the european champions league is down to its final four teams, the top two teams from the german bundesliga v. the top two from spains la liga. the top team from each league just got underway on fox soccer, bayern munich against barcelona. and tomorrow is real madrid versus borussia dortmund is on fx at 245 est. both pairs will play a two game home/away series, the winners of which will meet in london for the final match.
bayern lost in the finals last year to chelsea who surprised barcelona in last years semifinal. i think bayern beat real madrid. this year both bayern and barcelona have considerable leads in their home leagues but barcelona has lost two key defenders and their star forward, lionel messi, is coming back from a hamstring strain, and is not 100%. if he is generating scoring chances they tend to be flat.
bayern up 1-0 at the half. messi looks tentative and the rest of the team equally if not overmatched. barca just look small which they are. but bayern arent just big, they are very athletic and skilled. barca will be lucky if they can find a goal (not one shot on net despite 63% of possession) and get out with a tie. i expect a 2-0 victory for bayern at this point.
oof! 4-0. as someone said on twitter,"This is like being forced to watch Gargamel torture Smurfs."
dortmund also crushed real madrid 4-1 yesterday leaving the german teams ascendant and spanish ones in need of a long hard look at themselves, their tactics and personel.
here is a piece looking at germanys player development over the last decade with an eye toward efforts in america.