Sunday, May 12, 2013

Champions and champions

I usually find myself in cool places around the world to watch the FA Cup finals, but this year I found myself in an airplane, and was thus unable to watch a surprising final where Wigan Athletics won a surprising 1-0 victory over Manchester City. Wigan are fighting relegation from the Premier League and this victory is their first FA title ever! Manchester City in the meantime finish a "disappointing" season: second in the Premier League, second in the FA Cup and Champions League would have seemed like a miracle some years ago, but with growth expectations overshadow hope.
Wigan won with hope and no expectations, and must now hope for survival in the Premier League.
But that is what makes English football so great: these things can really happen!
Not so in the Spanish league.
When I finally got home from the airport I watched Espanol and Real Madrid play 1-1 in the Spanish League. This result makes FC Barcelona champions without playing, as Real Madrid can no longer hope to catch up with the Catalonians who will be playing Atletico Madrid later.
No surprises there: not since 2004 has another team than Barcelona or Real Madrid won the league (Valencia), and since then only one team has ended in top-2 (Villarreal in 2008).
Real Madrid can still hope for a title though: next Friday they will be playing Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final. Atletico are no Wigan, but are still the smaller side against mighty Real Madrid, who will be playing at their home stadium.

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