Tonight the 15th Champions League final of our century takes place in Berlin, Germany. The Olympic Stadium has seen many things over the years, from Jesse Owens refusing to salute Hitler during the 1936 Olympics to the less-publicised Frank Owens from Ireland refusing to remove his lucky rotten calf’s leg while on the podium during the same games.
Tonight however, we are treated to something much more important that a blindly ignorant devotion to old Irish good luck charms, or for that matter defiance of a fascist regime. Tonight, the 6th of June 2015, 22 men will emerge from the womb of the Olympic Stadium to see who will be christened the Champions League winner for 2015.
In this preview we’ll look at the teams, the stats and the personalities on show, while also predicting how the game will go. Come with us, won’t you?
Both Juventus’ nickname – the Old Lady – and Barcelona’s – Los Cules or the Cabbages – are confusing and strange. More suitable ones may have been the Black and Whites and the Red and Blues respectively. Because those are the colours that these teams wear.
These teams wear the colours that they wear for a reason. If you changed their colours no one would know who was playing. And knowing who is playing in football is more important than who wins.
The game is notable for the fact that it will probably be both Andrea Pirlo and Xavi’s last in European football before they depart these shores. Pirlo is moving to open an artisan pancake house in Greenwich Village in New York, while Xavi is moving to Qatar to fulfil his life-long ambition of finally owning a slave.
It is also a pivotal moment for Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon who, according to the rules of his deal with Beelzebub to stay young forever, will disintegrate immediately should he fail to win tonight. It will be an emotional affair.
The focus before the big match will be on Barcelona’s big three of Messi, Neymar and Suarez. The three strikers share a house in Barcelona where they live together with their families. Just last month they all entered into a single union. This chemistry is evident on the pitch. The happy trio have scored over 200 goals between them this season and look set to score at least 10, maybe even 13 more tonight.
Here are some more key stats:
- Should Barcelona win, Luis Suarez will become the first known racist since John Terry to lift the Champions League.
- Should Juventus win, Arturo Vidal has stated he will get a Babar tattoo on his neck.
- Both clubs hold the record for the most games played in this season’s competition.
- As things stand, Lionel Messi is just 30 centimetres away from being an enormously tall 2 metre man.
- The Barcelona players will be wearing denim kits tonight, in honour of the club’s founder – Levi Strauss..
WHO CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE?
This game is full of difference makers. Should Luis Suarez be able to go the distance without making someone feel bad about their skin colour, he could be dangerous. The real battle could be in midfield, where Xavi and Pirlo will fight the eternal battle of seeing who can do the most without moving their bodies. Expect both players to remain stationary for the entire 90 minutes.
Cyborg troll boy Lionel Messi will of course be the main focus but given the standards he’s set himself anything less than 5 goals will be a disappointment, and will obviously earn him a flogging back at La Masia.
These are definitely two teams. Both have a regulation 11 per side full of grown men and in the end it may come down not to who’s the best, but who’s the least bad. Finals are difficult to predict, it can come down to a hair out of place, a subtle wink or several goals.
Saying that, we expect this Barcelona side to give it their all and lose 3-1 to Juventus, if only to give Gigi Buffon a few more years on this earth.
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