Blog Archives

I Still Have Chills

A soccer match not to be forgotten.

Last Tuesday, my parents and I were in attendance for the bone-chilling Champions League game between two of the best soccer teams in the world: Hosts Bayern Munich and visitors Atlético Madrid. Despite the fact that the latter had clinched the first spot in the group before kickoff (the former secured the second spot), there was a lot on the line.

  • Bayern Munich needed to prove it could defeat Atlético Madrid after suffering multiple losses recently.
  • Manager Carlo Ancelotti had to assure the Munich faithful that his brand of soccer football could show promise for winning a Champions League trophy, which will more than likely have to go through Atlético Madrid at some point next spring.

With the temperature in the mid-20s accompanied by a fog that created a cloud inside the confines of the massively impressive Allianz Arena, the game conditions forced the visitors to bundle up and huddle up in a circle for most of their warm-ups and the hosts going about their business as usual.

Pride in club and pride in the future of this season was on the line.

(Click Play, then “Click this video on YouTube” and then please return to this blog)

Bayern Munich 1-0 Atlético Madrid! 

Seeing my favorite team (Bayern Munich) and favorite player (Arjen Robben) in-person and in their home stadium was a thrill of a lifetime. From Robben’s unique and separate warm-up routine to his 83 minutes of brilliant play on the pitch, witnessing one of the greatest soccer players in the world and of his generation was truly epic. And even as the bone-chilling weather was piercing through every layer of my clothes, I’ve never been so happy to be as freezing cold as I was for the hours before, during and after this game.

Bayern Munich’s motto is “Mia San Mia,” which translates to “We are who we are.”

Having now been to a Bayern Munich game at the Allianz Arena, I have a deeper understanding of just what “Mia San Mia” means.

P.S. Thanks Mom and Dad for the unforgettable experience and the amazing seats!

What’s Inside a Soccer Ball?

Men, suits and ceremonial procedures.

That’s right, Europe’s footballing boardroom views the world’s most popular sport, played outside on grass, as a business. And the sport’s most important trophy for club teams was officially handed-over to its newest host city for the title game: Milan. The four teams that qualified for the Champions League semi-final learned their fate with their next opponent via a lottery drawing today.

Manchester City is the underdog in this high-stakes semi-final, despite its brand awareness. However, don’t completely count out the lone British club. Anything can happen in this sport, especially in the Champions League in the year 2016/two days ago.

(Cough-cough Atlético Madrid beating Barcelona)  

Four teams have the chance to earn something supremely life-changing:

Victory gelato in Milan!

Plus, that pretty cool, legacy-defining Champions League trophy.

April Madness

What’s Cinderella in German?

Maybe it’s VfL Wolfsburg.

(The literal answer is Aschenputtel, as an FYI).

The reason for comparing the club that’s currently sitting quietly at 8th in the Bundesliga standings with the honor of the college basketball darling this time of year is based on the aforementioned team’s shocking performance against one of the top clubs (and brands) in the world. For context, VfL Wolfsburg’s opponent in the first leg of its Champions League quarterfinal match was Real Madrid. For greater context, Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1 at the Nou Camp this past Saturday in El Clásico.

The game today was a classic, but not for the Spaniards…

(Click Play, then “Watch this video on YouTube” and Return to Read the Rest of the Blog!)

2-nil is the worst lead in soccer, so when Real Madrid cannot even get one goal back against an admittedly lesser opponent, that’s a seismic statement and final result for the determined German club. VfL Wolfsburg not only held its own in front of their fans in the Volkswagen Arena, but the VW-branded team surprised the Spanish giants by playing in and excelling in 4th and 5th gears to open their quarterfinal home-and-away series in the 2016 Champions League.

Next Tuesday, in the return leg in Madrid, the world will discover if they need to learn more about what VfL Wolfsburg is and why Volkswagen’s comeback may not involve cars.

Working 5 in 9

Robert Lewandowski did the impossible.

A display of pure brilliance from a Bundesliga match earlier today between Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg is going to seem unreal, utterly fanciful.

It’s not.

Soccer is the beautiful game and there have been countless goals, braces and hat-tricks throughout its extensive history that warrant great fanfare. Some of these moments define players forever. Forwards (for instance) cannot score off of every touch, pass or shot. That just doesn’t happen.

Or, that never used to happen.

For any striker, patience combined with relentless effort and vision is what creates opportunities to score and celebrate in style.

Okay, here we go.

Watch the entire video and pay close attention to Bayern Munich player Robert Lewandowski (#9 in red), his total goal tally AND the time frame of the goals. Oh, and he was a substitute at the beginning of the second half.

In one word: Epic!

1 = Goal
2 = Brace
3 = Hat-Trick
4 = TBD
5 = The Wolf Hunter