Champions League is about to begin – or to begin in the seriously disputed mode, since there have been qualifiers and play-off’s. Anyway, the real games are to begin today. And before we go any further on the subject, it is an obligation of mine to remind you all of something important: the names of last season’s champion and runner-up. No, FC Barcelona was not any of those, no matter how great, how wonderful and how powerful this team was – and obviously still is. Because Chelsea FC had Didier Drogba, Peter Chech and a boy called Ramires, the most beautiful team in History could not reach Munich to go and claim what everybody knew was theirs for obvious right and common sense: the Champions of Europe cup. Someday when you look at UEFA’s History charts, there will be other name than Barcelona at 2012 winner and no one will put a question mark on his forehead when reading it. However, this title is still fresh and I can clearly remember when Messi missed that one from the spot with the game at 2 – 1 at the semi-finals second hand, in Barcelona. Had that been a goal and I am pretty sure History would have been written with other names, not Chelsea FC. What I am trying to say is that tomorrow Barça can start to walk the path towards making right what luck and all sort of contingencies made wrong and put History back on it’s righteous tracks. By the way, the runner-up was Bayern Munich. Not Real Madrid.
Barça’s first step is to be given at Camp Nou against Spartak Moscow. Who is Spartak Moscow, you must be asking yourselves. It’s not hard to guess they’re Russian. But what have they done so far that could leave Barcelona’s team cautious? As for a start, Spartak is ranked 53rd at UEFA’s this season. They’re not in the first 30 but, well, you never know, strange things may happen. Then, some people may say “well, yeah, but they’re used to play on synthetic grass at Luzhniki”, and I still don’t see that as a lesser menace: imagine they get too excited for being in real grass for once. It might happen. Chelsea wasn’t used to play actual football and see what they managed to do last year. Also, Spartak have Nicolas Pareja. He is not a Spaniard, but he really sounds like one. And so does Juan Insaurralde. So, beware of the Russians.