For the sixth time, Bayern Munich are the kings of Europe.
Joshua Walter Kimmich, the German professional footballer who plays as a right-back or defensive midfielder for Munich, beat a drum after the final whistle sounded, crowning him and his teammates, the kings of Europe. While the stadium was empty, their was nothing but pure elation as Neymar’s Paris Saint Germain, superclub of Europe, fell 1-0 to forfeit the Champions League trophy in Lisbon last night.
It was a concise victory, with no drama. A dominant performance, defying the notion of big contracts win trophies. Munich’s semi final squad cost them £80m. To the uninitiated that figure may seem absurd, however, it is less than a third of what PSG (Paris Saint Germain) paid for one player, Neymar Jr and half of what the French team paid for Kylian Mbappe.
Last night’s Champions League final sheds light on a well-oiled outfit, delivering a gigantic blow to a system governed by money. Reflecting on the past decade, the difference between wining and losing boiled down to a difference in wealth. It seems last night’s Bayern Munich team catapulted a final stone to crumble the wall of money clubs have thrown at players.
Real Madrid for all the money spent—lifting three consecutive Champions League titles and Juventus crippling all their years of work building a durable and reliable team, only to sign a player making them a one-man-team, with Barcelona spending more money on players than any other team in Europe, left Bayern Munich in the shadows constructing a squad that would become a group of quiet achievers both unstoppable and driven to challenge the status quo.
Real Madrid’s strongest squad entails a long list of cash bucket heroes, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Dani Carvajal, Marcelo, Luka Modric, Karim Benxema and Tony Kroos. Their bench consists of Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez. Their bench alone, is worth more than most team squads on the pitch. Munich destroyed this notion, and did it with poise and determination.
When referencing last night’s game, it would be fair to acknowledge that Munich had struggled to find room to play in the first half, and Manuel Neuer denied Neymar of a cracking opener, and Robert Lewandowski hit the post. Kylian Mbappe shot straight at Neuer, while PSG turned Munich’s defence inside out.
Coman’s goal forced Paris to play bolder and take risks and it almost paid off as Neuer saved from Marquinhos. Yet Munich steadied themselves, Paris’s final ball ultimately failing them as the German champions completed a famous victory to prove the name on the front of the shirt is more important than the one on the back.