Champion's League Preview

Claudio Villa

Time to play our obligatory annual home and home versus Barcelona!

Well, here we are again, fresh off the start of a New Year, and momentum in Serie A and we run into Barcelona yet again. For a second straight year, Milan's Champion's League road goes through Barcelona. Forgive me if I feel a bit of deja vu, but as I wandered back through time at the old posts, I chuckle at the approaches from two years ago in the Group Stage to the last two season's in the knockout rounds.

Unlike most football fans, I don't like Barcelona. I don't appreciate them, I don't care for them, and I don't even believe in this absurd notion of liking Milan and appreciating Barcelona. It's not for me, and if that wasn't enough...I don't like Xavi, I don't like Iniesta, and I sure as hell don't like Lionel Messi! Why you ask? Simply put, I prefer Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourhino, and if I had to pick a winner in El Clasico it is Real Madrid each and every time. So why the sentiment you ask? For me it has always been simply about Milan, before Barcelona, it was Milan destroying the competition. Before Barcelona "revolutionized" tactics, it was Milan. Before Barcelona fed the Spanish National team to glory, it was the Milan driven Azzuri in the '94 World Cup final.

I am going to be perfectly blunt, I simply don't understand how Milan fans can admire the team who is merely doing what Milan has already done!? You root for a team that Barcelona is emulating, not vice versa, sure the tactics are different passing and pressing over compression and defense. But, the youth system, promoting from within, and building a team not buying one are all things that made once made AC Milan Special! So as we sit and wait in anticipation for what is to come on Wednesday, I leave you with a simple thought...

Milan may not beat Barcelona on this occasion, but don't abandon ship, or cry for a Champions League lost. This is
"Year Zero" but their is a silver lining. The team is building, building towards a better future, building a foundation of Champions. Milan was not built in a day, and if you have been around here long enough you will recall one of my favorite sayings about my beloved AC Milan, Milan always take the Long Road and Walk it...

Enjoy this video, it serves as a reminder of what once was and what will come...


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