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2012/13 UEFA Champions League

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:D You Brits with your humour once again nail it - with just one word.

You were very gracious and friendly hosts also to our German athletes last summer - so I'm convinced that you will be such hosts again on May 25. So actually there could no better place for an all-German final - besides a German city, of course. ;) And boy, am I lucky that this year's final wasn't awarded to Madrid or Barcelona. :D

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I told you so... German final!! :D It's going to be a very excting game, but Bayern is gonna edge Dortmund. This is Bayern's 3 final in 4 years, as they say "the thrid's the charm" they are more mature and play so easy, the defense is very solid.

I am a Barça fan but Bayern was better by miles.... This saturday both teams will play at the Signal Iduna Park, a prelude to the final.

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And I bet both teams will be fielding reserve squads.

I highly doubt that. First of all, the CL final is not already next week, but on May 25. The DFB Cup final (important for Bayern as well) is even farther away, it's on June 1. From now until the end of the season, Bayern and Dortmund have to play only one match per week. So there's plenty of time to regenerate for those important finals - and no reason to give plenty of top players a break.

Furthermore, there's far too much prestige already in that "rehearsal" match on Saturday. So neither Jupp Heynckes nor Jürgen Klopp will shy away, in my opinion.

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I just hope there is no injuries. One of the best things about this final is that, barring a potential Gotze injury, both teams will be playing at full strength.

I take it you'll be partial to Borussia in the final Olympian2004?

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Both teams did field very different teams than they did in the CL and will in the final.

For Bayern: Mandzukic, Dante, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Robben and Ribery not even dressed, and Martinez and Muller starting on the bench. And for Dortmund, Hummels didn't play and Reus and Bender started on the bench as well.

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I expect too see a match with more than 3 goals, booth teams trully played the best football in all the tournament, and yesterday's draw seems convinient since it makes everything "unpredictable" for the final.

The team that wins can easily win the Club World Cup in Morocco. EASILY...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Mourinho to leave Real at end of the season


MADRID — Jose Mourinho will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season after a turbulent three-year spell in charge of the Spanish giants, club president Florentino Perez confirmed Monday.

"After the conversations we have had with our coach Jose Mourinho we have arrived at an agreement to end our working relationship at the end of this season," Perez told a press conference.

"The coach and the club agreed this is the right moment. I want to thank Jose Mourinho for the work he has done in the last few years."

Mourinho, who has been strongly linked with a return to Chelsea - a team he managed between 2004 and 2007, has endured a torrid final season in charge of Los Blancos culminating in Friday's defeat by Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final that ensured Real end the season without a major trophy.

However, Perez denied that Mourinho had been sacked by the club and said they will not have to pay the Portuguese coach compensation despite the fact his current contract runs until 2016.

"No one has sacked anyone, it has been a mutual agreement," Perez said.

"It is not nice for anyone to have to leave but it is also true that after three years we both decided it was the right moment to break this relationship."

And despite rumours linking Paris Sant-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti with the manager's job at the Bernabeu, Perez also claimed he has not reached an agreement with any coach to succeed Mourinho.

"I want to clarify that we have not established any agreement or pre-contract with any coach. This is a job we have ahead of us in the coming days," he said.

"I want to show my maximum respect to PSG, their president and all the clubs."

The 50-year-old Mourinho's time in charge of the nine-time European champions has been littered with high profile bust-ups with the local media and many of his stellar squad of world class players, but Perez hailed his demanding standards throughout his time in charge.

"He is a very demanding coach, with himself and with the rest and this wears you down," he said.

"The important thing is that we have recovered the level that we didn't have before."


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Executive Committee decides hosts for 2015 finals

The 2014/15 UEFA Champions League final will be staged at Berlin's Olympiastadion, while the National Stadium Warsaw will hold the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League showpiece.

The decision on the hosts of the major European club competition finals in two years' time was announced by the UEFA Executive Committee at its meeting in London on Thursday.



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Berlin 2015 will be awesome, the German capital deserved to host a CL Final. Olympiastadion is stunning. Same for Warsaw, nuce to see Poland hosting for the first time.

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Europa League winners to get Champions League spot

LONDON (Reuters) – European soccer’s governing bodyUEFA sought to increase the appeal of the Europa League on Friday by announcing that from 2015 the competition’s winners would qualify for the elite Champions League.

