For 90 plus minutes you saw Carlo Ancelotti in a state similar to what many of us remember at AC Milan. Calm, cool and collected but a ball of nerves on the inside. Standing almost twisted and contorted from the inside out but no outward emotion. Truth be told he was not but a single minute away from a possible return to the San Siro. Had it not been for Sergio Ramos he would have surely been fired and a return to Milan would have at least been on the front page for a few days. However, it was not to be and while the last six CL Finals to go into extra time ended in PKs, this one ended in a flurry of goals to see Madrid win it's tenth CL and Carletto his fifth.
Truth be told it looked like Atletico Madrid had this in the bag, despite the early sub, they dictated play and shuffled Real Madrid and more importantly Ronaldo and Bale to where they wanted him to be. Out of that defensive masterpiece emerged DiMaria and Modric, and that is the beauty of depth beyond depth, even when a team as disciplined as Atletico shut downs two of the best players in the World, others can and will emerge. Simeone will be questioned about playing Costa, but every Coach and every player in the same position would ask to go. The rest of the what the former Inter man did was glorious, discipline and self belief had injury time been 3 minutes instead of 5 and it would have been Simeone in the photo above. He should be proud, as should his team, and with that one can hope Atletico have debunked the myth of money is needed to succeed, granted it was Real who has invested billions for this trophy that won, but Atletico was in the same place with the same chance.
For those who prefer tiki-taka, today was it's eulogy. Bayern and Barca's style looks almost girly and to delicate for what was on display today. Today was truly two heavyweights trading hay makers, but not the brawn without brains sort, after every attack came a technical master stroke to recover defensively. Every sub was a chess piece that opened the match further. At the end of the day Bale and CRON both scored, but only after running their opponents into submission. It happened only after Atletico had given it all they could. In the final minutes Simeone was ejected, while his players had nothing left to give he gave them one last kick, one last show of solidarity and moment of insanity. The opposite of the stoic Ancelotti who even after the Ramos gave only his classic double fist pump. Two polar opposite Coaches, opposite teams, and opposite players put on a show today and while our Milan was not much for the eyes, at least this one was.
Congratulations to Bale, the first Welshmen to score in a CL final. Congratulations to Ronaldo the undisputed best player in the World with the Trophy to prove it. Congratulations to Carletto, while Milan was winning 6 and 7 Real was spending big, and it wasn't until the Milan maestro came to Town that they got the mythical number 10.