UCL Talk

With the 1st legs now finished, we take a look at who is best placed to make Lisbon in May.

Just one goal was scored over both games and that came courtesy of Karim Benzema as Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich 1-0 at the Bernabeu and will now travel to Munchen with the lead. If Real Madrid do make it to the final and win, it will be Carlo Ancelotti’s third Champions League win as a coach, twice with AC Milan and what would be once with Real Madrid. As reported by Sky Sports News, Pep will not be to disappointed not to have won yet would have at the very least liked to have registered an away goal but will be confident of a turn around in the Allianz arena.

La Liga leaders Atletico now travel to Stamford Bridge and after failing to score at home in the Vicente Calderon, they will hope that Diego Costa et al can provide Los Colchoneros with an away goal. Before the Chelsea game only Barcelona and Real had managed to stop Atleti scoring at the Calderon this season.

Jose Mourinho will be happy with the 0-0 draw away in Spain, but at what cost? Both Cech and Terry came off injured, the former will now miss the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder whilst Terry will only play again should Chelsea make the Champions League final.

The 2nd legs will be very tight indeed; each side knows how close they are to the final of Europe’s elite tournament and will be extra careful not to make any mistakes.

It’s tough to call who I think will make the final. It would be great to see Atletico lift the trophy with the big ears, nobody would have predicted that at the start of the season and it could well top off a double winning season for them. Chelsea could well win three European trophies on the bounce, taking their tally to two UCL trophies, with a Europa League sandwiched in between. Real will be hoping to win their 10th title and their first since 2002; long over due with all who are associated with the Los Blancos.

And to holders Bayern Munich, could they be the first team to retain the Champions League?  AC Milan, Juventus and Manchester United have all made the final the year after winning it; they all failed to retain. History then suggests Bayern will fail in their quest to retain the Champions League trophy, but there has always got to be a first… right?

Tell us what you think in the comments below!

#LCQ Archive Players #3 – Christian Vieri

Never a man to stay in one place for to long, Christian Vieri is our third #LCQ archive player.

In a career that spanned 18 years, Christian Vieri played for no less than 12 clubs, Vieri began his professional career in Turin and Torino. He spent two years with the club before moving on to Pisa. This began a sequence of a club a season for Vieri, a nomadic striker, he scored at whatever club he was with, most notably with Atletico Madrid in where he scored 24 goals in 24 league games. A move to Lazio followed, another one season stint, before he move on to Internazionale where he would remain for the next five seasons.

He was prolific with Inter, scoring 123 goals in his tenure with the club. He only managed to win a Coppa Italia with the cup however, which turned out to be one of his last games for the club.

Following his release from his Inter contract, Vieri moved across town, to AC Milan. His spell with the red side of Milan, didn’t last long however and he was quickly off to the principality of Monaco. Desperate to play in the World Cup, Vieri sought first team football with AS Monaco, but a serious knee injury scuppered all plans for a third appearance at the tournament, a World Cup Italy won by the way.

A 2 month stint with Sampdoria followed his time at Monaco, he made no appearances and promptly signed for former club Atlanta. 7 games and 2 goals later, Vieri was on the move again, this time to Fiorentina, before moving back to Atlanta and then retiring.

All in all Vieri averaged a goal every 2 games, as he scored 236 in 476 appearances.

He is Italy’s all time leading scorer at World Cup tournaments with 9 in 9 games. He is one cap short of a half century with Italy, but he scored 23 goals during his time for the Azzurri.

Interesting fact – His brother Max Vieri, has played for the Australian national side.

Christian Vieri