The final? Tonight is the final of the Champignon’s League, and I’m going to stick my neck out and say that the trophy will be heading back to Madrid. Astute? Yep. That’s me.
The ad? This UCL final will will also mark the end of the Heineken ad which has been plaguing entertaining us since last September. You know the one. Where the rag-tag motley crew of sailors that raid the contents of their cargo to rig up a technologically-unlikely solution to enable them to watch the footy from the middle of the sea.
We all had to cram in tiny cabins all day long, fighting gasoline smells and seasickness.
Oh dear. But could you watch the football?
The ship? It’s called the Jules Edgar in the ad, but it actually turns out to be the Hilmi K – a Turkish general cargo vessel:
According to MarineTraffic, the crew of the Hilmi K will be watching the final in port in Istanbul, so no need to jemmy open the containers and find an implausibly large magnifying porthole and a selection of smart dinner attire.
Oh, and the music? That would be (then 18 year old) Rita Pavone‘s 1963 hit Viva La Pappa Col Pomodoro. The video is arguably better than anything Heineken gave us.
Well, for three and a bit weeks, anyway. Fortunately, Sheffield United’s upcoming promotion season kicks off at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane at 12:15pm on Saturday 9th August, so we don’t have too long to wait until top quality sport returns to our screens.
However, while you were all watching the MIGHTY Germany destructifying South American all-comers, the first qualifying rounds for the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League and Europa League had already begun. I love these opening qualification rounds – the Europa League ones especially – for a few reasons: firstly, the teams in there are mostly ones that I’ve never heard of, from exotic (?) places like Moldova (Zimbru Chisnau), Slovakia (Trnava), Lithuania (Banga Gargzdai) and Sweden (Brommapojkarna). Secondly, this is probably their biggest ever chance at making the big time and playing some properly big clubs, should they somehow get through to the competition proper. And then thirdly, the fact that this first qualifying round is, more often than not, home to some of the biggest mismatches, with teams like Ljubljana’s Junior Girl Guides Troop Fifth XI chucked up against someone half decent like Ferencváros or IFK Göteborg, with potential rugby score-esque aggregate results:
Sadly for the likes of FC Santos Tartu of Estonia and FK Daugava Riga (of Latvia, obviously), we’ve seen the last of them for this year’s competition. And that’s a pity, because I had high hopes for the Tartu lads, especially. I hope that their 1-13 reverse doesn’t dent their confidence either, because physically they’re pretty much useless and their mental strength was all they really had going for them.
Meanwhile, in the Champions League, the tie of this next round is obviously PFC Ludogorets Razgrad versus Dudelange, because let’s face it, it’s probably the biggest Bulgaria v Luxembourg match-up we’ve seen in recent years and both teams will have all their World Cup stars back and raring to go. That one kicks off at 7pm (CAT) on Wednesday, and I know that you, like me, will be glued to Bulgarian radio online where there will surely be live commentary, probably in Bulgarian.
I was going to write this before the game tonight, but now I find myself writing while the game is on and already Spurs are behind to the mighty Real Madrid. Look, we’ve seen some amazing heroics from Spurs this season, and I’ve been wrong about football scores before: who hasn’t? If I knew the result before every game, my life would be very boring, although the MASSIVE amounts of money I would have might take the edge off that boredom.
Anyway, my advice for Spurs is even more pertinent now:
Settle for a draw, Well you’re not gonna get no more so you should settle for a draw.
Actually, with Peter Crouch sent off, I’m guessing that might even be a bit of an ask.