Battle of the Arena

I didn't watch the first round of Champions League matches, mostly because of the absence of my beloved football team. Heck, I didn't watch the Europa League matches either. It was not a case of being too ashamed to accept the reality of things, it was that of not finding enough motivation to watch any of those matches.

In typical fashion, Manchester United lost their Europa League encounter with Real Sociedad. For all the talk about them playing well and getting robbed by a contentious officiating decision, I am not moved. They've won the last four EPL games without playing fantastically well, yet I've been happy because all that matters right now is winning. Losing to a club that has never won against any English side before is embarrassing.

Well, the only thing Manchester United has been consistent at in the last 10 years is dishing out embarrassing results in different sizes, shapes and colours no matter the manager or playing staff involved. Sociedad is probably the only team in Man Utd's Europa League group that I can remember. I don't even want to know all those Amalekites and Hittites from the underworld of European football they are paired with. Of all Man Utd's remaining Europa League matches, I will watch the one against Sociedad in Spain. That is as far as I can go.

However, I'll be ending my self-imposed strike from watching the Champions League this evening. Barcelona bamboozled the football world by propagating a pitiful, impoverished picture of themselves only to go ahead and sign the best available players in the transfer market. Those guys pranked us all and are even getting praised for it.

Javier Tebas has spent the last few years roaring like a wild animal and tormenting the likes of Man City and PSG with Financial Fair Play rules. The dude is quiet like an overfed cat now that one of his favourites is snatching players left, right and centre while selling everything linked to Catalunya in return. Even the blades of Camp Nou grass are no longer safe from Laporta's grasp. He will probably auction some for more money anytime soon.

So, I've only seen Barcelona play once since they got all those players. Likewise, I've only watched Sadio Mane play once since he joined Bayern. Also, Barcelona are playing against the European team that has embarrassed them the most in recent history. As if that's not enough to spice it all up, add the return of Lewandowski and the promise of one ridiculously gorgeous Argentine presenter to go naked if Barcelona win by a three goal margin to the mix and we've got ourselves an absolute thriller of a fixture.

We've seen the Battle of the Bridges before, this is going to be the Battle of the Arena. Will the resurgent Barcelona finally avenge some of the punishments they've suffered against this flailing Bayern Munich? I won't miss a single minute of that match for anything.

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