Throughout the just-ended European competition, Barcelona were regarded as favourites. Other clubs, including finalists Manchester United and Copa del Rey title holders Real Madrid, were also regarded as strong contenders for the ultimate honour.
After a series a thrilling moments in the contest, it happened that the Catalans again secured the prize thanks to a 3-1 win over United at the Wembley Stadium on May 28. This means that Barcelona have clinched two Champions League trophies so far in this century; yet, next up, there could be a surprise.
As many believe, football is much more about efforts, sacrifices and organization than “coincidences”. One could always come up with plausible numeric or coincidental facts to explain a team’s triumph; nevertheless, what is of importance for most football lovers is the obtaining of titles, no matter how luckily this is done.
In this article however, the aim is to shift our attention toward the factual side of soccer—especially of the Champions League—and forget about “who deserves to be victorious” based on experience and displays. In UEFA’s most prestigious club tournament, an odd formula seems to have emerged in recent years, making final triumphs correspond with certain semi-final defeats.
“Whoever is beaten by the eventual winner of the UEFA Champions League at the semi-final stage of a season returns the following season to snatch the title.”
Click on the following article—published before the kick-off of the Barcelona-Manchester United final—so as to understand this better: Barcelona Empowered By Formula in Final
Otherwise, just glance through the quick facts below:
2005/2006 Champions League: Winners Barcelona beat AC Milan in the semis.
2006/2007 Champions League: Former semifinal victims AC Milan win the cup, after beating Manchester United in the Last Four.
2007/2008 Champions League: Manchester United bounce back and win the trophy, after narrowly edging past Barcelona in the semifinals.
2008/2009 Champions League: Barcelona return and steal the trophy, after silencing Chelsea in the semis.
2009/2010 Champions League: Inter Milan substitute Chelsea, humble Barcelona in the 1/2 stage, and finish as winners.
2010/2011 Champions League: Barcelona gather their forces and take back their title, after blocking the way to Real Madrid in the semis.
Speaking of the Inter Milan exception in 2010, it is noticeable that that season—according to the “rule”—Chelsea were supposed to come out winners, having been “robbed” by FC Barcelona in the Champions League’s semi-finals, the previous term. However, it appears former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho preferred to turn his Inter side into implicit representatives of the Blues.
After taking Chelsea’s place subsequent to a meeting between the Nerazzurri and the Premier League titans, Mourinho cruised into the semis, where he “punished” Los Cules on behalf of the Londoners, only to claim the title afterward. It the end, it was all about satisfying the wounded Chelsea spirit through vengeance; but with the Stamford Bridge soldiers apparently lacking of strength to launch another attack on their Spanish enemies, the Italian giants were ostensibly the most eligible side to carry on the task.
So then—as per the effective formula that popped up in 2006—Los Blancos are virtually top favourites to win the competition in 2012. From an analytic prospect, Real could very well be prime contenders for next year’s honour, in view of their capabilities, managerial potential and massive improvements at the end of the just-ended season.
Having broken their cupless curse through a triumph over Barcelona in the 2011 Copa del Rey final, the Castellans—whose No.7 playmaker is now La Liga’s all-time top scorer—are right on track to aim for massive success in the upcoming season.
Now readers, we want to know your views through your comments: Considering the strong power of the “coincidental” formula, will Real Madrid win the 2011/2012 edition of the UEFA Champions League?