OT-UCL Open Thread

Submitted by santy on February 12th, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Juventus currently lead Celtic 1-0 

PSG leads Valencia by the same scoreline.

Good day for the away sides so far.

The BIG game is tomorrow though, Real vs Man Utd


State Street

February 12th, 2013 at 3:17 PM ^

It will be absolutely fascinating to watch Gus Johnson call the Man U/Real match tomorrow.  Major props to the guy for taking on the challenge and immersing himself in a sport which he had no previous knowledge of.  From the interviews it seems like he's picked up a ton real fast.


February 12th, 2013 at 3:28 PM ^

Especially since that game of all the others will probably be one (if not the) most watched in the States.  I'm surprised they don't have him start on a smaller, less watched match first.  Then again, all he'll really need to do to be successful tomorrow is verbally masturbate Ronaldo.


February 12th, 2013 at 3:36 PM ^

I'm about as excited by Gus calling soccer as I'd be by Martin Tyler calling the NFL.

The Real - Manchester series ten years ago next month was one of the biggest matchups in about 20 years. The results from that Madrid triumph shaped a decade of world soccer (think about it - Abramovich decided to purchase Chelsea because of the games, Beckham left for Madrid, Ronaldo's hat trick in 55 minutes, etc.)

Now think of all the backstory this matchup has - Ferguson v. Mourinho, Ronaldo facing United, Giggs doing it for the 23rd season, Chicharito, Rooney, Van Persie's history with Madrid and the Spanish players, the media war between Casillas's girlfriend (a Spanish reporter) and Mourinho, Ozil v. England last summer, etc. etc.

I'll be interested to hear whether Gus intelligently weaves all these storylines into his broadcast like Martin Tyler would, or if he simply decides to scream and say "pure" when describing a square pass by Sergio Ramos.


February 12th, 2013 at 3:27 PM ^

Might be worth noting that the two teams that lead, PSG and Juve, had the best defensive records during the group stages with 3 and 4 goals conceded from 6 games, respectively


February 12th, 2013 at 3:27 PM ^

Hailed to be basically unbeatable at home, there is no way Celtic breaks this Juve midfield. Especially when Buffon scoops up everything sent his way. Hooper is more worried about humping the Juve defense than he is about scoring. Neil Lennon will go to Turin with his ginger tail between his legs. Celtic's glory ends when the Mighty Glasgow Rangers are rightfully back in the top-tier. Rangers: the world's most successful football club!


February 12th, 2013 at 4:14 PM ^

I'm not sure if I'd be bragging about the 4th highest anything, let alone attendance.  All that says is that there's nothing else sports-wise to attend in Scotland, if it says anything at all.  Plus, I don't think ranking high in attendance puts the Rangers in anywhere near the European elite drawers that are Barcelona, Real, Manchester U (I assume those are the top 3?)


February 12th, 2013 at 4:56 PM ^

home attendance would put them about 4th in EPL behind ManU, Arsenal, Newcastle.  Considering they are playing in the lowest tier of Scotish Football its pretty impressive the fans are still going to games.


Ranger's and Celtic are monsters in the SPL, akin to Michigan and Ohio playing in the MAC but still drawing the huge crowds.  Rangers just under 50,000 capacity, Celtic around 60,000

After those two I think the next biggest stadium in Scotland is like 22,000 capacity in Aberdeen.


February 12th, 2013 at 5:23 PM ^

Your comparing the small country of Scotland that lives in the shadow of England, to perennial, and more populous countries in Europe. There really are no other sports in Scotland. Rugby, cricket, and highland games draw fans, but football is king. Attendance is everything off the field. No one wants to play an empty fixture. Ask DB. Attendance means money which means improvements.. On and off the field. Could you imagine the Tigers getting kicked down to single A ball yet keeping Comerica and the fans? That's what's happening to the Glasgow Rangers.


February 12th, 2013 at 3:43 PM ^

Juventus = Michigan MBB.   Because I know nothing about elite European soccer, this weak connection is enough to lead me to cheer for Juventus (although the WSJ was not making a flattering remark about the parallels).




February 12th, 2013 at 3:44 PM ^

Been filling the stands of Ibrox while your clan sits on their asses.. 54 league titles speak for themselves. Your nothing without us. Glad to let Juve use our training ground to beat y'all at home.


