For the first time in the history of UEFA Champion's league, the defending champions crashed out to the second tier continental competition, the Europa League. Meanwhile, in the group of death this year, (Sorry for Manchester City, it's as if luck hates you guys but loves Manchester United) Borrussia showed the rest of the group what they are made of. Consequently, Mourinho was pestered by the Spanish press for not finishing first. However, he was able to turn things around, as usual, by telling the press that he won the Champion's league twice when he finished second in the group stages, which just shows how sexy he is. With all that aside, could this really be Madrid's year to achieve the coveted La Decima?
Mourinho's tenure (which seems temporary at the moment) began with Zizou replacing Valdano. Zizou brought the latest Champion's league silverware with his stunning volley against Leverkusen, and he could help his team do the same by assiting in various matters in the club. Things were coming in place with Valdano out of the picture, and Mourinho didn't have any oppositions in the management of Real Madrid. Mourinho desperately needed this because he needs full control of his club so that he can achieve what he desires to. The degree of his influence in everyday matters at the club is sometimes even seen as ridiculous. This is often seen in his eccentric and meticulous management. He departs early with incomplete squad, even if it means that his star players will be travelling alone when they show up late. This was very indeed the case in the match against Betis, which ended up with a loss and heaps of criticism from the Spanish media. Of course, the governing body in Real Madrid want Mourinho to tone his ego down and deal with the matters in a more sensible way. Another incident was spotted two days ago, in the Champion's league match against Ajax. Kaka was being substituted and he had to give his captain armband away to another player on the pitch. He first gave it away to the goalkeeper Adan but Mourinho was shouting until the armband was delivered to the captain he deemed right, Pepe. Becuase they were winning 4-1, I couldn't really understand what justified Mourinho to carry out such actions. He surely seems eccentric, but he knows how to silence his critics, by shutting them up!
Despite his eccentricity, my gut really tells me that Real Madrid can actually get their hands on the Big Ear trophy this year. As of this season, they are showing the signs of true slow starters. Although they fumbled against Sevilla and Betis already, and a few draws, they will be picking up their form soon and hopefully win the league with unbeaten record from now. Usually, in football, champions are likely to be slow starters. Look at Manchester United for example when they won the league in 2009, 2010 and 2011 for crying out loud. Second of all, Mourinho does very well under pressure. At the moment, he is under a lot of pressure by the Spanish media but it is important to note that he does his best to focus all the attention to himself so that his players will be free from all the hassel. This is something that not a lot of coaches can do, and I love how Mourinho can deal with the press so well with ease.
However, after watching Shaktar (who hasn't lost at home in ther last 12 games) vs Juventus, I had a very strange feeling that the draw in two weeks would go against Real Madrid. If there was only one thing that could stop Real Madrid from reaching their continental trophy this year would have to be Juventus. In fact, the first Galactico came so close to winning their tenth trophy approximately ten years ago. In the semi finals, they met Juventus and Nedved's side had thrashed them. Hierro's age only meant that Nedved was going to get what he wanted, time of his career. Juventus this year is nowhere close to Nedved's team that thrashed Real Madrid ten years ago but surely does seem like a side who has the potential to repeat their seniors' achievements. Giovinco was trying his best to fill the empty shoes of Del Piero, Pirlo was gaining full control of his zone during the games, and Chielini looked as deadly as ever. I will just keep my fingers crossed so that Real Madrid won't be drawn against Juventus.
As a Madridsta, I really hope Real Madrid can win the Champion's league trophy this year. Whenever Mourinho finishes second in the group stages, his team usually goes to win the whole thing so I hope he can really do the same. Hala Madrid!
p.s. Interview with Pique showed that other FC Barcelona players were trying to help Messi achieve his goal record. Good spirited teammate, but what a huge disrespect he's showing for the teams that they will be playing against later, as if they could still manage to win by just allowing Messi to score goals. Benfica sure proved them wrong. Gerd Muller should stay a legend. Sorry for Messi for being stretched out but Muller always better. I like German players; they are strong, smart and disciplined. Ozil and Khedira all the way!