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The GodFather : The Beginning of a new Legacy 

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“I adapt my idea of football to my players, not adapt my players in my idea of football.”               Antonio Conte

Fresh from the thumping victory over Man United. Chelsea look like a team ready for any challenge thrown at them. Chelsea players don’t look like a shadow of themselves while they were under Jose Mourinho.

Back when Jose Mourinho was appointed as United manager he surely made it clear that every United fan needs to forget what happened in the past 12 months , probably including his sacking during his second spell at Chelsea. Looks like everything Jose was in the news for is being over shadowed by Anotio Conte. The passion that seen Jose running the touchline after Porto winning the champions league. The famous Jose-Wenger push and shove. All of that can wait Antonio Conte has just put himself right there with the best. Improvise, Adapt and Overcome that’s what Conte did during his time at Juventus and now extremely visible during their game against United.

Conte was surely going to make alot of head turns with his managerial versatility,thinking and adapting quickly during the 90mins. Something Mourinho was valiant throughout his time as a manger.He surely did show a glimpse of the same by benching club captain and record scored Wayne Rooney.But unfortunately the cracks  go deeper than just benching Wayne.

Conte started life at Chelsea after a successful yet contentious Euro Championship. Pre-season at Chelsea began with a loss while trying to implement the 3-5-2, 4-3-3, 4-4-2 and 4-2-4 formation. The players at Chelsea surely were so fixated with Jose 4-2-3-1 that it become difficult to get free flowing football out of that group of players. With AC Milan next they shifted from the 4-3-3 to 4-1-4-1 while chasing the game.Chelsea were 3-1 winners.

The dynamism and fluidity of football was something that can win you games and new recruit N’Golo Kante was surely going to benefit from this.Playing to his strengths the team has been able to exploit Kante’s presence on the field.Conte did know how to use players like Pogba,Pirlo and that’s something Jose is trying to figure out as he is still searching for a partner for Pogba. The midweek game against Fenerbache Pogba did partner Carrick and they dictated the terms of play and eventually won 4-1 . Why did Jose not opt for the same midfield pair only he can elaborate.  Jose looks like a fallen angel along with United, rigid approach, defiant tactics ,lack of ability to turn defence into attack extremely similar during Louis Van Gaal tenure and a little prowess to bench either of the two new recruits with their failure to perform consistently.This  is what cost them the match against Conte’s Chelsea.

Chelsea have been a breath of fresh air eversince Conte was appointed. Players like Hazard, Matic have been rejuvenated under Conte.Adding David Luis their backbone looks strong. Everything Jose is Conte is more of an upgraded version in my opinion. Surely Conte has had his fair share of doubts over the years which manager hasn’t.But with being the only Italian team to go unbeaten an entire season is something only Arsene Wenger can relate too in the Premier League. Giving Jose benefit of the doubt his Chelsea side did do wonders during his first spell.Every title winning squad down the years has had a back bone to build on and for Conte it was Andrea Pirlo during his spell at Juventus. Even though Pirlo was such an influence to his title winning team. Conte didn’t include him in the Italian squad along with Giovancio as they both moved to Major League Soccer. Conte did show gutts on how serious he was with players opting to play for leagues such as MLS which are far behind in terms of technicality and level of playing compared to the likes of la Liga ,Italian and Premier league.

Conte as a player was known for his gritt, temper,intensity and aggression but also for his sublime passing accuracy, longer range efforts. Beginning his managerial career he surely did inculcate the same in his teams. Most notably Juventus where Pirlo and Pogba were the master tacticians during that period. Accuracy in passing mixed with quick decision making and clear eye for goal upfront which made them a force to reckon with but somehow they failed in Europe.

Chelsea and Conte is more like rebound relationship reaching new horizons. Conte has surely given Chelsea that freshness and  unpredictability that has lacked in the team in recent years. Matic and Kante proving their worth along with the wall Consisting of Luis Cahill , Courtious  and flair of Hazard,Victor Moses,Pedro tormenting defences and Of course tough nut Diego Costa who has been lethal this season, they surely are a team that can get that Premier League title.

