Friday, April 12, 2013

The Champions League semifinal

The 2012-13 Champions League semifinals will be as follows:
  • Bayern Munich-FC Barcelona
  • Real Madrid-Borussia Dortmund
Both semifinals are bound to be great matches.
But who are the best of the four teams?
It is not Barcelona. They just pass the ball around, and without Messi their attacking prowess is unimpressive. They are in fact the least scoring team of the four with 18 goals, eight of which have been scored by Messi, who also gas four assists, the same as their midfield general Xavi. Getting to the semifinal they have lost two matches, to Celtic and AC Milan, and after Paris St. Germain shook them, they are surely beatable. That said, their 4-0 trashing of AC Milan in the quarterfinal showed that FC Barcelona are surely capable of great things.
Real Madrid, with 23 goals, is the most scoring team of the tournament, and Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer of the tournament with 11 goals. But they rely less on Ronaldo than Barcelona on Messi, with a wide array of players giving the assists for Ronaldo, such as DiMaria (5 assists), Ozil (4 assists) or Benzema (4 assists). While they are a more complete team, their continued arrogance can shake them, such as Galatasaray did in the semifinal, or Borussia Dortmund did in the first round. Still, Mourinho is the best coach in the world and is hungry for a third CL title with a fourth club.
Bayern Munich looks as the best side of the four, and are eager for the title that eluded them a year ago. They have seemed to get stronger as the tournament progressed and their quarterfinal against Juventus and the last-16 away victory to Arsenal was a demonstration of power. If Bayern does not take the title it might well be the side that beats them. Still, they have been shaken; by Arsenal in the last-16 and by Lille in the first round, their two defeats in the tournament so far.
The only undefeated team of the four semifinalists is also the smallest (although still a big team. Do not forget they won the Champions League in1997!): Borussia Dortmund have won six and tied two of their matches, and this includes a 2-1 win and a 2-2 tie against Real Madrid in the first round. Their super youngsters on the midfield, Mario Gotze and Marco Reus, have been fantastic, and Robert Lewandowski a dangerous striker up front. Thet fully deserve their semifinal spot and I believe that if you are not a Real Madrid, a Barcelona or a Bayern Munich fan, but simply love football, you will be supporting Borussia Dortmund.
Be sure that I will.


Anonymous said...

Hi E,
I think the really interesting part of this years semifinals is that there is no underdog-team.

All four teams have the quality and are likely to go through to the final - not one of the teams will be "a surprise" to see in the final.

And that is kind of cool

El Erik said...

Yes, I agree. They are all former winners.
Last season we had one team that had never won it, and they ended up winning it, Chelsea!