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Impacts of Champions League Final: Inter vs Bayern Munich

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First up, a massive congratulatory message to Internazionale, the team that has just notched a historic treble with the encouraging 2-0 victory against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid. Also, congratulations to Jose Mourinho who has just joined an elite group of managers who have won the Champions League (or European Cup) with two clubs and potentially surpassing all of them as early as next season. (which will be touched upon again later on).  Soon after, the massive celebrations among everyone associated with the Nerazzuri whether in Milan and all over the world will cease and soon after the World Cup will start and soon afterward, the new European footballing season will start again, and that’s when the impacts from the recently concluded massive Champions League final between Internazionale and Bayern Munich will be revealed and also take effect in the top footballing arenas in Europe. The question now is that, what are the impacts I am talking about? and how are those impacts going to continue to write memorable football history for the next season and beyond…

First and foremost, the impact will be about the champions themselves, Internazionale. It is true that they have reached the ultimate footballing pinnacle right now by clinching a marvelous treble by clinching the routine but edgy Serie A title, the Coppa Italia in an intense match against AS Roma, and the recently won Champions League trophy against a gallant but rather unfortunate Bayern Munich side. After highlighting the first impact which is directly impacting Internazionale, Interistas who read this will perhaps brand me as a party pooper who tries to spoil Inter’s celebrations (I am a Roma fan). But I assure everyone that this is an objective assessment on the issue and it is a time tested reality which will no doubt affect Inter as well. Let’s face it, the only way a team would go after reaching the very apex of their game is down. Firstly, there’s no longer a further way up as they have won anything and everything that are up for grabs in the season, and secondly, maintaining their position would be much more difficult than attaining the trophies in the first place. Thus the saying, “It is much harder to retain than to win a trophy in the first place”. Just like how we saw the all conquering Barcelona side losing steam this season, although they would still argue that they had won “unprecedented” 6 titles in a season, I would still say that we go by the European season calendar, and that’s only totally valid if the season’s schedule mimics that of the Russian Premier League, for instance. In any case, there’s a marked decline in Barcelona’s season although they are still able to win the La Liga title, which is decided by the El Clasico matches but nevertheless they won something.

Thus, I could see a similar decline happening in Internazionale very soon. One main reason for this is of course the departure of Jose “The Special One” Mourinho himself. His departure is already a big blow to the club and Italian football in general (no matter how volatile his relationship is with the personnel in Italy), and his departure is likely to be followed with a kind of exodus of the players, again looking at how the key players of Porto such as Paulo Ferreira, Deco, and Ricardo Carvalho just to name three left the club after the 2004 Champions League triumph, either following Mourinho or to another club. The same could be happening, and the loss of Maicon, Diego Milito, Julio Cesar, and even Wesley Sneijder could be a fatal blow to Inter, and this might even end their domination in Italian football, and if this scenario pans out, we are likely to see a new Champion of the Serie A next season. But then again, it is not a foregone conclusion, and even if this has been the case throughout football history, there’s no reason against Inter breaking the rather unwanted tradition. Also, not forgetting the very fact that Mourinho eft for La Liga, already tipped as the next best league in Europe despite the fact that the recent flock of superstars to La Liga are to either Barcelona or Real Madrid. This gap will widen so much further as David Villa has left Valencia, and David Silva is very likely to follow, which fatally cripple Valencia, the nearest club to challenge the big two. But still, La Liga’s standard will be bolstered so much with Mourinho’s arrival in the Real Madrid hotseat while without the Special One, the Italian football’s standard might decrease, especially if the Inter exodus mentioned above takes place.
Secondly, while it is too much to expect Mourinho to win back to back Champions League title by winning it with Real Madrid next season. One thing for sure is that any fans who followed Chelsea during the last season of Claudio Ranieri’s tenure until the successful period under Mourinho will feel a huge sense of deja vu next season. In the aforementioned Chelsea case, Jose Mourinho simply arrived and sowed the fruits of Claudio Ranieri’s labor, in which the Italian had set a foundation and laid the ground and assembled the core of the team which Mourinho utilized to win their first title since 1955. The same thing is going to happen in Real Madrid. Despite racking a record breaking number of points in the League (a whopping 96 points), Manuel Pellegrini will make way for Jose Mourinho since the Chilean failed to win any trophy in his first and last season in charge of Real Madrid. However, Manuel Pellegrini has actually laid the very foundation of the team. While many would argue that the team wasn’t assembled by him but by Jorge Valdano and Florentino Perez, he has been integrating those great individuals such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, and the rest of the Galacticos as a team and also integrating them into the Spanish League. While no trophy has been won by the Chilean, this is arguably the baby steps required for a team to gel first, get to know how each other plays, and build a solid team chemistry. Even this season, he has succeeded to an extent, especially in the league with the impressive points collected. Given one more season, I believe Pellegrini would start winning the trophies that everyone associated with the “Casa Blanca” craves oh so much.