Next two months will surely show what Chelsea can do and how good they are. They play Spurs and Man city in a span of 8 days. New year begins at Hart Lane and then Leicester city along with Liverpool and Arsenal in-between this is entertaining Hull city at home. 

One thing’s for sure drama will be at an all time high. Chelsea can surely take Arsenal Liverpool and City on with that kind of lethality in the squad as they showed against United.

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July 30th-The Day Zlatan Called & Manchester United listened

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The buzz surrounding probably the biggest transfer in football from marketing and brand value stand point was finally revealed. Zlatan has finally stated on his social media pages his next destination will be Manchester United.

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Even before an official club statement made, Zlatan Ibrahimovic decided to announce that he will be playing at the Theatre of Dreams. This clearly shows who holds the aces in this transfer deal. Old Trafford a sacred place where the likes of Giggs , Ronaldo , Beckham , Paul Scholes, Best, Sir Bobby Charlton and Eric Cantona have played and become club Legends in their own right.

The speculation surrounding his transfer to Old Trafford began was right before the Champions League final and have been grabing headlines ever since. Zlatan does what Zlatan wants.

Zlatan is said to have alot of similarities with Eric Cantona Legend at United . Many United fans thrilled to have got their man even without Europe this season. Such is the Humongous Stature of the club.
In 1992 Man United found themselves struggling against the likes of Aston Villa, Blackburn, QPR and needed some adrenaline rush quickly, they finally found it in the shape of 26 year old Eric Cantona from Marseille. With extreme footballing ability and a strong personality to match that. They found a rare gem and over the next five years would set United in total destruction mode no matter who the opponent was. It was total mayhem.

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                        Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Fast forward to 2016 after another miserable season with the sacking of Louis Van Gaal and No Champion League. United were back to the rebuilding phase .The controversial yet successful Jose Mourinho on board, United have again hit a big jackpot Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Already being compared to the tough, cocky Eric Cantona. Zltan surely has built his reputation over the years for footballing ability, strong personality in the dressing, cocky one liners and lethality in front of goal.

Eric and Zlatan always did what they wanted when they wanted and in whatever way they wanted. In the age where PR builds you and breaks you, Zlatan surely knows how to get the world to listen even without saying a word.
Qualities that make both men who they are include Arrogance, vision on the field, lethal feet, aggression, ridiculous Skill and never ending determination and unpredictability.

Comparisons between Eric Cantona and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are endless he seems more like a reincarnation of Cantona if you ask me. But interestingly Cantona came in as 26 year old lad hungry for success and Zlatan clearly past his best days with nothing to prove to the world only time will tell how things pan out for him as well as the Club. Zlatan always played against the rule book and needless to say it has served him well.

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The Transfer Deal “A Smoke Screen.

The flip side to this transfer would definitely be if the gamble to get Zlatan to Old Trafford will pay dividends, or would he end up just like Falcao.
His recent performance at the Euros has certainly not done him any favours.
But knowing Zlatan and his will to prove people wrong, there is a defiance in him and will to succeed that has got him success everywhere he went.

Will Zlatan’s move be regarded in the same lines as Rudd Van Nistelrooy. Eric Cantona or be with likes of Di Maria, Juan Sebastian Veron , Radamel Falcao who failed to live up to the hype remains to be seen. One things for sure everyone will have their eye on Zlatan and his time in the English Premier League will surely not be dull.
United have in the past gone for players well past their prime namely Laurent Blac who joined United between 2001-03 season only finding the net once in 48 appearances as a and fellow Swede Henrik Larsson who joined United on loan back in 2007 but didn’t seem to be much of a success back then.

One of the reasons for Zlatan’s transfer to Manchester United was Jose Mourinho and  the man who “he would die for” as mentioned in his autobiography. With him by his side he surely will make alot of headline in the months to come along with the Portuguese. United’s rivalry with Man City at an all time high with Guardiola on the blue side of Manchester, the Manchester Derby this year will be bigger than the El Classico for sure.

Ibrahimovic has always done things on his own terms. But as it’s said Money Doesn’t always bring happiness ” Zlatan has always had the odds stacked against him yet he rose up from the ashes to win everywhere he went.

“The Most hated player at the Most Hated Club managed by the Most Hated manager in the world & supported by the Most Hated Fan’s in the world.”

