Wednesday, May 17, 2006

UEFA Champions League Final

Arsenal vs. Barcelona

Today we have the official end to the 2005/2006 UEFA season, (even though England is still having promotion matches this weekend), with the Champions League Final in Paris. As it has been reported in just about every media outlet, this is a dream matchup; Spanish Champions, Barcelona being led into Paris by FIFA World Player of the Year, Ronaldinho in one corner. In the other corner, English powerhouse, Arsenal, who are being led by Thierry Henry. This is the type of final that UEFA and FIFA for all concerns, have be dreaming about.

Every facet of this match has been written about, dissected and analyzed. I won't bore you with that much crap here. I am just going to tell you who is going to win and what this match will mean for the rest of European Football.

1. Barcelona will win today.
Barcelona will win due to the fact that they have a better midfield than Arsenal, simply because they have one player, and his name is Deco. Ronaldinho is a god-like striker, but if you foul him whenever he gets the ball, he won't be able to cause that much trouble, depending on where the foul is. Deco will be the key in running the midfield and making sure that Eto gets fed scoring chances and that when Ronaldinho does get the ball, if Arsenal fouls him, it will be in such dangerous striking positions, that either way, Ronaldinho gets to take a shot on goal.

Arsenal has a very simple setup in their offensive options; send Henry towards the attack. Ljungberg will pose problems, and Reyes might be able to cause some problems. They main key to the Arsenal attack is Henry and Barcelona will smother him and keep him from causing any problems. Arsenal just do not have the midfield to create chances for their other players.

2. Henry will leave Arsenal and sign with Barcelona.
Henry will be doing the same thing to Arsenal that Ballack did to Bayern, he will leave to go to a stronger club so that he can win the Champions League. The only two difference's; Arsenal will be able to sell him for at least 20 million pounds, more likely 25 which gives Arsenal a cash influx to sign new players, unlike Bayern got from Ballack. This sale will free up the services of Eto, which will allow Chelsea to swoop in and buy him from Barcelona. The Champions League Final loss will also allow Ashley Cole the out he has needed to be sold to Chelsea as well. Arsenal will come away from this one match with a rather hefty cash injection from the sale of two players.

3. Barcelona's European victory will only increase the changes at Real Madrid.
Real Madrid will be losing some of their more familiar faces this season, Zidane being the first to go. Roberto Carlos might be gone as Chelsea seem to be linked with him for a transfer, as well as Jonathan Woodgate, who has never been able to prove that he would ever be healthy. Thomas Gravesen seems to be on his way out, in my opinion to Manchester United to try and be a defensive midfielder. Julio Baptista sold also be on his way out as well.

Barcelona being both the Spanish Champions and the Champions of Europe will lite one huge fire under the new incoming President of Real Madrid, which will cause them to try and splash a lot of cash this off season. A game controlling midfielder will be on the list, as well as a truly powerful central defender. In my opinion, Mahamadou Diarra will be a new target for Real as they will look to replace Zidane's creativity and pace. Look for Robinho to play a much larger part in the Real attack next season, only if Adriano isn't sold from Inter to Real or Chelsea.

That is about it. Barcelona will win the Champions League this season and will be adding Henry to their attack.
Champions League Final:
Barcelona 3 - 1 Arsenal


Blogger I-66 said...

I've got Barca 2-1 through Eto and a Ronaldinho dead ball.

I can see 3-1, if Gunners push and Barca gets one on the counter, but either way it's a win for Barcelona.

10:37 AM  

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