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WEEKLY Vol 1 Issue 6

FREE | May 27, 2014

LA DECIMA

DELIVERED WORLD CUP COUNT DOWN: IRAN

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

TEAM OF THE SEASON


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THINGS

WE

LEARNT

FROM THE

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL

E N O E SIM G N O R W S A W E V A H TO D E T R A ST DIEGO A T S O C 2


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QUICK FACTS OF THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

R

eal Madrid's showdown against Club Atlé co de Madrid in Lisbon was the seventh UEFA Champions League final to go to extra me but the first to be resolved without a penalty shoot-out. All of the previous six finals undecided a er 90 minutes failed to produce a goal in the addi onal half-hour, making Gareth Bale the first player to score in extra me of a UEFA Champions League final. Madrid's four goals li ed their aggregate for the 2013/14 campaign to a final total of 41. Although short of Barcelona's all- me high of 45 in 1999/2000, it is a record for a 13game season and set a new compe on average high of 3.15 goals per game. No other team has ever managed over three per game over a UEFA Champions League campaign, Barça's 1999/2000 figure having been 2.81. Cris ano Ronaldo's penalty against Atlé co li ed his record tally of goals for a single European Cup campaign to a final figure of 17. He is now level in the compe on's allme goalscorer charts with Lionel Messi, on 67, four adri of record marksman Raúl González.

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Ronaldo's goal in Lisbon made him the first player to score in a UEFA Champions League final for two different clubs, having found the net for Manchester United FC in 2008. Three other players – Raúl, Samuel Eto'o and Messi - have scored in two finals but for the same club.


and came in the club's 200th match in the compe on – a landmark previously reached by only one club, Manchester United. With United not in the compe on next season, Madrid will have the appearance record to themselves when they begin their tle defence on match day one next season. Carlo Ancelo became the second coach to win the European Cup three mes a er Bob Paisley who led Liverpool to glory in 1977, 1978 and 1981. Of the three men who have won the UEFA Champions League as a coach a er li ing the European Cup as a player, Ancelo is now the most decorated, with five winner's medals combined. Frank Rijkaard has four and Josep Guardiola three. With Ancelo 's triumph in Lisbon, Italy becomes the first country to provide two imported UEFA Champions League-winning coaches, a er Roberto Di Ma eo with Chelsea FC in 2012. Belgium (Raymond Goethals 1993), Germany (Jupp Heynckes 1998), Scotland (Sir Alex Ferguson 1999, 2008), Spain (Rafael Benítez 2005), Netherlands (Rijkaard 2006) and Portugal (José Mourinho 2010) have all provided one apiece. Atlé co's defeat means that the record of no non-European coach winning the UEFA Champions League remains, Diego Simeone suffering the same fate as Héctor Cúper, who lost back-to-back finals with Valencia CF in 2000 and 2001. Real Madrid's victory was not only a record tenth triumph in the European Cup but also a record fourth in the UEFA Champions League era, placing them one ahead of Milan and Barcelona. It was Madrid's fourth win in as many finals

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REAL MADRID 4 - 1 ATLETICO MADRID

T

he final started rather slowly but finished with high drama, as Real Madrid finally, a er 12 years laid their hands on La Decima. Prior to the final, these two teams had met 4 mes this season with Atle co ge ng one win, one draw and 2 losses. It more or less gave us a cue on what to expect. Atle were set up to defend, while Real Madrid had no choice but to a ack. Atle co, a team that had shown enough mental toughness and resilience en route winning the La Liga was able to curtail Luka Modric and Di Maria. This meant that balls were not ge ng to Benzema, Bale and Cris ano. Atle co were hit with a tough blow when a er 9 minutes Diego Costa was subs tuted unable to con nue. This in my es ma on was Simeone's first mistake. He shouldn't have started an unfit Costa in the first place. While Atle co were doing a nice job stalling Real Madrid's a ack, they didn't look potent in a ack either. The game however, finally sprung to life, when a combina on of rusty Khedira and Casillas (largely at fault) gi ed Atle co a goal. These changed the dynamics and meant Atle co find themselves in a posi on they wanted. Real had to find a way to unlock this fabled defence. The introduc on of Marcelo and Isco saw Real Madrid begin to open up play and pressure the Atle defence more. Marcelo added width to the a ack as Di Maria started seeing more gaps, while Isco was able to probe through the

