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The Reuters global sports blog

Champions League final live blog – Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund

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The first all German final of the world’s most prestigious club soccer competition comes to Wembley in London as some of Europe’s finest look to put on a show. Click here to leave comments http://live.reuters.com/Event/Champions_League_final_-_Bayern_Munich_v_Borussia_Dortmund

 

Drogba´s departure a blow for Africa

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By Mark Gleeson

Celebrations down London´s King’s Road would have been matched for fervour and passion by those in Abidjan on Saturday night as Didier Drogba delivered for Chelsea.

The pride of an African striking the decisive blow on one of world football’s biggest stages has been reflected across the continent in the post UEFA Champions League final coverage.

John Terry – dedicated follower of fashion

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By Phil O’Connor

Despite all the bling, the big watches and fast cars, the brand management and media training, there is still one thing that, without fail, can expose the true nature of soccer players.

Winning.

As Didier Drogba stroked home the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in Saturday’s Champions league final and the blue-clad parts of the stadium exploded, the studied cool of the young Chelsea millionaires went out the window.

Mr Chelsea enjoys a glory night but might not stay for long

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Roberto Di Matteo can now claim the title of “Mr Chelsea” with as much justification as any of the club’s great players of the past or indeed some of the players who on Saturday helped Chelsea become European champions for the first time.

The 41-year-old interim manager has transformed their season which ended with the most glorious success in their 107-year history as Chelsea became the first London club ever to lift the European Cup following their 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Bayern Munich.

Champions League final live blog – Bayern Munich v Chelsea

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We will bring you all the latest buildup, goals, news and photos from Saturday’s showpiece European soccer match. Just click on the link below to join in.

http://live.reuters.com/Event/Champions_League_final_-__Bayern_Munich_v_Chelsea

Superbowl is not the greatest show on earth

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North Americans call it “the greatest show on earth” but in reality not much of the world is really paying attention to the Super Bowl.

Sunday’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints will be broadcast in 230 countries and territories but the evidence indicates that in most parts of the world few people will be organizing their days around the game.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

What price Barca retaining the trophy in the Bernabeu?

Manchester United palpably failed to become the first team to retain the European Cup in the Champions League era but few would bet against Barcelona managing the feat next season.

And where would be the perfect place for Pep Guardiola's stylish side to achieve it? The Nou Camp? No, next year's final is in Madrid and the Barca fans I spoke to in Rome after the game could not think of a better venue to show their rivals and world football that they are undisputed kings.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Barcelona beat Manchester United — your views

Barcelona deposed Manchester United as European champions with an outstanding 2-0 victory in the Champions League final at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.

Samuel Eto'o struck the opener after 10 minutes when he cut in from the right past Nemanja Vidic with surprising ease and his low shot beat United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar at his near post. Xavi cracked a free kick against a United post at the start of the second half before Lionel Messi sealed the win after 70 minutes when he scored with a beautifully timed header from Xavi's cross.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Champions League final: Barcelona 2 Manchester United 0

Full-time: Barcelona 2 Manchester United 0. Samuel Eto'o 10, Lionel Messi 70 Thanks for all the comments. New thread going here. Please stop by. From Mark Meadows at the Stadio Olimpico: - - - - Not quite the dream final. United just didn't turn up after that initial burst came to nothing. Barca did what they had to do without being amazing. Did Fergie's talk of greatness in the buildup get to his men? I've never seen United look so nervy. Well done Pep Guardiola.
- - - - 2-0 to Barcelona. Messi nods in after a hanging cross for what is a rare header from the Argentine. Ferdinand was no where near him. Game over? A chant of MESSI, MESSI MESSI rings out from my right. - - - - Wayne Rooney, who has been quiet all night and is now patrolling the right wing, has just failed to put two crosses in to the dangerzone with United well-placed. Dimitar Berbatov is taking off his tracksuit... And he's on for Park.
- - - - Park is a hair's breadth from nodding in a Rooney cross, and Park's got longish floppy hair. United resorting to old fashioned English crosses to try to get a foothold back in the game. - - - - 53: Xavi strikes the post with a low freekick and Van der Sar barely moved at first. Tevez has hardly touched it since coming on. How many packs of gum does Fergie have? - - - -
50: Messi wants a penalty for a push in the box but the referee and most of the neutrals shake their heads. - - - - Tevez on for Anderson was pretty predictable given the Brazilian did nothing in the first 45. Tevez has the chance to make a name for himself on what could be his last game for United. Henry tests Van der Sar from close in. - - - - A curious first half, that. United made such a good start that I bet many of their more pessimistic fans were just waiting for Barcelona to get one against the run of play. United were very cool after going behind. They could probably do with getting in amongst the Barcelona midfield a bit more, stop Barca winning the ball back so quickly. Plenty of time before they have to panic. - - - - 45: Messi has just stormed into the box and Van der Sar fluffed the safe and the ball nearly ran free. That's got the Barca crowd really excited, especially with United's midfield all over the place at the moment. Half-time. - - - - 43: Victor Valdes, who took a bit of a knock earlier and is not taking goalkicks, has just been forced to rush out of goal to prevent Ronaldo from a clean run on goal. He'll be needing some treatment at halftime. - - - - 35: United looking a bit nervous, especially in defence with some tentative passing. Strange for the holders... The fans in Red look especially tense too. - - - - 25: Xavi curls a freekick just over. That caused a lot of ooohs from the crowd. Lionel Messi had earlier shot over but United have still had the better chances despite being behind. - - - - 16: Is former United defender Gerard Pique a lucky man? The Barca centre-back blocks a barnstorming Ronaldo run and gets a yellow, but some in the press box are howling that he was last man. Ryan Giggs shoots over with the free kick. - - - -
10: 1-0 to Barcelona: Samuel Eto'o. Completely against the run of play Eto'o beats Nemanja Vidic very easily to get into the box and his shot goes in despite Edwin van der Sar getting touch. That followed two more good chances for Ronaldo. Was Barcelona's first attack... - - - - 2: Cristian Ronaldo, who looks dashing in all white (Real Madrid might like that) tests Victor Valdes with a long range free kick first up which the keeper spills. Park Ji-sung is unable to get the rebound on target. The United fans suddenly get noisier. - - - - 1: Barcelona kick off.

Pre-match:

Now the teams are in, and there are no big surprises (see below) here's Mike Collett's view from the press seats at the Stadio Olimpico:

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Who will be the Angels and Demons in Rome?

The new Angels and Demons movie is based in Rome so it got us thinking who might end up being an angel or a demon after Wednesday's Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona.

Will one of the goalkeepers drop a clanger or will Cristiano Ronaldo belt one in again from 40 metres? It's a big pitch at the Stadio Olimpico, but I can see Lionel Messi running the length of it with the ball at his feet...

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