european football leagues

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1st Image (2004): At the young age of 19 (youngest player to ever play a final at the time) and breaking onto the scene with stellar performances throughout the tournament, he and his star-studded Portuguese team came up just short in the final on their home turf to the underdog Cinderella story of Greece; ending up in tears of heartbreak and pain.

2nd Image (2016): Leading and carrying a team of youngsters, forgotten names, and role players all the way to the final against the host nation (who for many were favorites to win it all prior to the start of the tournament) - only to find himself injured in just 20 minutes of action and forced to sit out the rest of the match. Witnessing his teammates from the sideline deliver with all the passion and fight that he led them with up to this moment. This time, the tears were of relief, joy, and nightmares erased.

I’m usually neutral to begin the Euro’s, but by the end I usually end up leaning towards certain teams, for this final however I was ok with either team winning initially, but I found myself reminiscing about my experience watching euro 2004 as a kid and how badly I wanted C.Ronaldo and Figo (some of my favorite players) to win at that time; those emotions were ignited again and I just had to hope Portugal would defy all odds and pull it off somehow.

Congrats to Portugal, and congrats to C.Ronaldo for getting his first international trophy. This is the reason I watch sports, for these beautiful narratives, it’s amazing watching certain careers and storylines unfold over the years.

european football (specifically the premier league but also la liga) stresses me TF OUT because every loss is treated like the absolute end of the world. like the way the media talks about arsenal right now you’d think we were getting relegated to the 5th tier of english football at this very moment and this is the last season arsenal will ever exist. in reality, yeah we’re having a rough go of it. but that happens to every team at one point or another. hell, chelsea finished 10th last season and look at them now. obviously this summer’s going to involve a lot of changes and some of them are probably going to be painful, but i promise that this is not the end of the world and we’re all gonna live to see arsenal lift many more premier league trophies.

Barcelona's home record in the Champions League

WLWWWWWWWWWDWDWWWWDWWDWDLWWWWDWWWWWWWWWW

40 games
32 wins
6 draws
107 goals

That first L? Stands for Liverpool. We’re one of only two sides to beat Barcelona at home in the Champions League, the other being Bayern Munich. We are also the only English side to not only ever win at Camp Nou but never lose a competitive match either.

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Russian football is rotting: the decline of Rubin Kazan

By Domm Norris

The winds of winter continue to reverberate across Russia, as all eyes begin to turn away from the snow-capped mountains of Sochi; however, the carnival atmosphere in the southern reaches of the nation have not been wholly felt in other areas of the world’s most vast state. Rubin Kazan’s plight this season has been one of demoralisation as the memories of league title successes a mere five years ago begin to feel like incomprehensible dreams.

Rubin’s league victories, in both 2008 and 2009, brought the club to the fore of European football, with memorable Champions League performances against Barcelona major highlights in the club’s history. Despite those fantastic performances, there remained notable voices questioning just how legitimate the club’s domestic successes were, with some believing that they had used a complex match rigging system to ensure a short period of dominance. However, under the guidance of Kurban Berdyev, accompanied by the influential performances of Alejandro Dominguez and Aleksandr Bukharov, Rubin looked as though they would be capable of competing at the top of the table for the foreseeable future.

Fast forward to the present day and the club is rotting.

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