Friday, April 17, 2009
It's going to be a repeat of 2006...
I'm talking about the prospect of Barcelona playing Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League final next month, with Thierry Henry finally laying his hands on the cup with the big ears.
Barca 2009 remind me of the Galacticos 2002/03, Arsenal early 2000s (the days when Henry could flick the ball before sending a dipping volley past his compatriot Barthez), Juventus 1997/98, Liverpool 84/85 and 77/78, Bayern in the mid-70s and Ajax Amsterdam early 70s in that they oozed class each time they troop onto the pitch. The Juve side spearheaded by Del Piero with Zidane behind him in the late 90s were a joy to watch and even drew superlatives and "out of this world" remark from coach of the vanquished side, Louis Van Gaal.
From the purist point of view, a final between Barca and the Gunners would be a fitting end to the Euro season.
If they stay true to form, Barcelona should beat Chelsea, with Arsenal overcoming ManU to ensure a repeat of the 2006 final. I'm certain the miss from point blank range in the third minute in that final still lingers in Henry's minds.
Whoever takes the Cup, the team will boast of a Frenchman. Karim Benzema and Co may have been shown the exit by Barca but expect a Frenchman to figure highly in the final!
Roll back the years and see...
Lizarazu (losing side) (1999)
Zidane (losing side) (1997)
Desailly (losing side) 1995
1993 - A French squad la...
By the way, did you know Barca coach Pep Guardiola imposes a fine on his players for being late for breakfast and training? For every minute a player is late for training, he will be fined as much as RM30,000! And the all-star cast is subject to curfew! In Malaysia the players would rebel!