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Wednesday, June 19, 2019
CEBU

Villaflor: Waiting for the Final

Footnote

EUROPE’S major leagues have crowned their respective champions of 2019, with the English Premier League and German Bundesliga titles only settled on the last match days of the season.

La Liga’s FC Barcelona, Serie A’s Juventus and French Ligue 1’s Paris Saint-Germain won the domestic titles as early as last month, while Manchester City lifted the Premier League trophy two Sundays ago, and Bayern Munich followed suit to snatch the Bundasliga championship just last Saturday.

Interestingly, none of these domestic league champions will make an appearance in the finals of the Champions League slated on June 2.

What is certain is that an English club will lift the most prestigious club trophy in the world two Sundays from now, as Liverpool and Tottenham face off at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, Spain.

The Champions League Final will also be the first time in five years that a non-La Liga club will lift the coveted trophy.

The last time an English club were crowned champions of Europe was in 2012 when Chelsea won at the expense of Bayern. The German club would return the following season to take its place in the podium and lift the Champions League trophy.

Tottenham and Liverpool are deserving of a finals appearance, as both teams belong to the Prem’s top four, with Liverpool coming closest to lifting this season’s domestic league title.

The two English clubs also did it in style. Given up for dead in the semi-finals, they clawed their way back from what seemed like insurmountable first leg defeats to advance.

To recall, Liverpool went down 0-3 to Barcelona in the first leg at Camp Nou, only to do the unthinkable and score four unanswered goals in Anfield for a 4-3 aggregate tally to book their place in Madrid.

Not to be outdone, Tottenham overturned a 0-3 deficit over two legs against Ajax and secured a place in the final with a last-minute 3-3 aggregate win.

But the Champions League Final on June 2 signifies two crucial things. One, the resurgence of English club football has finally come. And two, the beautiful game just keeps on getting better.


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