The Bloated Transfer Market

The biggest club in England can afford such type of a transfer as the Club has become more of a Brand in the recent past. Ed Woodward the clubs executive vice-chairman has done alot to strengthen the grip on the commercial aspect of the Game. So worst case senerio this plan doesn’t work the shareholders won’t be really bothered as Jersey sale ,sponsorship, Television deals all play a major role building the brand Manchester United and getting revenue on their investments. Manchester United stocks surely have gained few points after this announcement.

Recently Manchester United have turned alot of head not for their playing style or trophies but more so by the huge sums of money paid in the transfer Windows bring in wealth of talents for jaw dropping amounts of money with likes of Di Maria, Anthony Martial, Mata , Fellani, Memphis Depay, Eric Bailey and Now Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Some have reaped fruit like Robin Van Persie who came in the team and hit the ground running but he did have experience in the premier league, and same would be expected of Ibrahimovic even without experience in the Premier League, with his leadership skills and unpredictability surely the dressing room will be more lively than before similar to the time when Eric Cantona and Roy Keane were in there.

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With the Toughness of the Premier League made alot of careers go up in smoke. We will have to wait and see how the Premier League treats Zlatan. Zlatan a born Leader and Winner always sailing against the tide. The World will finally see what the Swedish is truely made of in the Toughest League in the World as well the Toughest League Zlatan has ever played.

The Longevity of Ryan Giggs at Man United comes to an End.

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After nearly 30 years at Man United helm Ryan Joseph Giggs has finally decided to call it a day at the Theatre of Dreams. Beginning his career at rivals Manchester City in 1985 and then joining Manchester United on his 14th birthday in 1987. Ryan made his senior debut in 1991 and went on to score 168 goals for the club, he was also named interim player-manger after David Moyes was sacked. Later upon the arrival of Louis Van Gaal, he was appointed Assistant Manager. Finally after the much awaited arrival of Jose Mourinho as manager for United ,Giggs has decided not to take up a role under Jose and has put his foot off the pedel and decided end his career as a coach at United.

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Champions League 1999 against Bayern Munich

             Image taken from dailymail.co.uk

This decision will have alot of tongues wagging, whether it was the right decision or not. But with the background of Jose Mourinho and his ever famous antics at Chelsea and becoming a villain in the football world. It’s fair to say it was probably the right decision. Not forgetting Jose was offering a only a bit part lower level coaching role at United mainly bridging the gap between the youth academy and first team. A man with such wealth of experience as a player in one club, it’s a bit harsh with such treatment and probably deserves better.

Ryan Giggs Trophy Cabinet
The Most decorated player in English Football till date with  13 Premier League Trophies, 4 FA cups, 4 League Cups, 2 Champions League, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup , 1 FIFA Club World Cup as well 9 Community Shields.

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Early Days as a Player in Man United
Started as Left winger, his pace tormented the opposition, just ask Dean Austin and Jason Cindy of Tottenham at the Tender at of 18 years. Probably not many give him credit for his free kicks than one should. With the Likes of Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo in the fray Giggs didn’t need to take up that responsibility. But after Ronaldo left in 2009, Ryan was once again given that responsibility and once again against Tottenham at White Hart Lane Giggs swirled his Magic curling the ball in the top right corner of Carlo Cudicini’s Goal. It was a reminder to everyone that even at this age he still had what it took at such a high level.

Ryan Giggs Stats.
1) Ryans giggs scored a staggering 127 Goals with his left foot another 22 with the Right, 18 with the head and one with his knee unconventional yet effective.
2) Highest assist in the premier League with 131. Holds the record for the quickest United goal in 15 seconds.
3) Giggs has made 151 appearances in the Champions League which behind 3rd behind  Xavi(157) and Cassillas(158).
4)Only player to play in 19 champions League campaign.
5) Giggs hasn’t been shown a red card in a single game of his playing career at Man United but surely has more Yellow card (37) than Winnie Jones.

