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Reactions: The winner will be...
Users split on which team will win Champions League
Posted: Tuesday May 23, 2000 03:41 PM
CNNSI.com presented a Head-to-Head to debate which team would win the Champions League final, and asked for your responses. Good arguments were made for both teams, and a sample of the best responses follows.
Soccer is all about winning. Bayern had beaten Real Madrid twice during the qualifying rounds but they are now out. I give both teams the same chance. The one who will score more goals will take the day. But Real has an advantage over Valencia because of the intact midfield composed of Raul, Redondo, Robert or Carlos.
I believe Valencia should win because they have shown the best form over the last month of the season in Spain not to mention the way they blew out Barça out of the Champions League. Besides, I do not think that Real Madrid has been able to solve its internal turmoil (i.e., Anelka, the manager situation) and wasn't even able to salvage a spot on next year's Champions League.
Valencia will probably win ... Being an attacking team and having been in great form since the quarterfinals, I think they deserve to win.
For the Champions league final I think Real Madrid will be the winner , even though Valencia's season finish, because they always come up in big events (remember Champions League '98, and this years Manchester United and Bayern matches). Real Madrid plays different when it comes to Europe than at Spanish league, lets see if having in front Valencia won't change this. Lets prepare to see a great match, the key of the match is Redondo, if he's able to control Valencia's midfielders and connects with Raul then the 8th Europe Cup will come to Madrid.
Valencia have the cutting edge of being a champion; they have came so far for this glorious moment, so they will sure win with my support.
Let's keep it real here. This is Valencia's year. There isn't a team in the world today playing such positive football. If any team deserves to win, it is Valencia. Put your money on Valencia and expect it to be a big, big win, like 3-0, 4-1, 5-2 or something of the sort. The professor has spoken. Is anybody listening?
I think Real players will make it , hence they could play best of their best, i.e., Man United and B. Munich -- two fantastic matches. I believe the score will be 2-1 for Real by Anelka and Raul or Morientes. The match I think will be the same as Real vs. Juventus in 1998 final, open game to both.
This year's Champions League final is too close to call. Both teams are playing excellent football and have many gamebreakers on their teams. Their styles of play also match up well -- Madrid likes to move defenders forward, Valencia likes the counter attack -- Madrid likes the players to move the ball individually, Valencia likes the direct style of play and both teams are lethal at dead ball situations. If I had to chose one position that would make the difference it would be the goalkeeper and Madrid clearly have the advantage in Casillas. He's young, fearless, has good awareness in the box and, most importantly, he believes it's his job to stop the ball from entering the net and not his defenders. I believe Casillas will win the cup for Madrid and, if there is any justice, he'll walk away with "man of the match."
With all my respect to Valencia's great effort to reach their first final, I have strong confidence in my all-time favorite Real Madrid . We are talking about Champions League final here. Real Madrid has all of it to reach the cup; tradition, mentality, star-studded team, skills, experiences (1998 Champions League, Toyota Cup, European Super Cup Finals). From the past decade, most of the winners came from the teams who have those things. Probably that is what Valencia needs to reach their dream and reaching the final is a good start to build their tradition.
While Real will enter the pitch thinking of their 8th title, Valencia will play thinking of making history . Since this is their first final, a lot of people underestimate Valencia because of their relative inexperience in the Champions League. However, it is just this unique opportunity that will bring along the determination Valencia need to match Galatasaray's example. Not to mention that the Champions League has long had a history of winners who initially were underdogs (from Barcelona against Milan in Athens to Real Madrid against Juventus in Amsterdam).
Even though both teams have brilliant players, Valencia look more united . On Madrid's side, it is still Raul, McManaman and Roberto Carlos who drag the team forward while Anelka watches quietly thinking of how lucky the world is to have a player like him. Speaking of Anelka, although he scored a very important goal against Bayern, he puts no pressure what-so-ever on the defenders, he is very reluctant to dribble or to take on a personal number. The only thing he clearly masters is the technique of passing the ball back. The Madrid players will spend a huge amount of energy trying to play a season-lowest-scoring player. This will be felt in the second half when (as Barcelona, Lazio or Fiorentina can well testify) Valencia are at their best.
I think the forwards will make the difference. While Lopez, Mendieta and Kily Gonzales can find each other even with their eyes closed, Raul and McManaman will have to compensate Anelka's lack of effort and communication. With Angulo missing huge opportunities against Barcelona Ilie will probably be in the line-up. His nick-name, the Cobra, tells everything about his style.
To conclude, if Pelegrino doesn't make anymore mistakes and Roberto Carlos will ignore the defense as usual, Valencia will probably win by one or two goals.
Valencia will be lifting the Champions League trophy , as they thrive with the underdog tag. Their magnificent counter-attacking style of football, spearheaded by Lopez and Mendieta, will prove a handful for Real's defense. This fairytale will have a joyous ending in Paris: Go Valencia!!
I think Real Madrid will win because they will have the mental edge over the less experienced Valencia side. Real Madrid have been there 11 times; that should count for something.
I would strongly recommend Madrid. The Champions League is well known for its lack of goals, thus a defensive play. Since Milan beat Barcelona four to nothing there haven't been too many goals in a Champions League final. In this respect, I think Real has the better defense. Valencia's defense is too insecure and they tend to make foolish mistakes (see Pelegrino). Both team's forwards are very good and Real has a slight advantage in concerning the midfield. My prediction is one goal win (1-0, 2-1) for Real Madrid.
I'm sure Valencia will win The Champions League . We're playing a very good football, and we know how to win. Valencia won't loose this chance to arrive being a great club. I think people who say Real Madrid will win the champions has no seen any game to them this season. Real Madrid does not play good football at all. They are very lucky, but this luck is over.
Valencia is not lucky, but plays football. And that is why VALENCIA WILL WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.
I think Valencia will top Real 2-1. Valencia is a team of destiny - their win against Barca proved that - they may be inexperienced in the big game but I feel that will serve them well -- the pressure is all on Real -- and injuries will tell the tale for them. As long as Valencia are patient they will win. I guarantee it.