When the clock strikes 12…will the late start hit Utd and Chelsea?

May 8, 2008

Having a sleep Cristiano?

After 60 minutes of the 2008 Champions League final all eyes will be on the pitch, but for a not-so-obvious reason.  

The match, to be held in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on May 21, kicks off at 2245 local time to accommodate mid-evening audiences in the rest of Europe. 

Fans will surely be wondering what happens to footballers after midnight…  

Will a Cinderella story turn sour for somebody when the clock strikes 12? Will Cristiano Ronaldo’s golden slippers turn into useless flippers?

In all seriousness though, I’d like to know what effect the late kick off will have on the biggest game in English football for many a moon.

The two sets of fans will have more time to sample the vodka before the game, while the players will certainly have to adjust their body clocks so they reach their physical peak when most Moscovites will be in bed.

In the event of extra time and penalties the game could be winding up well past 0100.

Can we realistically expect a game played at a million miles an hour or will it be a dour defensive affair?

PHOTO: Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo lies on pitch during their Champions League semi-final second leg match against Barcelona at Old Trafford, April 29. REUTERS/Albert Gea


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I think it’s bound to have an impact on the players, adrenaline alone cannot get you through ninety minutes or more at midnight!

Obviously there would be outrage if the final wasn’t screened at a friendly time, so there is little you can do… other than pick venues more carefully.

Again, that is probably another issue altogether. To be PC means that everyone is entitled to applying to stage the final, regardless of the sily circumstances that may occur such as this.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

[…] Late start for the Champions league final. (Reuters Soccer Blogs) […]

Posted by Daily Dose.: 5.8.08 | The Offside | Report as abusive

Saturday night games in Spain routinely start at 10pm as did this week´s Real v Barca. Spanish players don’t complain, but those from abroad do. This season Barça signing Eric Abidal said the late kickoffs were one of the reasons for his underpar performances.
I remember covering one Barcelona v Sevilla game which kicked off after midnight because of a scheduling dispute. Ronaldinho loved the late night start and scored a cracking equaliser.

Posted by Simon Baskett | Report as abusive

Well after Sunday’s finale I bet there will be two clubs training from Monday 12th from 22:45 until 1am right up to kick off on the 21st.

Bet both clubs spend more than a week in Moscow to acclimatise.
After Chelsea secured their place, UEFA should have relocated the final to Wembley anyway.

Posted by areallaticfromthesouth | Report as abusive

Haha nice comment about Ronaldinho there from Simon. We know the Brazilian ace likes his nocturnal activities! And Ronaldo doesn’t seem to be lacking either, so maybe he’ll be the one to turn the game.

Posted by Henri-Paul | Report as abusive

… pues no sé yo si tendrá efecto ninguno.. aki juegan hasta la 1 / 1.30, y no veo yo k se cansan los jugadores..

vamos manchester!


Posted by Jota | Report as abusive

Pues Jota parece que tu eres experto en la vida nocturna, aunque tu gramática sea un poco sospechosa. Sin embargo, quien ganará el premio del mejor jugador en Moscú? Y que significa eshot? Vamos Espana en el Eeeeuro 2008..ngol.

Posted by Chilavert | Report as abusive

pues creo que ganará el chelsea, aunque parece k terry y lampard estarán lesionadas —

animo espana! porque la vida puede ser maravillosa — viste la vuelta de albelda este fin de? el valencia ya está a salvo..

eshot significa ngol

Posted by Jota | Report as abusive

gracias por los comentarios. igual deberiamos hacer un blog en castellano tambien…

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

Por qué no Kevin? A mi tambien me parece una ‘esplendid’ idea…

Do people not think this will affect the players? Simon says they’re used to it Spain, but in England?? The latest they kick off over here is 8pm.

A final word to Jota…Vete a currar tio!

Posted by Tom Pilcher | Report as abusive