It was an emotional Wednesday morning for me when the referee Cüneyt Çakir blew the final whistle.
I started supporting Bayern Munich late 2012 just because I am in love with the city and looked forward to visiting it someday – I did not know that their club was doing well in the domestic and European leagues – just imagine the surprise when I found out that they would compete for the semi-finals against powerhouse FC Barcelona.
The semis ended at seven – nil in aggregate that assured the Bavarians a slot in the finals in Wembley. Weeks later, I was in front our television, shaking and barely breathing as I anticipated the first German clash in the Champions League. Bayern won with two goals to one, domestic rivalry upped at a whole new scale with then Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund.
The 2012-2013 season, without my further knowledge of the whole dynamics just pure fascination for a city I have never been to, apparently turned out to be one for the books as FC Bayern bagged a treble – Germany’s first – the Bundesliga, German Cup (DFB Pokal) and the iconic Champions League. Being a new football fan, I was in cloud nine.
Fast forward three years and Bayern is still ruining my life but I love how the club ruins it, do not get me wrong.
I saw how Real Madrid literally humiliated the team at the Allianz Arena, dismantling every piece of us in invincible passion. La Decima summons! How could the titleholders exit just like that! Four – nil on aggregate was comparable to a walk of shame, to be honest. Then, I have moved on, er, pretty quickly because it was the year of the World Cup. There were bigger things ahead of my boys, I thought and so it did as Germany won the cup.
Last year, Bayern was slayed by Barcelona at Camp Nou with a final score of 3-0 with that infamous Jerome Boateng vs Lionel Messi memes circulating online (hugs for Boa!). At the Allianz Arena, fortress of aspiration and will, Bayern was able to bounce back at 3-2 but still not enough to go through the finals (5-3 on aggregate). This was an exit of pride for FC Barcelona last year was a monster on the pitch, the chemistry of the three South Americans Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez was impeccable, an ocean of offense that chooses no one.
Then this. This. This Atletico Madrid defeat by an away goal – Antoine Griezmann, as much as I want to dislike you for killing my club tonight, I just cannot, you are my Baby Antoine!
Going back…it was an epic match nonetheless. What added to the craziness was two penalty kicks given to each side, none succeeding. A commentator even said that PK2, Fernando Torres’ was same as PK1 Thomas Mueller’s that only the goalkeepers changed (Manuel Neuer for Torres and Jan Oblak for Mueller).
Griezmann’s goal came around 53’, the counter attack Diego Simeone patiently waited the entire playing time. With that power of an away goal, all Atletico needed to do was do what they do best – defend, hang on, defend, hang on a little more.
The match ended with a draw 2-2 on aggregate with the away goal from Atletico crushing all treble dreams for the Bavarians.
One bloody away goal.
Fingers could be pointed at all directions and I myself thought, before getting at least one hour sleep more (before work): what could have we done differently? What could have we done better?
I withdrew from analyzing – it’s over, let this sink in. (Ouch)
Yes Thomas did not convert the penalty kick into a goal but so as Nando. Had both penalties gone through Atletico would still win 3-3 on Aggregate by away goals. Other scenarios did pop on my mind but what’s done is done, Bayern is out of the Champions League, thus, blowing away a chance at the treble.
Pep Guardiola will be transferring to Manchester City this season. I am guilty for bashing him sometimes (in private haha), for his lineup choices and for his tactics that do not work at times – but I thank him for three years of being in the helm. It may not be for him and the club to walk in the tunnels of Lisbon, Berlin and Milan but thank you and I wish him well in England.
As for Carlo Ancelotti, wilkommen! I have read several articles about Carlo and how his tactics are “similar” with Jupp Heynckes’ so yeah, I am very, very excited if his strategy is what truly and genuinely works for the club then…everybody happy!
@AtleticoMadrid: Do not shame us! So far, both Real and Barcelona, Spanish clubs that sent us packing, won the UCL title. Do the same! I can feel you wanted this ever soooo badly; your grit will take you to where you want to be.
@AntoineGriezmann: La Liga, Champions League and Les Bleus. I trust you! Be the dagger that you are, deadly to the opponent, talisman to your team.
@FCBayernMunich: What a campaign, I enjoyed the ride. We shall come back stronger. Niemals aufgeben in 2016-2017!