When I’ve talked about this football website to people in real life, one of the most common questions that I’ve been asked about it has orientated around my end goal. Do I want to make a bit of money from it, maybe, or get a couple of pieces published in a newspaper? Possibly even go into a journalism career? Well, perhaps. But truth is, there’s never really been one. So rather than responding with the impression that I’ve had any kind of thought-out, long-term plan, “just to do it until I don’t really want to anymore” has been my go-to answer to questions like that.
The Champions League is designed to be all about seeing the very best take each other on, and this year’s final offered us the opportunity to witness exactly that. Convincing title-winners in Italy and Spain respectively, Juventus and Real Madrid met in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium to decide who would take home the most prestigious trophy in club football. Between them they had 13 titles prior to kick-off. The question was who would get the 14th.
Following two very different campaigns in the Premier League this season, fifth-placed Arsenal and champions Chelsea’s final game of 2016/17 came at Wembley in the FA Cup Final. For the former it was an opportunity at some salvation after missing out on the Champions League in what could yet turn out to be Arsène Wenger’s final year at the club; for the latter, a chance to clinch the double and create even more reason for happiness in Antonio Conte’s first.
Two of the world’s truly elite sport teams, Barcelona and Real Madrid’s monopoly within football is big. No club outside of the two has lifted the Champions League trophy since 2013; in this century alone, they’ve won 13 out of the 17 possible La Liga titles. And this weekend, the pair face each other at the Santiago Bernabéu in a huge match that can make the host champions elect, or bring the away side right back into contention in the title race that means everything to their fans.
During his extremely successful six-year spell in Spain, Diego Simeone has built and maintained a side that’s helped to see Atlético Madrid’s status rise to the level of an international superpower. With five trophies to his name, including silverware from La Liga (2013/14) and the Europa League (2011/12), the club have undoubtedly been going through one of the best periods in their history under his leadership.