Bayern Munich Favourites to Make Third Final Appearance in a Row

Bayern Munich Favourites to Make Third Final Appearance in a Row

To the shiny silver football desk and the UEFA Champions League, which, since 1992, has been the elite competition in European club football. Last year’s winners Bayern Munich pocketed a cool $100 million from the competition, so there is a big financial incentive to winning as well as the prestige and all that narcissistic stuff.

The draw for this year’s quarter finals has just taken place and by looking at the quality of the last eight, whoever the eventual winners are will be very deserving champions as these teams (excluding Manchester United) represent the best performing teams across Europe and the UK at the moment. You could also argue that this proves that the Champions League is a pyramid scheme that helps the rich teams get even richer.

Defending champions Bayern Munich face Manchester United in the quarterfinals. No one is giving poor old David Moyes’ side much of a chance against what most people agree is the best team in the world at the moment, and favourites to become the first team to retain the Champions League trophy. Given their current Premier League struggles, this could be United’s last appearance in the competition for some time. Their only way to qualify for next year is to win it this year.

In the battle of the capital cities, Chelsea face the ambitious, and big spending, French outfit Paris Saint-Germain in a very winnable fixture for the Londoners. The two teams have a similar philosophy of investment and meddling by controversial foreign billionaires that spend over 50 million quid on one rubbish striker. The first leg is in Paris and most teams favour having the second game at home. Chelsea’s defence has been very strong this season so I will give them the edge over the two games, despite the attacking force that PSG has.

I am looking forward to the all-Spanish affair with Barcelona taking on Atlético Madrid. The two teams are also battling for the Spanish La Liga title, so this tie is sure to produce some fireworks.

Star man Lionel Messi is capable of winning it for Barca, but I hope that Atlético will prevail on both fronts and help end the duopoly that Spanish football has become.

The other side of that duopoly, Real Madrid are in the hunt for a 10th European cup win. They face a grudge match with last year’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund who triumphed four - three when the sides met in last year’s semi-finals. I think world record-signing Gareth Bale will help Los Blancos get the better of Dortmund this year.

The first legs will be played 1 and 2 April, with the return fixtures the following week. You should be able to catch some of the action on the big screen in the Union food court.

Now we continue our road to the World Cup in Brazil with a look at the colourful combatants of Group C.


UEFA – Union of European Football Associations
Population: 11 million
Currency: Euro debt
Capital: Athens
Language: Ethniki Piratiko “The National Pirate Ship” in Greek.
FIFA World Ranking: 13th
Qualified: beat Romania in a final round play-off.
Fun Fact: Poor at the World Cup but were surprise winners of Euro 2004.
History: Only lost one game in qualifying.
Key Players: Zeus-looking mofos with names like Lazararos Christodoulolipopulos.
Prediction: The pirate ship won’t have enough firepower to shoot them into the next round.


CONMEBOL – Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol
Population: 47 million Currency: Peso
Capital: Bogota
Language: Spanish name of Los Cafeteros = “The Coffee Growers”.
FIFA World Ranking: 5th Qualified: Runner up of their group
Fun Fact: The team has become national ambassadors against negative Colombian stereotypes.
History: First World Cup since France 1998. Have a surprisingly high world ranking.
Key Players: 50 million dollar man Falcao is under an injury cloud at the moment.
Prediction: Into the last 16, if all goes according to plan.


AFC – Asian Football Confederation
Population: 128 million Currency: Yen
Capital: Tokyo
Language: Because of their uniforms, they are known as Samurai Blue in Japanese.
FIFA World Ranking: 48th Qualified: Winner of Asia Group B Fun Fact: 34-year-old Yasuhito Endo has an impressive 141 caps.
History: Dominant in local tournaments but fail to beat the big teams when it counts.
Key Players: Creative midfielder Shinji Kagawa, of Man United, and Keisuke Honda of AC Milan.
Prediction: They will fight bravely and be honorable in the inevitable defeat.

Ivory Coast

CAF - Confederation of African Football
Population: 22 million
Currency: Franc
Capital: Yamoussoukro
Language: Officially French. I wonder what Les Éléphants means?
FIFA World Ranking: 24th Qualified: beat Senegal in a third round play-off.
Fun Fact: Former Chelsea legend Didier Drogba is on 99 caps.
History: Highest ranked African nation in the world.
Key Players: Man City beast Yaya Toure anchors a very experienced team of big, strong dudes.
Prediction: I really hope they can make it to the next round, which is very realistic.
This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2014.
Posted 7:01pm Sunday 30th March 2014 by Daniel Lormans.