Okay, yeah, Real Madrid. I can see that. AC Milan...they're in the conversation, no question.
But other than that, we pretty much saw the two most annoying teams Europe had to offer. And, therefore, the world, because Europe would never dream of there being a category in soccer they didn't dominate.
I don't know how else to put this into perspective for you, apart from this: Manchester United and Barcelona are even more irritating that the Cascadia teams.
Maybe having Manchester United in the final the same week as Gary "Sock-Sucker" Neville's testimonial wasn't the best advertising, but Beckham blowing off his employer wasn't the issue. Neville had active United players derping around for him. Beckham was missing a Dynamo game; those other guys were playing for the championship of Europe, and the dignity of Malcolm Glazer. I mean, was there some monster truck rally scheduled for Old Trafford this Tuesday night that couldn't be moved?
But it sure was nice to hear how United built their success through their youth team - for instance, the Manchester United Academy in Leeds that sent them Eric Cantona, or the Manchester United Academy in Villa Park that provided them with Dwight Yorke, or the Manchester United Academy in Nottingham that inflicted Roy Keane on the world, or the Manchester United Academy in Lisbon that inflicted Cristiano Ronaldo on the world. I wonder if Chicharito, Rooney and Ferdinand are concerned that they, too, will be written out of Manchester United history if they become inconvenient.
Although I wouldn't admit to employing Roy Keane for twelve years, either.
On the bright side, I liked the white uniforms and the 70's Philadelphia Phillies number font...oh, United fans are blaming the uniforms for being bad luck? Not unheard of. Another club might have considered hiring players who don't become utterly baffled at seeing their teammates wear a different color, but Manchester United doesn't mess with tradition.
And there was the horrible possibility that if Hernandez had given United the Champions League, our friends to the south would never, EVER have shut up about it.
But United did have American legend Park Ji-Sung starting, so they had my grudging support.
And hey, at least they tried. They showed up to the stadium, and everything.
Thanks a catheter-load, United. Now the legion of Barcelona ventiladores who think Catalonia is one of the Channel Islands and think Francisco Franco makes Spaghetti-O's will massacre electrons by the billions reminding us how smart it was of them to decide to follow the team that spends more than anyone else.
Do I need to explain "ventiladores"? The Babelfish rendering of "fan" in Spanish is perfect for Anglophones who choose a team based on its perceived sophistication, as the literal translation of something moving hot air around in circles describes such so-called "support" marvelously.
Yes, Manchester United is a Roach Motel for Eurosnobs, too. But there's something about reading Franklin Foer in "How Soccer Explains the World" explain how he chose Barcelona as his favorite team that qualifies as the sports equivalent of the first time you see the picture of the naked girl in Vietnam fleeing the napalm.
And talk about diving! Barcelona might indeed be the best team ever, but we'll never know, because they never stayed on their damned feet long enough for us to find out.
Maybe I just hate and envy success. It's possible. Right now Barcelona is pretty much the club and country capital of world football. Sure, it's ponderous to hear their fans anoint themselves the greatest of all time - it takes a lot to make Real Madrid and Brazil kneebiters seem sympathetic in comparison - but they've had a great, great year. I should probably just relax and let them enjoy their fun.
Besides, the UNICEF sponsorship teeters towards self-righteousness at times, but it does show up these other clubs for the money-grubbing lice they are. I suppose I should give Barcelona a break and appreciate their -
...as I was saying, Barcelona can bite me.
Wow, talk about fantastic timing. Can you possibly imagine a more embarrassing sponsor to wear just after a huge scandal -
....no, Qatar is worse. But it's close.
I thought the game itself was good for the first twenty minutes or so. Manchester United had the better chances, they were going forward, and Barcelona must have been given the wrong kickoff time or something, because sweet holy Lord, was that a beating.
Oh, well. The goals were beautiful, at least.