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             Image taken from Mirror.co.uk

What next for Ryan Giggs?
Probably Giggs will surely be up the pecking order to manage some Premier League Club and not be on the sideline of a coaching staff of any team.
With the amount players turning managers it seems like a walk in the park but  just ask Gary Neville if it really was that easy. On the other hand Zidane has seen success in such short time with winning the Champions League with Real Madrid. He was in charge of Real Madrid Castilla as well Assistant Manager before getting the nod for Manager at Real Madrid.
Ryan Giggs still needs some time working  under an experienced manager before taking the leap of manager. Currently working as a TV pundit for the European Championship, another year under a seasoned manager and Giggs would be ready to take up the challenge of managing a Top European Club.

AIFF- The Humpty Dumpty Of Indian Football

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Current Senerio of Indian Football is at a Cross roads for very odd and different reasons. Everyone of the top hierarchy have one goal Improve the quality of Indian Football. Yet there has been alot of road blocks hindering that.

Gurprit Singh Sandhu is arguably the only Indian plying his trades abroad and recently created history as well by becoming the first Indian to qualify for the Europa League. Most Indians playing for the National Side play in the Domestic League and with the level of the Domestic League not really a success in terms of quality on the field as well financially.

AIFF have many a significant amount of changes though the entire system which have not really been favourable for alot of clubs which have played in the National League and forced them to shut shop which include the likes Mahindra United, Churchill Brothers, Mohamddam Sporting, JCT etc. Recently goan clubs with so much history  have also decided to exit the I-League which surely raised alot of eye brows.

Goan clubs have been the most consistent In terms of number of teams from the state in the I League and National Football League started in 1996. Goan clubs combined have won more titles than all teams from other states put together. This clearly shows the importance of clubs like Dempo, Sporting Club and Salgaocar FC are to the growth of Indian Football.

Indian Super League, Premier Futsal ,I-League are surely attracting alot of interest from all over the world but with no Fixed blueprint in place , Indian Football is surely running on Trial and Error and even Top Management don’t seem to know which way is the right way.

From a Personal Point of view the level of Football played in Goa at the Local Level can be surely compared to the I League. Playing any local Inter Village match as it’s called in Goa can give a hint of Talent in abundance Goa has to offer to Indian Football. North East too have a really strong football background and not to forget Bangalore.

With India set to host the U-17 World Cup, there is sense of excitement, but at the same time with the revamped National League , Improvement of Infrastructure still at a low. One doesn’t know what lies ahead of Indian Football. Grassroots have been given alot of emphasis right after the Indian Super League was started. Lack of Stadiums in Metro cities and lack of open spaces to build new ones are a major concern.

Practice Makes Perfect

A-League in Australia took nearly a decade to get where they are at the moment and so did the Major League Soccer – MLS but right now it has surely done things right which their respective National Teams are benefiting from. United States are currently playing in the Copa America Centeniro and have been playing attractive football thanks to their German Coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

I-League a Victim ?

AIFF have surely done things right as well wrong. Firstly they have certainly enforced the proposal of the new format of the ISL on all I League clubs, this can be evident with Pune FC and Bharat FC shuting shop last year even 2014-15 I League runner-up Royal Wahingdoh have shut down due to these so called Guidelines to improve Indian Football. The new rules favour all the ISL teams and have not been made keeping in mind with the I-League counter part even after FIFA made it clearly I League would be the Numero Uno League in the Country.

Breeze Surrounding the New Dawn for Football in India

The New format is certainly favourable to the ISL’s existing teams with no Relegation for the first 10 years. Taking Indian Football ahead at the expense of demoting the I League is surely not the best of decisions and in my opinion not on level playing field for the clubs.

Politics has been and always be there in any sport for that matter in India. The dominance of politics is hindering the growth and development of Football in India. Fortune favours the Brave and yet this fight isn’t over. The outcome of the revamped League will be interesting to see. AIFF will have to answer alot of questions which have been flooding alot if Newspaper’s lately.
 
Current senerio of Indian football doesn’t seem to have an silver lining as yet. AIFF needs to step up and address the issues at hand rather than denying the allegations and go into hiding. Only time will tell how Indian Football will develope.

Goa : From A Goan Perscpective

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Ever since a child Goa has been extremely close to my family and myself,reason being our ancestors hail from this tiny state in India.

