No matter what type of football you prefer the one thing for sure is that it is always in the news. With most of the soccer seasons in Europe drawing to a close, the league champions named and the domestic cup trophies awarded. All that remained was for the two major European Club Championships to decide. The first took place around ten days ago, with an all Spanish final as Athletico Madrid defeated Athletic of Bilbao by a three-goal margin.
Most of the football news channels were represented on Saturday evening, May 19th. They were there to cover the final of the European Champions League. The final, was held in the Allianz Arena in, Munich in front of sixty thousand fervent football fans. Most of these fans were rooting for the home club Bayern, who had got there after surprisingly defeating real Madrid in the semifinals.
An even bigger surprise was the appearance of London club, Chelsea in the final. Chelsea started the season in a state of transition and went through yet another tremor, when halfway through the season, their Billionaire manager Roman Abramovich sacked yet another manager, André Villas-Boas. Villas-Boas was the eight managers to fall victim to Abramovich’s impatient hunger for success since he took over the club in 2003.
The young and in-experienced Portuguese was sent packing with a large severance payout to be replaced by his even more inexperienced assistant Roberto De Matteo, who had been a much loved player at the club but had no success at club level. When De Matteo was called upon to take up the reins at Stamford Bridge, it was obvious that he would be holding down a job just at the end of the season till a more experienced and successful club manager could be brought in to take the job.
For whatever reason, the moment the likeable Italian took control of the club, things began to turn the corner. In almost the first match, Chelsea succeeded in turning around a two-goal deficit to defeat Napoli, of Italy. They saw off a strong Benfica side to go into the semi-finals against what appeared to be holders; the then seemingly unbeatable Barcelona, with probably the best footballer in the world Lionel Messi in their ranks as well as a host of other highly talented, mostly Spanish players.
Chelsea shocked the football world by defeating the Catalonians over two legs to go through to the final against Bayern. With captain John Terry and a few other key players suspended for the game it was expected the Bavarians would prove to be too strong. However, on a dramatic night, it looked impossible to separate the two teams over normal time and even when the match went into extra time.
As the almost inevitable penalty shoot out approached, it looked like Chelsea would have had to endure the same fate as they had in their last final against
English rivals Manchester United, where they lost largely, thanks to Terry missing a penalty.
Against the Germans at home, who never lose penalty shoot-outs, it looked like the end of the road for De Matteo and his boys. However in the biggest bit of football news of the season, it was Chelsea who prevailed as their iconic striker Didier Drogba steeped up to slot home the decisive winner after Peter Chech, Chelsea’s goalkeeper had saved two penalties to cause an Abramovich a real head scratcher for next season.