four of theirs, while the Romanians managed to score two and thus take the trophy...
While I watched that game from the comfort of my bunk bed, I was lucky enough to be at the 1992 final against Sampdoria, a truly awesome experience, not just for the occasion, the match itself and Ronald Koeman's wonder winning goal struck from about 30 yards out with Hot Shot Hamish-style power - this was prior to his co-starring role in Graham Turnip Taylor's "Do I not like that" melodrama, too...
No, it was the atmosphere generated by both sets of fans, who turned Wembley from the imperious relic it was for England games and domestic Cup finals, into a (to me eyes, anyway) unprecedentedly scorching cauldron of noise, tempo and colour.
The best moment came before the kick-off, actually, when fans at each end of the stadium simultaneously held aloft coloured cards strategically placed on their seats, all at once unruffling each club's badge across the whole of the behind-goal stands.
Of course, I don't have the glorious photos to hand, but will try to track some down...
In the meantime, this huge fluttering venture of a madly-fanatical England-following mate of mine from Spurs could well catch the eye - or many - this summer in Germany. Rather him than me dealing with the practical arrangements, mind - of both transporting a 6,000sqm flag across Europe, but also merely rolling it up again after a game...

2 comments:

Mike said...

I hate to be pedantic Aidan, but Real have actually won the European Cup 9 times (you can tell I've been boning up on my stats ahead of tonight's game). I've never been to a Barca game before but I did do a tour of the Nou Camp 4 years ago - very impressive it was too. I was especially taken with the sunken baths in the dressing rooms, which contrasted sharply with the facilities at Highbury, which were worse the scummy gym I used to belong to.

There's no doubt that Barca are the favourites for the CL this year, but don't rule out Juve. I have a feeling that fate will deal us a meeting with our former captain at some point, although we've got a massive obstacle ahead tonight.

By the way, is Ronaldhinho really better than Henry?

Aidan said...

Be pedantic away, by all means. It's funny, I actually checked that last night before typing, satisfied myself it was indeed nine, then unthinkingly seem to have typed seven. Ah well, I've edited it now - but will refrain from deleting your comment to suggest I was right all along...!

Juve were a little lucky last night, though - that poor Werder Bremen 'keeper, had played a blinder all night only to hopelessly give it away right at the end...

I certainly don't go along with those extremists who label Henry merely a 'flat-track bully', but I think Ronaldinho has certainly proven himself more of a big-game player, more consistently...
Anyway, here comes one of those big games now - enjoy, should be intriguing either way...