The Champions League Final is Europe’s biggest football match. The teams fighting for the ultimate price this year could not have a more different culture. On one side Bayern with a rejuvenated side against Chelsea’s old guard led by John Terry, who will miss the final due to suspension for a red card in the semi-final against Barcelona.
Transitional Season for Chelsea
Chelsea so far have not had a great season on as well as off the pitch. Currently sixth in the league, they running dangerously close on missing out on European football next season. This season however was thought as transition as the old guard around John Terry and Frank Lampard were considered to have passed their prime and the end of their careers is approaching fast. For that reason a bright young manager was hired in Andre Villas-Boas. Albeit, the experiment backfired as Villas-Boas did not prove to be the man to overhaul the squad and lost the dressing room and subsequently was fired in March 2012 after a continued spell of bad fortune on the pitch.
Looking at their squad in comparison with Bayern’s it becomes strikingly obvious that this will be the last chance for many at Chelsea to get a hand on a trophy. John Terry, Ashley Cole, Paulo Ferreira, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Florent Malouda, Didier Drogba are all over 30 now and have been Chelsea’s core squad for most of the past decade or so. And yet somewhat miraculously they have defied age and the odds against Barcelona to get to the final. John Terry will miss the final due to suspension which will force Roberto Di Matteo to alter his back four.
Chelsea’s strongest point in defence will be that Petr Cech is coming of age and has been key to success in the semi-final against the Catalans. He’ll turn 30 the day after the final, thus he has got a at least five years at the top level in him as keepers in their thirties are said to be in their prime. Something which is not true for outfield players. Their prime age is between 26/27 and their early thirties. Given that they have been at a Champions League Final, will certainly be beneficial but after their FA Cup victory over Liverpool in early May, it is doubtful if they still have the absolute desire to go the extra length.
Bayern relying on home grown talent
What a difference Bayern Munich are. After decades of buying top players and dominating the German Bundesliga and failing in Europe, in the last six or seven years they have experienced an influx of home grown players that almost renders buying further players as not necessary. Lahm, Schweinsteiger, M