Round two goes to Spain and Barcelona, as they defeat a rather sad looking Man U bunch.
27.05.2009 - 27.05.2009 24 °C
If I were to say to you, "Manchester or Barcelona?" and you weren't a football (soccer) fan, you'd probably think it an odd question. If you are a football fan, you'll already know the answer. The answer is Barcelona.
In the second grand contest of European supremacy in as many weeks, Manchester United and Barcelona kicked off at Olympic Stadium in Rome to determine the winner of the the UEFA Champions League cup. Manchester United looked okay to start (according to those that know such things), but when Barcelona scored on their first shot with only 10 minutes gone in the game, Manchester lost the plot and ended up playing an awful game of football.
So Barcelona and Spain take round two of European Supremacy! Norway - 1, Spain - 1 and U.K., well... null points.
This past weekend also saw the last games played in the Premiership, which is the top flight league of English football teams. Manchester United fared better here, ending the season atop the table with 90 points, ahead of Liverpool with 86 and London based Chelsea with 83. Arsenal, the closest stadium to my new place in King's Cross, finished fourth.
So Manchester United were both crowned champions and were the bridesmaid in the same week. To make it even more confusing, Manchester United also won the Carling Cup back in March, which is a cup awarded to the winner of a tournament of the 92 best football teams in England, but they aren't playing in this weekend's FA Cup, which is awarded to the winner of a tournament involving 761 clubs from across England. Man U, are, however, holders of the FIFA Club World Cup...
Me and the FA Cup - to be played this weekend between Chelsea and Everton
The end of the premiership also sees 3 unlucky teams get booted out of the Premiership, those being Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion this year. The three lowest teams get sent to a lower league, with three teams coming up to join the premiership next year. This is known as relegation.
It's so different here than in North America. I mean, could you imagine if last year the Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres were told to go and play AAA baseball while Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Durham Bulls and the San Francisco Seals were brought up to the big leagues?
Anyway, it's all a little hard to track for me sometimes, exactly what a match is being played for. Turn on the TV and see a football match, and it could be a Premiership game, Carling Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League or FIFA Club World Cup game. Enough to make the head spin.
I did keep my head on straight enough to compete in a Premiership Fantasy Football pool this year. I think I did pretty well for a novice, coming in 8th out of 30 players. Well above the relegation zone.