The Champions – Barca & Chennai
The IPL finals was hopelessly one sided. With no orange or pink cap holders, Chennai proved that one doesnt need superstars in the team to win the cup twice in a row. And Bangalore proved that its appearance in the final was courtesy a one man show called Chris Gayle. Till Gayle came in the middle of the tournament, Bangalore was floundering. He single-handedly powered the team to the finals. To expect him to repeat the performance again in the finals was asking for a bit too much. No wonder they flopped when Gayle was out in the first over itself.
The captain cool, Dhoni marshaled his troops well (as usual). No fuss, no emotions guy, Dhoni has demonstrated repeatedly that he is the best cricket captain ever to wear the Indian cap. A T20 world cup win, a 50 over world cup win, 2 IPL wins and a Champions league T20 win, taking India to the top ranking test team, he has achieved probably everything that he needs to. And when asked, he simply retorted that he wouldn’t mind repeating the whole thing again. That’s the kind of hunger that drives champions.
On the other hand, Barcelona showed why they are the best footballing club in the world. Money can only buy you this much. The most important thing is for the group to gel well and play as a team. If at all money could buy success, the musical chairs of managers being played at Chelsea and Real Madrid would have won them tons of trophies. Or for that matter if star players could power teams to victory, then Sachin Tendulkar would have been a great captain. These are great examples for teams who have no qualms splashing out millions of bucks to snap up superstars for their teams.
Manchester United might be the best in England, but two consecutive losses to Barcelona in the past 3 years shows that they still have a mountain to climb when it comes to the Champions League. And if Manchester United cant make it, then it just shows the hollowness of the other teams in the English Premier League (Chelsea, Liverpool & Arsenal included).
And now i shudder to think that i have no sports to look forward to for the next couple of months, with both IPL, Champs League and all the European leagues coming to and end for the season.
The only thing to look forward in the next month is if the second sting Indian team traveling to the West Indies can pull off a miracle. And to see how the new coach of India, Duncan Fletcher manages the egos in the team.