9th June, 10am
We have to start today with a word on the Champions League final. We declined a bet on the match itself, and the thinking at the time was that it was a little short on value. Barcelona looked a little too short against a decent Italian side in Juventus, but they themselves didn’t seem great value as the underdog either.
It was the bookies who had it right as usual though, with odds-on Barcelona easing to a 3-1 win over the Italians. In truth, 3-1 is barely a reflection of the dominance that Barca had over them, it perhaps could have been a rout. For those of you who thought Barcelona’s years of dominance might be coming to an end it was a chastening watch, they were simple superb, absolutely different class. The game might have marked the final Barcelona appearance for Xavi, and Iniesta isn’t getting any younger, but it simply doesn’t seem to matter.
Barcelona played their usual game of possession and pressing, and Juventus barely had a sniff in the first half. Indeed it was only on the break in the second half that they managed to get back into the game, yet – much like when Manchester United levelled the final against them in 2011 – it never looked an issue. Barcelona don’t panic, they simply go and score again! It’s a shame for veteran keeper Buffon that he palmed a Messi shot into the path of the onrushing Luis Suarez, and the Uruguayan wasn’t going to miss. It could have been more, but Neymar ultimately sealed the deal with the last kick of the game. Worthy champions of Europe for certain, and you actually wonder who on earth will stop them next time round.
Early Champions league odds for next season seem to suggest the same!
Real Madrid 5/1
Bayern Munich 5/1
The rest are 10/1+, with many of the supposed big teams already available at huge prices, e.g.
Man City 16/1
Man Utd 20/1
Atletico Madrid 33/1
All these odds ahead of any transfer business this summer, and it certainly looks set to be a free spending one. Can the rest of the field catch Barcelona? Already looking forward to next season to find out!