On a news front this week has not exactly measured up to last week’s news of men running around and beheading soldiers in the street or maybe its just that no news story has remotely caught my eye or stirred any form of interest in me to cause me to actually write about it.
With that in mind the biggest story of the last few days was the UEFA Champions League Final, which took place at one of the cathedrals of European football, Wembley Stadium! The UEFA Champions League final this year was between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Munich, which, is rather interesting as it was the first UEFA Champions League Final where it was an all German affair and ironically the stage for this all German battle was in the heart of England…ironic due to the English and German’s love for one another and for the fact that the only winner of this titanic all German battle would be won on English soil.
The game was sensational to say the least, a real UEFA Champions League Final with some of the top footballers on the planet battling it out for Europe’s must cavorted title. The game started off fairly evenly with both teams attacking with immense poise and power and defending their own goals like their lives depended on it, probably because their lives did depend on it. The game was 0-0 at half time. The second half started with Bayern Munich suddenly showing their true talents with some incredible movement off the ball and some incredible passes been made, Borussia Dortmund visibly started slacking off and began to feel the effects of chasing the ball around and the continuous pressure been put on them by Bayern Munich, the inevitable happened, Bayern Munich scored with a simple tap in after a tantalizing ball from Arjen Robben into the box to allow Mario Mandzukic to score. However, Borussia Dortmund fort back valiantly after going behind and put immense pressure on the Bayern Munich defense, eventually forcing Bayern Munich to falter under immense Borussia Dortmund pressure and Bayern Munich conceding a penalty through Dante which gave an opportunity for Borussia Dortmund’s Likay Gundogan to step up an take the penalty for his first UEFA Champions League goal and smashed it in to put Borussia Dortmund on level terms with Bayern Munich. Bayern Munich continued to fight on and had it not been for some extremely impressive defending from Borussia Dortmund’s Neven Subotic to deny Arjen Robben what was seemingly an open goal, nearly made it 2-1. However, it was not to be for Borussia Dortmund, in the dying minutes of the game Frank Ribery put immense pressure on the Borussia Dortmund defense with his incredible footwork and movement in the box, he placed an instinctive through ball into the box where a hungry Arjen Robben was eagerly waiting and merely tapped the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-1 to Bayern Munich, the crowd went absolutely crazy as the Bayern Munich fans seemingly knew they had done enough to secure their fifth UEFA Champions League Final victory. In the end Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1.
As many of my friends know I am a massive Liverpool FC supporter who happens to have a best friend who for some bizarre reason support’s Manchester United. It is no secret in the world of football that Liverpool FC and Manchester United fans have a fierce rivalry with one another a battle that has raged on and on for decades and a battle that will continue to rage on, a battle so fierce that I cannot even watch Liverpool FC play Manchester United with him been in the same room as me, however, we watch most other big games together over a beer or a whiskey and a few shots of Patron of course. I find it incredible that even though we support opposing teams we are able to share a passion for football and enjoy the beautiful game.
This is not the only time where football has bought people together, there is seemingly an un-known truce between football fans and I have found this in shopping malls where guys will openly do the unthinkable thing and start talking to each other purely because the other guy is wearing a football top of some kind and this has happened no matter what one’s religious following or social standing in society or even racial classification is. I have also found this on social networking sites such as Twitter where conversation’s can start and go on for hours with random people from all over the world and who come from completely different walks of life.
My favourite instance of this coming together of people from different walks of life was a recent visit to the beloved Soccer City in Soweto to watch the African Cup of Nations Final between Nigeria and Burkino Faso, I sat in the stadium, me been that typical white kid from the suburbs and immediately made friends with the local peeps who frequent Soccer City on a weekly basis to watch Kaiser Chiefs play, they told tales of their own footballing experience and I told them of mine, there was no racial edginess or fear or controversy which the average person in South Africa seems to freak out about so fiercely and after my experience so unnecessarily so, it was merely a coming together of people who love a particular sport and revel in the occasion.
#thehonesttruth football has a uniquely magical way of bringing people from different walks of life together, give it a try, you may shock yourself who you become friends with.