More renowned now for the Night life and Beaches. And off course the ever jaw dropping Scenery. Goa has been and will always be a place where tourists flock in abundance.

Growing up, visiting Goa so frequently and never realising how surreal and important it would become in my life. Goa always gives out an aura of love and peace and the local Goans are proof of that. Goans in general have a very simple life and live like there is no tomorrow. Off late the new generation in Goa is often influenced by the Western Culture that is more visible than its roots. Growing up it’s only natural for everyone to get influenced by the changing trends and surroundings.

In my childhood the month of May meant for a long vacation to Goa as it was the start of Summer Vacations and not because of any fancy Beach or Party but just to enjoy the the idea of living with the calm and slow life Goans are so famous for living. As a Child always thought it was a whole new country which made the thought of going to Goa all the more exciting. And off course getting to meet my cousins.

The 12hour train journey and the wait for visibility of the colour of Red mud was a clear sign that we have officially entered Goa. Commuting might be a tad difficult as their local taxi’s do not run according to the meters like Mumbai Taxi’s. A sign that getting you’re wallets ransacked was surely the one of the things as tourists do not always know the exact distance but with time that has surely stopped.

As a child, mornings in Goa would usually begin at 7am with Morning Mass at  a church nearby Siolim a small village near Mapusa Market, after which either some breakfast which included soft loafs of bread and A couple of Fried eggs or some Goan delicacies like Curry and Bread. The entire day would probably go by playing in the fields with a pet dog named “Tiger” as I can recall. Feeding the pet hens, ducks was also an integral part. Not forgetting the swine which was also just being feed until it would be made into some pork vidalu/ pork roast/Port Sorpole (All Goan Delicacies ) for a special occasion that is Church Feast or the day the church was built, which happened to coincide with our summer vacation. Snakes are something we would usually found in the fields or near any Farm animals. One should not be alarmed if they encounter snakes because it is extremely normal out there. By the end of the day the most important job was getting all the farm animals in their respective cages. As there was always danger of them being eaten by wild animals.

Other days during the vacation would go either by visiting relatives or my cousin’s school which would really be kind of a big deal in my childhood. Trying to remove coconuts from a coconut tree was another way I would pass time helping my uncle,watering all the plants in their entire garden which was probably one acre in size. Going fishing in the wee hours of the morning prior to the sunrise was really something which I always looked forward to and these Fishermen didn’t have a fancy mechanical fishing rod ,it was just a long wooden stick with fishing cod along with small shrimps as bait. The idea of fishing seems really exciting but the outcome of that is really not the same. It’s alot more difficult than it looks.

Something’s which a City bred kid would relate to if visited the old Portuguese type houses, was having a Bathroom and Toilet being built outside the house which was atlest 50-80 meters away. Always gave me the creeps to go there in the night. Taking a shower outside in the open by the trees is something not everyone is comfortable with but it surely is worth the experience particularly when one has  to remove water out from the well with a depth of atlest 3-4 floors. Every House have their own well or atlest every 2 houses have a well. Till date the houses in Goa rely on well water and it is still a manual job while some have installed the automated pumps. Rain water harvesting is extremely famous here. One of the best things which I always looked forward to prior to my trip to Goa suggest joy of jumping in a well or just having a bath with that fresh well water.

Waking up to the chirps of birds in morning in Goa as a child and breakfast being prepared by my grandparents was something I did really miss alot while in Bombay. Goa can treat you differently in different months of the year. What I mean to say would be in December it’s full of lights, music, sing songs and Dances not forgetting the nightlife and parties . Whereas if you visit Goa during or before the Rains it would feel like Paradise with almost everything covered in Greenery. Probably the best memories I’ve had was during the monsoon season in Goa, it surely isn’t very expensive on the wallet and not crowded with tourists. You would just have the regular localites going about their day to day chores.

Today the real essence of Goa is completely lost. Not many would embrace Goa for what it was but rather many have become so influenced by the Western Culture they forget their roots. Goa has become so commercialized that all we get to hear is “The Alcohol and Fuel cost a dime” Night life is something which has been around for many years in Goa but off late it has become a neusance to the locals. While Tourism is at the highest peak right now yet not many would be able to view Goa in its true sense like in the eyes of any locals. While Goans have managed to take advantage of this boom in tourism and food is becoming abnormally high just like the Metro cities.

