Thursday, February 15, 2007

UEFA Champion's League in Retrospect- Episode II

Clubs D'Honneur


When we talk about passion, when we talk about die hard rooters of a club, when we talk about the complete English football time line and the giant, we talk about Liverpool. The most impressive English club in the European championship would be none other than The reds who have been crowned the European champions five times, only behind Real Madrid and AC Milan.

If Madrid was the flavor of the late fifties then Liverpool were the rulers in late seventies and early eighties with likes of Keegan and his replacement Dalgish, Paisley and Kennedy. They won in 1976-77,1977-78,1980-81 and 1983-84. But after that victory came late, too late. There is no doubts that this was the time of the Reds, they saw all these victories and they welcomed Stevie on 30 may 1980, who eventually (and currently) turned out to be the spearhead of the pool attack, driven by his control over the complete pitch, Liverpool won the 2004-2005 beating Milan in an unforgettable final.

Come 2007 and they fight the defending champions FC Barcelona for a quarter final berth. It’s a beautiful example of a complete fusion of agony and pleasure for the football lovers all over as they see their favorite teams fight out in the knockout stage just to see a good team exit early. Very much the match of this stage, Barca Vs Pool!

AC Milan

La liga team already in, English football supremacy also discovered, another league that would complete the trilogy is Italian Serie A and the team is meeelaan! AC Milan have been the European champions six times. They’ve played quite too many finals, as may as 10 and were there fighting it out with Liverpool two years back. They were the champions in 1962-63, 1968-69, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1993-94, 2002-03 beating Benfica, Ajax, Steaua Bucuresti, Benfica again, Barcelona and Juventus respectively.

The Rossoneris have dominated the game for a lot of time in their part of the world and have been the Italian bosses most of the time overcoming threats from home rivals Inter, and league rival Juventus and Roma. Driven by the forces of Marco van Basten, Massaro, Shevchenko, Maldini, Rijkaard during their times in the complete timeline, the Milan fans have been delighted time and time again by phenomenal display of modern day football.

Come 2006-07 and Milan see controversies, the match fixing scandal, Shevchenko moving to Chelsea, Dida’s injury, the aggressive Milan crowd and the fan fiasco. They have had a torrid time. They take on Scottish team Celtic in the initial knockout stages, and with Kaka’s reverent presence this gate should not be a difficult one to cross. At least the fans feel so and they go meeelaan meeelaan again!

There is More to follow!

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