Champion’s League has surprising final

The June 6 match looks to be entertaining

If you would have asked me who would be in the Champion’s League final at the start of the season, I would have said without hesitation Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich.

Well they made the semifinals, but they both lost. They lost to Barcelona and Juventus, respectively. At the start of the season Real Madrid went on a 22-game win streak and seemed to be the dominating force in Europe. Bayern was undefeated in the Bundesliga through January before getting beat 4-1 by Wolfsburg.

Barcelona were dropping points left and right on their way to stumbling into the top 5 at the start of 2015.

Juventus had hired the manager of AC Milan that had finished in eighth place the season before.

I would have called you crazy if you told me the final would be Barcelona vs. Juventus. Especially if you had told me that Barcelona was in first in La Liga and was dominating teams 8-0 every week. And that Juventus has wrapped up the Serie A two months before the season ended.

The final in Berlin is shaping up to be a good one with Juventus taking on Barcelona.

In the semi’s the matchups were Barcelona vs Bayern Munich and Real Madrid vs. Juventus. Juventus took leg one vs Madrid with a 2-1 victory at home that was provided by Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata. Cristiano Ronaldo provided Madrid’s lone goal in Turin.

When the match second leg came to Madrid, Juventus were put into trouble early by Ronaldo’s early penalty. Later in the match the player Real Madrid sold to Juventus — Alvaro Morata — latched onto a corner from Andrea Pirlo and scored to put his former club out of the competition.

In the other semi-final match there was a lot more goal scoring. In the first leg Barcelona took a 3-0 after Messi scored twice and on one he broke Jerome Boateng’s ankles so bad I cringed when I saw it. Neymar put the match out of reach after he scored in the 90th minute.

Later in the second leg in Munich Bayern was catching up with the aggregate at 3-2 from two early goals from Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski. Barcelona crawled back with two goals by Neymar. Another goal was scored by Lewandowski and the match was already out of reach. Barcelona had advanced to the final in Berlin beating Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate.

Looking towards the final on June 6 in Berlin, there are many storylines. Gianluigi Buffon, the 37-year-old goalkeeper for Juventus and Andrea Pirlo, the 36-year-old central midfielder, are returning to where their Italian national side won the 2006 World Cup over France. Also, it is the first time Juventus has reached the final since 2003.

Barcelona will be reaching the final for the first time since 2011 when they beat Manchester United 3-1. Lionel Messi will be looking to earn his third winners medal in the competition.

Barcelona is a side comprised mostly of attacking play with a long build up. The style of play they use called ‘tiki-taka’ was brought in by former manager and current Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola. With forwards Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi combining for over 100 goals on the season Juventus will be in for a long night trying to defend such attacking prowess.

On the other side of the pitch, Juventus is the complete opposite of Barcelona. They focus more on defensive play. They have fantastic center-backs in Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci. They like to play on the counter-attack, waiting for the opponents to have all their players attacking before pouncing on the ball and getting it up to forwards like Carlos Tevez, Alvaro Morata and occasionally Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba if they decide to leave midfield and roam forward.

Seeing as this is a clash of footballing Ideals it’ll be fun to watch the attacking Barcelona take on the defensive fortress of Juventus. My prediction? I predict a 1-1 draw and Barcelona will win on penalties.