Champions League - The Final Four

fletcherpost

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Really chuffed for Spurs. Gutted for Ajax. So first trophy Klopp or Potch wins with their clubs is the biggie.
 

Titans Bastard

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Yeah, Ajax have nothing to be ashamed of and can be proud of this run, but their still just kids -- a bunch of super talented 19 and 20 years olds who played their asses off to get to this point.
It's gutting for Ajax because they are going to be absolutely picked clean this summer and will have to start over yet again.

Given the way things are going financially in the sport, Ajax will probably never get this far again.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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Truly, no lead will be safe in the final.
I wouldn't count anyone out but despite that Liverpool still have the anguish of week 38 to get through, and they've got Salah etc. banged up, Spurs are just running on fumes at this point. Do they have it in them?
 

Dummy Hoy

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Yesterday was crazy. Might I say this was even crazier?
Given that I thought Ajax played well and Barca didn’t really, yeah.

Somewhere on planet Earth, Tony the Pony is furiously masturbating.
Every time Ajax was pulling off one of these wins and everyone was getting excited, I just pictured Nils getting angrier and angrier. I don’t think he cares for either of the teams that played today, but this has to be way better for him.

Giving up three goals in second half? Well de Jong will fit right in at Barca
Oh shit.
 

coremiller

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Forget the revenue and finances and all that crap. This is why qualifying for the Champions League is so important, why fourth place matters. You've got to be in it to win it. The game is about glory.
 

DrewDawg

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I wouldn't count anyone out but despite that Liverpool still have the anguish of week 38 to get through, and they've got Salah etc. banged up, Spurs are just running on fumes at this point. Do they have it in them?
They have 3 weeks to rest after this weekend. They’ll be fine.

Get well Kane!
 

coremiller

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They have 3 weeks to rest after this weekend. They’ll be fine.

Get well Kane!
Kane is going to go live in an oxygen tent snorting mountains of deer antler spray for three weeks to try to get healthy for the final.
 

McBride11

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The score got spoiled so i just watched the second half.
Wowwwwwwwwww

The Ajax kids all collapsing was kinda funny to watch (but sux a lot for them).

Rest of guys and get better Kane
 

coremiller

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I wonder what odds you could have gotten on Spurs making the final after they took one point from their first three matches in the group stage.
 

ehaz

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It's gutting for Ajax because they are going to be absolutely picked clean this summer and will have to start over yet again.

Given the way things are going financially in the sport, Ajax will probably never get this far again.
I wouldn't go that far. They're always guaranteed a chance in the CL because they're always the best team in their league and have one of the most famed academy systems in world football. Even before this current crop, they developed Van der Vaart, Sneijder, Huntelaar, Eriksen, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Babel, Cillessen, in today's big money era (not to mention legends like Seedorf, Bergkamp, etc. before that). They've always been able to scout and identify guys at South American/lower-tier European leagues looking for their first step up like Davinson Sanchez and Zlatan, or simply poach any top player from other Dutch clubs like Luis Suarez, simply because they can always offer European football which makes them a more attractive landing spot as an intermediate move for young players in comparison to a mid/bottom table Premier League squad.

Certain European teams just have that combination of historic player development apparatus and a winnable league that makes a serious European run realistic a couple times a decade (OK, winning it, maybe not). Lisbon and Lyon are others that come to mind. But the Ajax system is just plain better than everyone else bar maybe La Masia and every kid in Europe knows it. Even though they can't compete with the bigger leagues in terms of spending, if the best-of-the-best youth prospects have the option, it will come down to Barca and Ajax most of the time. It's kind of like Alabama and 5-star recruits (except these kids are like 13 years old).
 
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Vinho Tinto

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I wouldn't go that far. They're always guaranteed a chance in the CL because they're always the best team in their league and have one of the most famed academy systems in world football.
2 things:

1) They haven’t won the league in 5 years and are in a dead heat for the title this season. In addition, Eredivisie was a league whose champion lost a guaranteed spot so the top 4 leagues could be shoe horned in four spots each.

2) Contrary to what some people seem to believe, Dutch player development does not begin or end in Amsterdam.
 

Titans Bastard

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I wouldn't go that far. They're always guaranteed a chance in the CL because they're always the best team in their league and have one of the most famed academy systems in world football. Even before this current crop, they developed Van der Vaart, Sneijder, Huntelaar, Eriksen, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Babel, Cillessen, in today's big money era (not to mention legends like Seedorf, Bergkamp, etc. before that). They've always been able to scout and identify guys at South American/lower-tier European leagues looking for their first step up like Davinson Sanchez and Zlatan, or simply poach any top player from other Dutch clubs like Luis Suarez, simply because they can always offer European football which makes them a more attractive landing spot as an intermediate move for young players in comparison to a mid/bottom table Premier League squad.

