Congratulations, readers! You made it to Wednesday (or maybe it’s Thursday). It’s the midpoint of the workweek, and you’re just a few days away from another brief respite from your terrible life. For those of you in America, tomorrow (or maybe today) you will be (are being) blessed with a long weekend during which you can celebrate genocide while drinking yourself into oblivion and trying your best to ignore your drunk, racist uncle. On that note, let’s dive into the dumpster.
We deserve a Bayern Munich and Barcelona Champions League final
In the space of barely four days, Barcelona played two very good teams, and absolutely destroyed both. Real Madrid was spanked in its own house, and Roma—which, to be fair, loves the occasional embarrassing beating in Europe—was lucky to escape with only six goals. Bayern Munich, meanwhile, is continuing the scorch the earth in the Bundesliga, swatting aside supposed rivals with frightening ease. Pep Guardiola’s team easily dispatched of Olympiakos on Tuesday, despite starting with four wingers (!) and playing nearly half the match with ten men.
Bayern and Barça have now separated themselves from the rest of the pack in Europe. A meeting between the two on club soccer’s biggest stage would be a fascinating battle, not least because their styles of play have become quite similar over the last couple of years. Both teams are obsessed with controlling possession, but both possess devastating speed and decisiveness in attack. These are arguably the best teams that these clubs have ever had in their respective histories, and even more important than that, they’re both fun. Since UEFA is a cesspool of corruption anyway, the least it can do is make that corruption work for the fans and rig the draw so that these two historically great teams avoid each other until the very end.
Benitez and Ronaldo are both off
Real Madrid president and noted team destroyer Florentino Pérez gave Rafa Benítez the dreaded vote of confidence in a press confidence on Monday. Benítez, who is an overrated chancer hopelessly out of his depth at Madrid, is under increased pressure after he oversaw a hilarious 0-4 beating at the hands of Barcelona over the weekend. Benítez, mostly known for his famous brand of Shit on a Stick™ soccer, decided to overcompensate in the Clasico by playing entirely without a midfield. Because if there’s one area of the pitch you don’t need to worry about against Barcelona, it’s the midfield.
Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t a fan of either Benítez or Pérez, according to reports, which is a sensible enough position given that both are clowns. Pérez vehemently denied that Ronaldo is set to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season, and Ronaldo’s own agent said that a move would be “impossible.” Naturally, this means that Ronaldo will definitely be leaving Real Madrid at the end of the season. He’s secured his place as Madrid’s greatest ever goalscorer, and with his physical decline now just starting to become apparent, the time is ripe for one last big move. Next August, expect Ronaldo to be either talking about a special return home to Manchester United, or the excitement of a new “challenge” (no laughing at the back) at Paris Saint-Germain.
José Mourinho still hasn’t run out of enemies
You’ve got to hand it to him, the man is a phenom. Not so much when it comes to winning things of late, but when it comes to unnecessary and distracting rows, Mourinho is still the best in the business; el puto jefe, as Pep Guardiola would say. This week, he took a weird dig at Graeme Le Saux for some reason, after being asked if any of Chelsea’s players were concerned about their safety for the trip to Maccabi Tel Aviv. It was a perfectly reasonable question, given recent events, but Mourinho is a perfectly unreasonable man. Le Saux was one of a half dozen Chelsea players to sit out the Blues’ last trip to Israel in the days following the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, but it was odd to see one player singled out and essentially called a coward. I’m sure it has nothing to do with Le Saux’s criticism of Mourinho over his handling of the Eva Carneiro incident. That would be petty and childish, and we all know Mourinho would…never mind.
Not content with making it to the weekend without another stupid argument, Mourinho managed to fall out with Diego Costa at half time of Chelsea’s win over Maccabi Tel Aviv. At least this time they made up with “a few kisses and a few cuddles” after the match, which is a troubling mental image. A Mourinho/Costa love fest is likely a furious few moments of stud-raking and eye-poking, followed by mumbled Portuguese insults.
A brief note on Arsenal
I warned you about this. But as much as I’d like to take credit for prophesying the Gunners’ failure, is there anything more predictable than Arsenal collapsing in the winter months? Tuesday’s big win against Dinamo Zagreb means that qualification for the next round of Champions League is now within reach, but the wheels have already started off coming off of this season for Arsène Wenger’s men. Not to worry though, once the team is officially out of title contention in February, its form will skyrocket; not enough to win anything of consequence, but just enough to inspire the hope that next season will be different.