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REAL MADRID

CHASE LA DECIMA 

LA DECIMA CHANCE AT DELIVERED THE ALLIANZ middle. Tired legs and injuries started taking his toll on Atle co, but Godin and Miranda were doing a yeoman's job in keeping the white a ack at bay. The equalizer came at a mely period for Real

Madrid, for while it energized them, it also managed to drain Atle co of whatever reserve they had le . Simeone's encouragement from the sidelines and calls to the fans to back his wards seemed to suggest one thing; there was no denying Real Madrid LA Decima. For Atle co, the pursuit of their first UEFA Champions league tle was a bridge too far.

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UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

TEAM OF THE GOALKEEPER THIBAUT COURTOIS

LEFT BACK

BRANISLAV IVANOVIC

RIGHT BACK

DAVID ALABA

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CENTRAL DEFENDER

SERGIO RAMOS

CENTRAL DEFENDER

DIEGO GODIN

MIDFIELDER

XABI ALONSO


SEASON MIDFIELDER

LUKA MODRIC

MIDFIELDER

ANGEL DI MARIA

FORWARD

MARCO REUS

FORWARD

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC

FORWARD

CRISTIANO RONALDO

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IRAN CAN THEIR FORTUNES CHANGE

I

ran may not necessarily be an Asian power on the level of Japan, South Korea or Australia, but they certainly matched the confedera on's power trio en route to booking their place in Brazil. For the fourth me in their history, the Iranians are set to compete on the sport's biggest stage, and should be encouraged by the fact that they lost just two games during World Cup qualifying. Led by manager Carlos Quieroz, Iran will hope to get out of the group stage for the first me in their history and build on their lone World Cup victory, which came against the United States in 1998.

THE COACH Carlos Queiroz is about as well traveled as they come in interna onal management, and he finds himself at the helm of

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Iran a er leading Portugal in South Africa. Queiroz has introduced a number of dual na onals to the squad, most notably Ghoochannejhad, as Iran blew through qualifying and solidified themselves as a group-phase dark horse. He's lost just four games in 32 so far with the Persian Stars, but the World Cup will pose a much s ffer challenge. On a completely different note, the Portuguese boss made headlines this summer a er South Korea claimed he made an "obscene gesture" toward their bench.


STARS TO WATCH GHOOCHANNEJHAD Reza Ghoochannejhad is a rela vely recent addi on to the team - visa issues delayed the debut of the Dutch-born player - but the fleet-footed Charlton forward played an important role in Iran's successful qualifica on campaign, scoring three goals in his first three qualifiers. He has now scored nine goals in 11 games.

NEKOUNAM

HOW THEY QUALIFIED South Korea were the favorite in Group A, but it was the Iranians who topped the table a er allowing just two goals in eight matches. The ques on mark is goalscoring, as their eight goals scored were by far the fewest among Asia's World Cup qualifiers. S ll, Iran have reason to believe their fourth World Cup appearance will be their most rewarding.

The dynamic Al-Kuwait midfielder has a habit of coming up with a goal just when his team needs it most and has found the target 37 mes in his 136 interna onal appearances. Now 33, Nekounam does not cover as much ground as he once did but he reads the game as well as any.

DEJAGAH Fulham forward Ashkan Dejagah can play on the right side or as the main striker. Dejagah came to prominence in Germany with Wolfsburg, making 150 appearances before moving to the Premier League and Fulham in August 2012. It took Dejagah, now 27, me to se le in England but he has since showed his value .

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