First, congratulations to Franck Ribéry on winning the UEFA Best Player award!
This is a tremendous honor and is further proof of Bayern Munich’s rise and Spain’s relative descent from the pinnacle of football/soccer regarding La Liga’s past dominance on the world stage. A couple guys named Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo were the other two finalists. They each possess just a little bit of talent. But, let there be no hesitation that Barcelona and Real Madrid are still world-class clubs, it’s just that they aren’t the kings of soccer/football right now (I’m just going to write “soccer” from now on). Recall the all-German 2013 Champions League Final…
Last year was epic for Bayern Munich, both individually (Franck Ribéry recognized as Europe’s best player and Arjen Robben’s championship redemption) and collectively (records of all kinds were shattered). What could be better? How about a sequel to their epic performance…
However, before a super season can be achieved, a strong foundation must be set for a new, open style and a Super Cup should be hoisted into the air in the beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic.
Bayern Munich (winners of the Champions League) and Chelsea (winners of the Europa League) battle tonight in culturally-rich Prague for the 2013 UEFA Super Cup. There are several fascinating dynamics in this intriguing match, including:
- Pep Guardiola v. José Mourinho
- Re-Match of the 2012 Champions League Final (Chelsea won in penalties…in Munich)
- Arjen Robben seeking a stellar performance against his former coach and team from year’s past
- Chelsea trying to re-emerge as a global player
- Bayern Munich trying to reestablish itself as the best club in the world
- The Bundesliga v. The Barclays Premier League
A midweek league draw at SC Freiburg has given the Bavarians extra incentive to regroup to prove it was just a minor stumble. Honestly, it’s been virtually the only one thus far for Guardiola’s men in their transition of play under Pep and many of their starters rested. Yes, it is only late August, but this Super Cup is important. Not only does it have individual and team implications as mentioned above, but a solid victory with some flash for Bayern Munich will add a sturdy block to its evolving foundation for continued glory. Plus, confidence is always a happy consequence of winning a big game against a quality opponent.
For Chelsea, this is an opportunity to continue positive momentum in their 2013/2014 campaign (7 points in 3 games) and to assert global respect against the best club in the world. José Mourinho also wants to challenge Pep Guardiola, which is going to be an outstanding intellectual battle observe. And perhaps in the back of Chelsea’s mind is the thought of extending the pleasures from the 2012 Champions League Final.
Kickoff is at 2:45 EST and can be seen on FOX Sports 2, FOX Deportes and FOXSoccer2Go.
Guardiola and Mourinho likely envision this match as a chess game, carefully orchestrating their players precisely into the right spots. However, it’s probably very likely we’ll see a few from Munich’s side be anxious to jump (or double or triple jump) the guys in blue when there’s a chance.
Despite pre-game interviews, the opportunity for redemption is always in the front of a player and team’s mind…just look at Bayern Munich generally and Arjen Robben specifically.