No More Lustre: Has the UEFA Champions League Lost Its Glamour? - Page 2
So you can only imagine the lack of variety when it comes to the passing of the trophy. The only season when the trend was bucked was when a Jose Mourinho led Portuguese outfit FC Porto to a 3 – 0 victory over French side Monaco in 2003/04. But a tie like that hasn’t been had in a while because of the dominance in this point in history has been confined to the four footballing nations, but yet more specifically to FC Barcelona and Manchester United. Kudos to both teams making the final, an achievement for any fan of the sides to be proud of. It’s been labelled as the rematch of 08/09 final where FC Barcelona ran riot over Manchester United, beating them 2 – 0 in style.
It’s great prospect to watch. If you’re a Manchester United or FC Barcelona fan. But what about to the footballing neutral? Can it be that Europe’s prestigious club competition has become too top heavy? Or that the game of football has become the play thing of billionaires and global brands as opposed to actual teams? It would be stupid to say or even think that the game between two of Europe’s biggest teams would be anything short of entertaining. But it’s the same old thing again and again.
It’s a sad thing to say, but it seems there cannot be a variety in the Champions League anymore. Those with some of the deepest pockets in Europe can only be successful and simmer to the top of the European footballing stew.
How great would it have been to be a FC Schalke 04 or a Tottenham Hotspur fan during this season of the Champions League. Just a few mere wins away from reaching the grandest of all club footballing finals the world over. But yet look at their games in which they were knocked out. Tottenham lost a crushing 0 – 5 on aggregate (losing 4 – 0 in the opening leg) and FC Schalke, the team from Gelsenkirchen who carried the imaginations of many (including myself) were systematically thrown out of the Champions league by Manchester United 6 -1 on aggregate, despite the heroics of goalkeeper Manuel Neurer . The fairy tale run of the underdogs came to a screeching halt and those romantics who dream, dreamt for too long. Continued on the next page