May
06
2021

Champions League Final Is Set!

                It’s all set. On the 29th of May at the “Ataturk Stadium” in Istanbul for the Champions League trophy, we’ll see Manchester City against Chelsea. It’s the second all-English final in the last 3 years which confirms the English dominance in European competitions. Both teams took different paths to the final, but we can say that these were the best teams in Europe so far.

Manchester City

                The citizens won the group with Porto, Olympiacos, and Marseille. They won 5 games and drew 1. They beat 2 German teams in the Round of 16 and the quarters then they had to go through PSG in what got famous like the derby of the Sheikhs. Against the star-studded PSG team, Guardiola’s men showed everyone that they are finally ready to go for the Ol’ big ears. After years in the building, Man City showed the maturity and calmness they need to win in Europe. They were the better team in both legs. Earlier in the season I already did an article about Man City.

Citizens are on the verge of achieving greatness this season. Chelsea denied them the dream of quadruple by eliminating City at the FA cup semi-final. So Guardiola and Manchester City will have extra motivation to defeat Chelsea in Istanbul – not that they really need extra motivation for the Champions League final. In 2014, Sergio Aguero said that he will leave City when they win the Champions League, and we were all laughing back then. However, this will be a great story for the end of the career of one of the best ever strikers to play in the Premier League. With the team that they have this season, with the momentum, with the manager, if Manchester City doesn’t win the Champions League this year I doubt they will ever do it.

Chelsea

                Chelsea’s ride to the final in May was really bumpy. Yes, they won the group with Sevilla, Krasnodar, and Rennes without any problems, went through Atletico Madrid and Porto in the round of 16 and the quarters respectively so they could book themselves a semi-final clash with the 13-time European champion Real Madrid. They have been struggling in the Premier League throughout the whole season and currently sit 4th. They changed managers mid-season. Thomas Tuchel is currently working wonders with this Chelsea team. He didn’t have time to adjust the team to his style of play, and he didn’t have time to make his own transfers. In just a few months, Tuchel made Chelsea one of the top European sides. In just 3 months, Thomas Tuchel defeated: Jose Mourinho, Diego Simeone twice, Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, and Zinedine Zidan. All this was accomplished with the squad he inherited from Frank Lampard. I really don’t think this guy gets enough credit for what he’s done with Chelsea so far. If he gets backed by Abramovich in the summer and gets few transfers we might witness a Thomas Tuchel era in Chelsea. Tuchel is also the 1st manager to play the Champions League final with 2 different clubs in 2 consecutive seasons. An important note is that Chelsea is the first team to ever qualify for both men and women Champions league final.

English dominance

                On the 29th of May Manchester City and Chelsea will collide for the trophy. This means 4 different English teams played CL final in the last 3 years. The dominance of English teams is staggering. The competition in England pushes the teams. It’s not the first time in European football that we see an English team playing for the trophy while fighting for the top 4 spots in the Premier League. The league gets better and bigger with every season. With every season we see more world-class managers and world-class players there.

                Will England be able to use the momentum English teams have? Will football finally “Come home”? Or we will see the scenario we’re witnessing for so many years: an England team full of stars not able to work together. Euro 2021 is probably their biggest chance for an International trophy and this English team is entering the tournament as favorites.