Tag Archives: champions league

Football Matters Part II: Beyond the pale, the money game and the mercenaries

Author’s Note: This is the second installment of the ‘Football Matters’ series, you can read the first part ‘Two colors inside and the divisions outside’ here.

Football and mercenaries, two terms that sound unrelated and should actually be unrelated, but aren’t. The ever increasing money revolution across various parts of Europe that has seen more and more clubs being taken over by business oligarchs has seen modern football take a new meaning, where money defines how it’s run, not as a sport but more as a business.

There are two iterations valid in most cases today: Footballers = mercenaries or mercenaries = footballers, in either case money is the common denominator, not loyalty or love for the game or the club you play for. There was a time, not too long ago, when loyal and one-club men used to dominate Football all around the world. Longevity used to be a factor and the players would love to play it out at the club they loved, to be called legends at the club which to them was be-all and end-all, for money wasn’t as important as staying true to your roots and staying with the club that you’ve loved all so much, for they were as much a part of a club’s legacy as the club was definitive in making their own identity.

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The morning after and where to now United?

Done in by Barca AGAIN!

Less 24 hours ago, most of the Manchester United contingent and the fans were full of optimism and before them stood a chance to claim their fourth European title and for Sir Alex Ferguson to win his 3rd Champions League title matching the likes of Liverpool’s former great Bob Paisley, elevating Sir Alex to heights of unquestionable greatness from the perspective of Man United fans and rivals alike.

Forward to little less than 24 hours and the optimism, excitement and the underlying confidence has been cruelly replaced by unending disappointment and despair of having lost to Barcelona again for the second time in 3 years in a European final. The disappointment of having been battered by Barcelona again, the ignominy of having repeated the mistakes of Rome ‘09 and having to climb up those uncountable stairs to get your loser’s medal despite having been one step from glory. United had finished second best again, and as Shankly famously once said, “If you’re first, you are FIRST, if you’re second, you’re nothing”. United have to strive to ensure that they don’t let this happen, to rise and come back to challenge for continental glory again.

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