Wednesday, February 14, 2007

UEFA Champion's League in Retrospect- Episode I

The biggest extravaganza of club football is all set to come back after seeing most part of the winter through and now spring welcomes yet another season of this great game featuring the extraordinary heroes of the European football world fighting it out against rivals for the glorious UEFA Champions League trophy.

So, to get in the mood of this soon approaching gigantic fest, let’s play some of the tapes in rewind mode and let nostalgia strike us point blank.

Clubs D'Honneur

Real Madrid

When the European championship started in 1955, it were the Spanish champions Real Madrid who took control straightaway, and took it again and again and so on, making the league so very predictable. Beating Stade de Reims Champagne, AC Fiorentina, Milan AC, Stade de Reims Champagne, Eintracht Frankfurt in years starting from 1955-56 respectively, they proved the European world their authority of football supremacy. They were rested off the top place for next 5 years by collective efforts from Benfica(1960-61 and 1961-62), Inter(1963-64,1964-65) and Milan(1962-1963), but real was still a danger as they were the runner ups in two of these five non-real victories.

And then came a draught, a long 31 years draught, and they were deprived off their favorite title time and time again, the seventh title came as late as 1997-98 where they overcome the Juventus scare to lift the cup. The time it took to move from seven to eight and then eight to nine was not as long as it was from six to seven. Zidane got in those books which usually refrain from mentioning the greatest and Real won their eighth title in 1999-2000 and the next in 2001-2002.

This year, boosted by Nistelroy and Cannavaro managing their respective department, Real is a side to look for, but, ah, there are a lots of ifs and buts. A good side to watch at times, can surprise with disappointments at times, but too unpredictable to keep away. Playing another UCL legends Bayern in their initial knockout games, game on is all my senses predict right now!

Keep watching the space for Episode II

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