Jumaat, 23 Mei 2008

Tribute to UEFA Champions League Finalists

It was a pure class drama in Moscow.Two Euruopean Giants from English soil invaded the Red Square to battle who will be the King of Europe this season. UEFA Champions League is a phenomenal event. It draws various emotions (not to forget the money too!) to satisfy the fans alike in all over the world.

I guess, writing a tribute will enlighten football fans to see the 'human side' of the Beautiful Game as what being mentioned by Pele. Well the word 'Beautiful' has a deeper meaning than just Messi's technical dribbling or the the fanciful Ronaldo's sidestep. It has a very deep philosophical meaning if we look deeper into the game. Let us forget the technicalities of the game and concentrate on humanistic values that being buried inside.

Perhaps, by sharing my views, readers can articulate and start to ponder upon ourself from this event.

I am Terry-bly sorry

This guy has a heart of a lion. Well not literally, but metaphorically he is one. Before the final, the last game between Chelsea and Bolton, he had a dislocated shoulder. Chelsea lost the Premiership on that day. As Chelsea captain, what else can he hope for than winning the Champions League from the Man Utd.

People doubt he can recover but surprisingly he did. John Terry had a marvellous season by keeping the team attached after Mourinho exit. Being managed by the cold looked Avram Grant, the joyous team has a sombre mood. He was also being inflicted with numerous injuries for the past one year but nonetheless he recovers and still being the heart at Chelsea defence.

The fifth penalty for Chelsea should be the wrap up of the night and no other player deserve to wrap this up than John Terry the Captain. It was raining. When we were watching the game at the Kedai Mamak, our body is sweating too especially Man Utd fans. We ( yes, I'm a Man Utd fan since Cantona did his Kung Fu) were already think it was going to end in any moment. But deep inside I have a gutted feeling that, how frequent this guy has taken penalty in his life? Had he ever taking this kind of super decisive penalty in front of the 70,000 crowd plus the super wet condition of the field?

The slip of John Terry proves to be the end of Chelsea's dream. The Kedai Mamak was burted into a hurrah mood and Chelsea fans look dejected. Next is history. Man Utd won the cup.

I watch constantly on Terry's face after the game. He cant stop crying. Well as supporter we may be do not feel as bad as him but me, as a rugby player myself, I do understand the feeling.

Just imagine, your are the leader. Source of inspiration for the team. You just recovered from the injury and you lost the league 2 weeks ago. You had saved Ryan Giggs shot before the game turn to spot kicks. You trained so hard daily focusing on to win Chelsea first UEFA Champions League. The horror of not converting the decisive penalty proofs to be one of your most heartbroken episode of your life.

Definitely. To reach the final of any competition is not a laughing matter. It takes discipline, focus and faith on yourself ang God to guide you above the adversity on that day. I remember myself before the final of SBP 10's Rugby in 2003, our opponent is our next door rival Sekolah Alam Shah. We know each other very well as we constantly played against each other in many rugby competitions (by the way I'm from SMSS). Each of us know the weakness and the strenght of the team.

That night, before the final starts on tomorrow morning, I laid down silently and start to imagine my game. What I will do? Will I fumble the ball? Which side should I run? How fast should I swing the ball? How hard should I tackle? All these questions popped out inside my head. It is a sleepless night. You know it's a do or die kind of situation. You win, you get the Cup and your name will be included in the history book. You lost, you are nowhere.

We won the game next day and became famous all over the boarding school.

So, to be in final is not like to play for fun every evening. It takes more than just physical preparation but also mentally and spiritually. What separates a good sportsman from the rest is the ability to conjure peaceful and confidence inside their mind before the decisive battle starts. Mind you, that is not as easy as bending like Beckham.

Sir Alex the Master

How many leagues he had won? How many cup he had won? You know better than me. This maestro is a legend. People at his age should be retiring nicely with their grandchildren or sunbathing at Bondi beach. Sir Alex is sort of passionate guy. He has to undergo constant stress managing the World Biggest football club. Decision, decision and decision.

Remember Beckham? The reason he kicked out one of his precious boy is not merely about the fight he had in the dressing room. It’s about the team. People said, Sir Alex cant have a player who is bigger than the team itself. During that time Beckham is a Football God, Poster Boy and a Celebrity. The whole team sometimes is being eclipsed by him.

It is not a popular decision nonetheless in the long run, it makes United back into the top form. Wise choice by an old man.

Woe of Injuries

It hurts when you are having cramp leg especially during final like this. Normally cramp legs is being attributed to lack of fitness or not properly warming up. Luzhinski Stadium is a cold place. Furthermore it rains in the second half of the match.

I guess the players know the reality. Why we see a lot of minor injuries during the match is not because of the preparation but more about the striving of their physical abilities to the limit. We can see on the screen average, the players ran about 8km that night. Energy must be used and channeled properly into respective organs to ensure optimum performance.

To see Rio Ferdinand lying on the ground like that showed how much he had given himself for the final Talking about spirit of the game.

When emotion runs wild

It is the final. You have nothing to lose unless you will be playing in Euro 2008. But mostly every single players on the field gave 200% to win the cup. Like I said, sometimes, when things turn badly against you, explosion come fast.

Many fracas erupted during the match. It is normal for human though. But, who will be cool headed will win the game. Drogba antics against Vidic is a super silly thing to do. It was not his problem when he was shown the exit by Mr Michel on that night.

That proves to be the turning point also. That is why emotion must be controlled or being channeled into the right place. Drogba, I can see that is the last game you play in that blue shirt.

Penalty kick sometimes equal to Death Penalty

One of my biggest frustration watching spot kick was way back in 1994. Roberto Baggio miss the goal and Brazil became the champion in World Cup 1994. To watch Ronaldo miss the kick seem like a death penalty to United that night.Nobody expected him to miss again like that. But the delayed that he made before the kick seem did not work to Cech. You can see that Ronaldo was almost into tears when he missed the kick. After all, if he won the Cup, the chances for him to be the World Footballer of the Year is very high.

Yet Mr John Terry gave the worst. Anelka? Well, I can say Van Der Sar already can guess the direction by looking at the feet. And United won the cup!

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