February 12th, 2013 at 4:12 PM ^

So by SSC logic Michigan only has considerably less NC wins because they were won before the new era..? Didn't think so. Michigan has 11. 1 euro title just like y'all and 50+ league titles. We also own the head to head. If I were you I'd worry about the Juve defense. I think I can hear their fans over you clowns.


February 12th, 2013 at 4:15 PM ^

You think I'm a Celtic fan? Look at my avatar if you actually believe that. And don't try and sell the fact that the Cup Winner's Cup is equal to the European Cup. It was a third rate competition because the European Cup only took league champions and you didn't make the UEFA Cup. And it doesn't even exist any more. At least the European Cup survived and evolved into the Champions League.


February 12th, 2013 at 4:31 PM ^

Actually the UEFA cup was the second tier Championship of all the domestic runners up, inaugurated in 72. The Cup Winners-Cup was the pseudo-Champions League of all the Domestic Cup winning teams. If you won the FA Cup, or the Copa Del Rey, or the Coppa Italia, or the DFB Cup, or the Scottish Cup, or the Coupe de France, ect. you'd participate in the Cup Winners Cup. It was eventually absorbed into the UEFA Cup for the 2000 season, but in 72 it was very prestigeous, as winning those cups still is.


February 12th, 2013 at 4:08 PM ^

You see, many other clubs like Bayern, Milan, Inter, Juventus, Ajax, Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool, etc. put stars on their jerseys for true achievements (not defeating a league with no more than 3 legitimate teams at any one time).

All those clubs keep the stars for winning Europe, something Rangers has never done except for a then-third-rate competition.


February 12th, 2013 at 4:19 PM ^

Well we know Liverpool will never win the EPL so they'll have plenty of room for "legitimate" stars.. Whatever that means. An do you realize how small of a country Scotland is compared to England, Germany, and Italy? I'd say that's a praise, not a knock, to have three good teams every year.


February 12th, 2013 at 4:00 PM ^

I admit I clicked this thread mainly because I had no clue what UCL stood for.  Honestly I've always thought soccer was cool enough, but I can't get into it because I don't have any emotional connection to any teams.


February 12th, 2013 at 4:18 PM ^

I was never into it until last year and now I'm addicted.  I admit that I don't know nearly as much as these guys, but I am able to recognize good play (I think) and definitely appreciate the beauty of the game generally.  I because a Barcelona fan because of their technique but you could choose a team based on whatever you find most interesting about the sport - some people like more rough play, some like faster play, some like offense/defense, etc.  Its pretty cool to start being a fan of a team from scratch.  Try it out!  Watch a lot of Champions League matches and pick your favorite.


February 12th, 2013 at 4:04 PM ^

Celtic all over Juve here. Need a result at home or they are out cause I don't see them getting anything in Turin. 'Mon the Hoops!


February 12th, 2013 at 4:19 PM ^

The one thing that I find very strange being a Barca fan is seeing them play Real so many times during the year.  I'm used to Michigan-Ohio matchup once a year (the equivalent of the Real-Barcelona matchup, I think) that its strange to see them go at it 5-6+ times a year.  Still pretty cool though.


February 12th, 2013 at 4:34 PM ^

every time there is a matchup I say to my girlfriend in an almost geeked out voice "THERE'S A CLASICO TODAY!!"

Then she'll be like, "wasn't there one like two weeks ago?"

Me: "Well yeah, but . . .  There's a clasico today!!!"

The # of matchups doesn't diminish the importance in my eyes.  The Ohio rivalry is a great comparison.  


February 12th, 2013 at 4:54 PM ^

I truly didn't start watching until last year and I sampled all kinds of teams in trying to figure out who I wanted to support.  I purposely tried not to choose a front-runner just to make it more interesting but time after time I found myself attracted to their style of play.  And it doesn't hurt to use time rooting for a team that has arguably the greatest player to ever play the game.  Messi truly is mesmerizing.  I think my second favorite player is Cesc - quiet but productive.  And I really liked watching Cuenca but hear he was loaned out to Ajax(?).  I'm not a big Tello fan.