The Champions League is a wonderful competition, isn’t it? While an underdog or unexpected team will occasionally reach the semifinals—as is the case with RB Leipzig and Lyon this year—it’s rare that they reach the final. Such was the case last night when Leipzig crashed out against PSG. And Bayern are likely to spoil the party for Lyon tonight.
The Champions League final just isn’t a place for underdogs. Well, at least not usually.
I can understand the appeal of rooting for Lyon tonight. And if they get through—a big ask—I’ll be hoping they lift Ol’ Big Ears against their domestic rivals.
However, Bayern represent the best opportunity to stop oil-rich PSG from getting their hands on the trophy. So I’ll be rooting for them tonight, and if they get through, I’ll be the biggest Bayern fan for 90 or 120 minutes on Sunday.
Of course, Bayern aren’t an underdog. They are European Royalty. They’ve been to a Champions League/European Cup final 10 times—once more than Liverpool—and they’ve lifted the cup 5 times.
Some Liverpool fans will not be super eager to see Bayern equal our third-best 6 European Cups, but honestly I’m not that bothered. The Champions League is a difficult competition to win. And being on level pegging with Bayern (or rather, having Bayern catch up to us!) only highlights how massive our own historical and recent accomplishments are.
Being a Champions League winner elevates a club. Only 22 clubs have won the competition, and only 12 have won it more than once. It’s an elite competition for elite clubs. And personally, I’d be happy to keep PSG and all other sportswashing PR arms of petrostates away from the biggest trophy in club football.
A natural dislike of PSG/Manchester City aside, there are other reasons why we should support Bayern. First of all, they’re a real club, with real supporters. On this note, I’m probably a bit biased; I lived for 2 years right next to Allianz Arena. But seriously, they’re good folk. Weirdly obsessed with liters of beer and lederhosen, sure, but good fans.
Also, they usually wear all red! That’s fun!
There’s also the bonus of watching Philippe Coutinho get a Champions League winners medal after he heaped pain on Barcelona. That would be hilarious. Double bonus: Barca fans would fume more than they already do about being left with “just” 5 European Cups, behind us and Bayern. Unlucky.
Speaking of Coutinho and bonuses, there are reports that Barcelona would have to pay Liverpool an additional €5 million if he wins the Champions League. Oh, that would be delicious.
Lastly, maybe, just maybe, Kylian Mbappé realizes that he’ll never win a European Cup at a plastic club. And that he needs hugs from Jurgen Klopp. And the warm embrace of 55,000 lunatics in red on Merseyside.
Up the Bavarian Reds.