Staying at Singapore, following my favourite sporting competition does test my levels of passion. I need to forcefully sleep at 11pm (early by footie fans standards), wake at 3:45am, watch the games, attempt sleep at 5:45am and then get up for
office. I call it my ‘meditation time’ and it’s worth it even for the group stages.
The UEFA Champions league showcases galaxy of stars, the best players, the best coaches, the best goals, the best teams, the best comebacks, the best organized and the least controversial event. And it features the best sport on earth.
Here’s my midweek meditation notes on the just concluded midweek Champions League games:
– Lionel Messi saves his career by scoring two goals vs AC Milan!! Not having scored for just four games got experts talking about his fitness, form and that he was getting beyond his best!!! Some pressure this guy deals with.
– CSKA Moscow’s coach name is Slutskiy!!!!
– Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben didn’t score. Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo did.. on eve of Ballon D’or winner announcement!!
– All four English Premier League teams are cruising to next round (R16) with Arsenal gunning down GOD (Group of Death). Beating Marseille away, Borussia Dortmund away and Napoli at home are results any team would be proud of.
– Spanish coach Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich are the only convincing Bundesliga team as last year’s Champions league finalist Borussia Dortmund have a good chance of getting knocked out.
– Spanish coach Rafael Benitez’s Napoli are the only convincing Serie A team so far as last year’s Serie A winner Juventus have a good chance of getting knocked out.
– But things change in Champions league fast. Remember Chelsea down and out vs Napoli (1-3 after first leg) in 2012…they won the trophy that year!
– Nice to see Samuel Eto on Champions league scoresheet and thanks to Jose Mourinho for getting this legend back on the right stage. His CV is worthy of envy – four domestic league winners medals, three Champions league winners medals, two African cup of nations winners medals, One Olympic gold medal and many others winners medals with club and country.
The biggest stars of English Premier League don’t have a CV half as impressive.
– World football’s current best strike force though reside in Paris. Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahomovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi are set for a long run this Champions league.
– Atletico Madrid sold out Rademel Falcao to AS Monaco and yet, as with most Spanish league teams, have enough depth to upset a big team this Champions league. Look out for coach Diego Simeone’s boys and Spanish striker Diego Costa. Costa had a penalty saved and just one goal on an easy night, but his greatness lies elsewhere – 7 chances he got, 7 times he tested the keeper. No shots off target.
– Yet Alvaro Negredo leads the race for striker’s position for Spanish national team. Manchester City look good for a long Champions league run too.
– Can’t wait for last week of November for my next round of midweek meditation.