Football, as the cliché goes, is a funny old game. Both finals were characterised by very late goals. Atletico Madrid seemed to have consummated an unbelievable season by winning the league and Champions League, only for Real Madrid to equalise. Their manager Diego Simeone must have been thinking he would now get the best post in football after – like Mourinho at Porto – establishing his credentials. By the end, when he was on the pitch out of all control, his CV was tarnished. Even more extraordinary was the play-off final. After QPR were reduced to 10 men, all they could hope for was extra time winning on penalties. Yet Bobby Zamora popped up to score.
Neither game produced especially exciting football, this type of result-driven game rarely do, but will be remembered for the last few minutes. There was an interesting piece in our own Rust comparing the merits of attending live or viewing televised events. I watched both games on telly with a soccer nut. At various points one or both of us were snoring away and in the duller parts we amused ourselves by discussing football trivia. So when the commentator said Gareth Bale was one of 5 Welshmen to play in a Champions league or European Cup Final, I managed to mention the other four (Ian Rush, Joey Jones, Terry Yorath and Ryan Giggs) but my friend got the better of me with his recall of the 1966 England squad. I too am veering towards the sofa rather than the stadium seat. You have a better view and company.
If the sofa means listening to Martin Tyler’s musings that are barely even tangential to the event he’s broadcasting, then please send me to the stadium seat.