Transport can a bit of a bother for people who aren’t used to local transport, I certainly loathe the transport system in Goa but it if you enjoy a joy ride I think that will be a perfect way to do that. They do have two wheeler taxi’s if that isn’t fun ,I wonder what is. They do have local buses which usually have a certain time to come and this does not run on any fancy app like most Metro cities.

Even though Goa has become such a hotspot for Tourist, they will surely not get such experiences, probably they may get charges for that now.Even after growing up and endless visits to Goa I just can’t seem to get enough and so many unseen places still yet to be discovered. If you get a chance to Visit Goa I suggest you pack up and head there.

Corporate world can be a freshers nightmare

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What are the different pointers  that freshers need to keep in mind while searching for a suitable job. How graduates  get manipulated when they are offered such jobs. How youngsters get carried away with higher salary than usual offered.

Some professionals like Chartered Accountants, Company Secretary, Law Students are usually paid higher salary as compared to a B.com, BMS graduate. There are exceptions where salaries can be high and can be the real deal. But that’s rare or depends on the College and their placements.

The cooperate world is not all fun and games as it may seems from the outside. There is a whole lot going on inside. It’s a whole new ball game.

Today’s youth have a misunderstanding that only high salaried job’s are worth. But as tempting as it may seem, some of thoes jobs offering high salary for a fresher graduate can be fake rather false promises.
As it’s said promises are made to be broken. There are companies offering good salary along with alot of work.  But where there is good there has to be bad.

Few companies are there searching for cheap labour and promising good pay but delay payments, have payments made in installments. These are signs to quickly find an alternative as this may get worst if such decisions are delayed. Alot of freshers don’t get their salary in the end and repent later. Beware of foney smal time companies looking to make profit on fresh and educated graduates. You might fall prey and be termed as “Educated Illiterate”

Few mistakes today’s Freshers make while searching for a job :-

1) Look for jobs where peers are working
2) Follow the crowd (most frequent)
3) More money = Good job
4) Rushing into finding a job and take    whatever comes first.
5) Doing an MBA or MMS without knowing one’s own strengths and weaknesses.
6) Over Thinking if no job offers come their way and getting workedup
7) Listening to everyone’s opinion but their own thoughts.
8) Refusing to work below a certain salary limit without considering the job description or knowledge one can learn.

Few tips to overcome such such barriers :-

a) Cut some Slack.
b) Give the mind some thinking time.
c) Don’t rush into making decisions.
d) Patience is the key.
e) Do what interests you.
f) Don’t be afraid to go against the tide.
g) Self Confidence brings the best out of people.
h) Start researching.
i) Don’t compare yourself to others, everyone will bloom when it’s their time.
j) Salary isn’t everything, knowledge is bigger than money.
k) You either Earn to Learn or Learn to Earn

Berlin Date for Juventus and Barcalona

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Finally the nightmare for Real Madrid and Gareth Bale in particular was over. 1-1 it ended on the night at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Juventus held their nerve and enjoyed the host scuffing chance after chance, finally Juventus reaped fruit of their first leg advantage and won on aggregate. Juventus is going to Berlin. They will meet Barcelona in the final.

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Ikea Casillias joined Xavi as the joint all time leading appearances in the Champions League. Gareth Bale had another forgettable night in the white shirt. Paul Pogba returned from injury to setup Morata’s goal. Madrid just couldn’t add to their lead and alot of missed chances confirmed their fate againts Juventus.

Many United fans would realised what a mistake it was to let Pogba leave and Last night he proved all the doubters wrong. After having being told by the United management in 2012 that “his time will come”. Sir Alex also wasn’t afraid to ses the back of Pogba and fast forward a few years ahead, it’s Pogba in the Champions League Final and United can only watch and still only managed to seal only 4th place which needs them to qualify for the Group stages of the Champions League.

There will be a few Former United players playing at the Berlin final , that include Tevez, Evra,  Pique and debatable Pogba who made seven appearances which were all from the bench and not a single start.

The stage is set for the two current best teams in Europe to face eachother in Berlin on June 6th.