Sixteen teams rather than the current six will also qualify directly for the group stages of UEFA’s secondary competition in a bid to boost its prestige and attractiveness to sponsors.

“This decision will have a huge impact on the Europa League and it will also have an impact on national league competitions,” UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino told a news conference after the governing body’s annual Congress.

“It is fair to say there has not been the same enthusiasm for the competition in the past but this will boost the whole of the European football movement.”

The decision was taken after detailed discussions between the European Club Association comprising Europe’s top clubs and UEFA and the change will come into effect after the current TV contract for the Champions League expires in 2015.

The Europa League has long been seen as an also-ran competition for clubs missing out on the Champions League.

The change means clubs taking part in the Europa League may treat it more seriously and field stronger teams because it offers a path into the elite competition the following season.

“It will also benefit clubs in some of the lower leagues. As 16 teams from the top 12 nations will now go directly into the Europa league group stage.

“This means that, for example a team from country ranked 25th say, would not have to play a team from one of the top nations to qualify, but has a better chance against say a team from a country ranked 20th, so it will have a big impact.”

Infantino also said a maximum of five teams from any one country would be able to compete in the Champions League from 2015-16.

This means in the unlikely event of the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League coming from the same country but finishing outside the top four, the team who finished fourth in the domestic league would not take part in the Champions League.

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Today is the final, for my taste the best teams in Europe at least this campaign.

Bayern: is playing amazing, strong i defence and atfack, and they have lost 2 finals in the last 3 years... Favorites, but the main problem is that they are so confident on winning, and that usually isn't good.

Dortmund: plays more vertical and fast that Bayern, they lack the experience Bayern has. But they have no pressure, they are in a fairytale as Klopp said.

Outcome: I really can't say which team will win, Bayern has more chances but remember the extra-confindence kills you.

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Great final, and well deserved for Bayern who finally sees a trophy for all their efforts on these last years. I wonder how Guardiola's going to keep with that trend.

Also, Robben, who was very infamous for being a Jinx at every final he had played has broken the "curse" today.

Btw, Berlin was given the right to host the 2015 final.

PS: Also confirmed that Warsaw will host the 2015 final of the Europa League.

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Indeed!! A very nice final, Dortmund played at the level and the match was trully for whatever team scored. Robben lost a lot of chances (as always) but he scored and he deserved it.

Bayern lost with a Chelsea that didn't deserved to win, but football is fair.

I feel bad for Dortmund because Bayern can reach a final whenever they can, and Guardiola has a big homework to continue this, but I for Dortmund it will be hard to reach this stage one more time.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Fenerbahce BANNED from European football for two years as Besiktas are out for one as UEFA clamp down on match-fixing

Fenerbahce have been banned from next season's Champions League and Besiktas from the Europa League over match-fixing allegations, UEFA has announced.

The UEFA control and disciplinary body confirmed Fener would be banned from European for three seasons in total, with the third deferred for a probationary period of five years.

It is the Turkish giants second exclusion from Europe's top competition after they were banned from the 2011-12 Champions League due to the match-fixing scandal.

A UEFA statement read: 'The CDB carefully analysed the situation of both Fenerbahce and Besiktas and has pronounced the following sanctions:

'Besiktas is not eligible to participate in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League.

'Fenerbahce is excluded from participating in the next three UEFA club competitions for which it would qualify, including the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League season. The ban for the third season is deferred for a probationary period of five years.'

Fener, who reached the semi-finals of the Europa League last season, finished second to Galatasaray in the Turkish Super Lig, one place above Besiktas.

Five Fener officials and two from Besiktas also had charges heard, but UEFA said that in relation to them 'the CDB decided that certain additional information will be collected in order to consider in further detail the different position of each of the individuals concerned'.

UEFA confirmed earlier this month that its control and disciplinary body would hear charges following an 'investigation into alleged match-fixing activities'.

The European governing body also today imposed a suspended one-year ban from European competition on Romanian side Steaua Bucharest, who were accused of a breach of Champions League participation regulations

UEFA said: 'The CDB also carefully analysed the situation of FC Steaua Bucharest and, taking into account certain mitigating circumstances, the following sanction has been imposed:

'FC Steaua Bucharest is not eligible to participate in one UEFA club competition for which the club would otherwise qualify. This sanction is deferred for a probationary period of five years.'

Fenerbahce have said they will appeal the decision, with the other two entitled to do so.


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