But football is not a nice game, not modern football at least. Mourinho will be in charge next season, and he will be in charge of a team which has gained a considerable degree of team chemistry, and Mourinho only needs to fine tune the team a little bit, perhaps by bringing in reinforcements from his Internazionale treble winning team and then perhaps he will be the very first manager who wins the Champions League thrice with three different teams, and perhaps confirms his status as a world beater who has won every single title within the triumvirate of World football (BPL, Serie A, and La Liga). The cruel aspect of this is how Mourinho hogs all the glory with the fruits of Pellegrini’s labor this season.

If everything goes according to plan, and Mourinho really brings the glory days back to Real Madrid by winning another treble, this will further enhance La Liga’s status as the best league in the world by a mile. Nevermind the aforementioned fact that the league is turning into a massively enhanced Scottish League. Also, more superstars such as Fabregas will continue on to flock into La Liga, and by that, continue to flock to either Real Madrid or Barcelona, I won’t be surprised that the massively star studded teams of Real Madrid and Barcelona will be locked at the top of the league with both having 110 points and the tie breaking criteria are all exhausted and thus the title might be decided by a playoff in a neutral venue (the last tie breaking criterion if all other criteria fail). This third El Clasico will eclipse even the World Cup final itself. Trust me.

Last but not least, I have been blabbering about the winners. All about Inter, all about Mourinho and his new club Real Madrid. But why haven’t I mentioned anything about the runners-up, Bayern Munich, who, to be fair to them and to their manager Louis van Gaal, played extremely well but rather unfortunate to lose the game, and also due to certain lapses in defense. The reason why they are mentioned last is simply because of the very fact that only the winners are remembered. Runners up are forgotten as soon as they have received their silver medals and the moment the Champions receive their gold medals and their captain hoisting the big eared trophy up in the sky, that’s it for the runners up.

I have seen articles and comments by pundits and journalists around the world claiming that this will undoubtedly boost Bayern Munich’s and more importantly the German Bundesliga’s profile and that this is the signs of things to come for Bayern Munich as if they are able to win it next season. But I don’t see it that way. Bayern might well continue to dominate the German football, but I don’t see them emulating their amazing run all the way to the final of the Champions League like this season and even winning it next season. While Ribery has reportedly penned a new fresh deal to keep him in Bayern, he might still leave next season to places such as Manchester City and Real Madrid who won’t be put up by the massive compensation to break him from his contract. Also, there’s no guarantee that other important players such as Robben and even Louis van Gaal would stay put as despite the fact that collectively, the runners up will be forgotten, but at individual level, there would be suitors for the key players and the manager. Bayern Munich must be ruing their loss to Inter as they have to be careful not to lose the very foundations that have brought them this run in the first place. Also, looking at the effects on Inter and Bayern as explained in this article respectively, perhaps everyone associated with Bayern Munich, and all Bundesliga fans in general would really ask the huge what if question, “What if Bayern had won the treble instead of Inter?” My answer to that is simply that it would launch Bundesliga as yet another top league in the world, and Mourinho, the loser in this alternate universe will perhaps be eyeing Bundesliga as his destination in the future to win the title, and confirm his “world beater” title.

Written by cp

23/05/2010 at 19:10

One Response

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  1. I am just faszinated what Mouriniho did with Internationale Milan. He made out of a good players a really strong team arrount the axe Lucio, Snyder and Milito. It is just great to see this team play the right way.

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