by Alexandro Strauss ’15
On May 19th, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF will take the UEFA Champions League final, already the biggest football (soccer for us Americans!) game of the season, and bring it to new heights as these legendary rivals duke it out for continental glory in Munich’s Allianz Arena. The Princeton Tiger is here to provide fans new and old with a full preview of this huge, huge game!
It’s the matchup everyone predicted. Real Madrid and Barcelona are the two biggest teams in Spain. They harbor a deep rivalry that goes back over a hundred years—El Clasico is the name in Spain for games between the two teams. They boast the world’s best players, the best coaches, the most attractive playing styles—oh, who am I kidding? They play attacking football, but only as long as they’re not playing each other, because they hate each other, remember? Recent Clasicos have been just a bunch of guys in shorts running around and kicking each other until someone on Madrid gets a red card.
Anyways, here’s what you can look forward to from…
Barcelona are the reigning champions of the UEFA Champions League, and evidence suggests they have only gotten better since then. With their fantastic “tiki-taka” playing style, they dominate possession of the ball and can open up any defense in beautiful style. Add to this Lionel Messi, the best player in the world, capable of scoring against any team, and you’ve got the most exciting team in the world. Except when they’re up against decent opposition, of course. Then they just pass the ball back to the goalie every ten seconds, lulling their opponents and the fans to sleep before pouncing to score the winning goal. It’s a strategy that works so well that they won in the quarterfinals by, like, 7 to 1, and don’t even get me started on how one-sided their semifinal was! However, because Real Madrid are their special rivals, you get an added bonus in El Clasico: all the Barcelona players will fall screaming to the ground every time an opponent disturbs the air around them. It’s worked beautifully in recent games: Real Madrid lose their focus and Lionel Messi can just waltz through them and score.
Now, Real Madrid fans will say that they have the best player in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo, but they are a delusional bunch, who somehow think that the occasional goal from long range outweighs the fact that while Messi is capable of dribbling past the entire opposing team and scoring, Ronaldo cannot dribble past more than one defender. Real Madrid might also say that they have the best coach in the world in Jose Mourinho, but you’d think the best coach in the world would have figured out a way to beat Barcelona by now, especially how many millions he’s spent on overrated players. Real Madrid’s strategy will likely be to kick at Barcelona players until someone’s leg is broken. “Wait, what?” says the American football fan, leaning forward out of a musty couch in a TV room strewn with empty beer bottles, “they don’t fake all their injuries?” “Yes,” I respond, “and sometimes they show legs that have been snapped in two in grisly fashion! Bet you don’t think soccer is so boring now, do you?” You fucking barbarian. You’ll make a perfect Madrid fan.
Frankly, you could have predicted that these two teams would make the final in your sleep—perhaps literally if Barcelona’s been particularly boring! Barcelona always find a way to win, while Real Madrid’s opposition on their way to the final was, in order, a shitty Russian team, a shitty team from Cyprus that no one’s ever heard of, and a German team with a shitty defense.
This is supposedly “the Clasico to end all Clasicos”, what with the stakes being higher than ever, but like I said before it’s just going to come down to Barcelona passing the ball between the defenders for the entire game, while Real Madrid grow increasingly frustrated and eventually try to decapitate Messi after he’s waltzed through their incompetent defensive line and scored for the third time. Barcelona 3-1 Real Madrid. They’ll let Real have one just to keep things mildly interesting for the neutrals.
Wait, what did you say? Hold on—really? Here, let me check…Wikipedia…2012 UEFA Champions League Final… “will be contested by English club Chelsea and Bayern Munich of Germany” ? Oh, shit. I knew I shouldn’t have prepared this three months in advance. FUCK
Tiger Magazine regrets to inform that Alexandro Strauss has been fired from the organization because of his lapse of journalistic integrity. He now writes for ESPN.