Certain European teams just have that combination of historic player development apparatus and a winnable league that makes a serious European run realistic a couple times a decade (OK, winning it, maybe not). Lisbon and Lyon are others that come to mind. But the Ajax system is just plain better than everyone else bar maybe La Masia and every kid in Europe knows it. Even though they can't compete with the bigger leagues in terms of spending, if the best-of-the-best youth prospects have the option, it will come down to Barca and Ajax most of the time. It's kind of like Alabama and 5-star recruits (except these kids are like 13 years old).
Yes, but how much more will the financial dominance of the big clubs and big leagues increase over the next 10-20 years? The change since the 1990s has been drastic.

If Ajax could hold onto their young stars for an average of 1-2 more years before selling, they'd be a lot more competitive, but the financial gap is just too big. This year the stars aligned for a great CL run but it's only going to get harder.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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Moura's winner is *so* similar to Michael Thomas' at Anfield in '89...same basic structure, both scored away from home at the left end of the ground (on TV), same corner of the goal with the finish, same swing from defeat to victory in an instant. Thomas' goal came almost exactly 30 years ago, too - also in May:

 

wonderland

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Yeah, Ajax have nothing to be ashamed of and can be proud of this run, but they're still just kids -- a bunch of super talented 19 and 20 years olds who played their asses off to get to this point.
Ajax was on the young side but they had one player who saw the field today that was 19 or 20. And he has played in a Europa League final. They also had a number of experienced players.

The ages were 23, 29, 19, 26, 21, 22, 25, 21, 32, 27, 21, 23, 30 and 26.
 

fletcherpost

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You having a hard time with anyone’s writing style is pretty special.
I know. I'm only semi trollin. But, I'm chuffed for all the Spurs fans. Worked with loadsof em in London, and its great to see them; the whole Spurs family, rise up out of the Gooner shadow that was cast for so long.

Cant wait to binge watch aftv when i get home from work.
 

Spacemans Bong

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Ajax are very much my other team, and that was about as bad a sports loss as I can ever recall. Even the Grady Little Game was a slow-speed car crash (and you knew they could well be back next year, something that will not be true for Ajax). I was counting down the last seconds of added time with my friend, I think we got down to three or maybe even two, and we were grabbing onto each other's shirts in preparation for that jump-in-the-air-hug you do when your team wins. And then gone.

And I was in a pub in Hackney too, so there were three Ajax fans (this Dutch woman came to sit with us and pretty much bailed the second the ball went in the net) in a pub of 150 Spurs fans. The Spurs fans were actually lovely after the game, I drank for free for the rest of the night. I think they recognized what a unbelievable gut punch loss that was and weren't going to kick a man when he's down. More so when I told some of my, uh, English club affiliation and how this really was the worst night ever.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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Ajax are very much my other team, and that was about as bad a sports loss as I can ever recall. Even the Grady Little Game was a slow-speed car crash (and you knew they could well be back next year, something that will not be true for Ajax). I was counting down the last seconds of added time with my friend, I think we got down to three or maybe even two, and we were grabbing onto each other's shirts in preparation for that jump-in-the-air-hug you do when your team wins. And then gone.

And I was in a pub in Hackney too, so there were three Ajax fans (this Dutch woman came to sit with us and pretty much bailed the second the ball went in the net) in a pub of 150 Spurs fans. The Spurs fans were actually lovely after the game, I drank for free for the rest of the night. I think they recognized what a unbelievable gut punch loss that was and weren't going to kick a man when he's down. More so when I told some of my, uh, English club affiliation and how this really was the worst night ever.
I agree. I'm trying to think of worse and I can't.
 

Spacemans Bong

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The Diggs catch isn't a terrible comparison, but there's so much going on contextually. Ajax's inability to compete financially means they basically get one crack with every golden generation they can come up with. So it's going to be years before they come up with a squad that good again, because talents like Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt don't come down the pike every year. They were seconds away from getting back to the Champions League final.

College hoops seems like the best place in US sports to find something like that, but I can't think of anything that really fits the template. Houston went back to the title game after Lorenzo Charles's alley-oop. It'd have to be Charles doing it against Larry Bird's Indiana State, where those fans came into the building know this was their one and only chance. Even then, Ajax being the Norma Desmond of soccer matters, so it'd have to be Lorenzo Charles vs San Francisco or Cincinnati or Holy Cross.

It's an extraordinary gut-punch. A friend of mine told me today that most people in his town are just devastated, and he lives 40 minutes from Amsterdam.
 

Zososoxfan

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The only one that comes close is New Orleans Saints fans dealing with the way their last two seasons ended, at least that I can recall.
I think the tiebreaker has to go to Spurs here. The Saints will always have 2010 and Spurs' last real honor was what? 1984 European Cup?
 

bosox4283

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Ajax are very much my other team, and that was about as bad a sports loss as I can ever recall. Even the Grady Little Game was a slow-speed car crash (and you knew they could well be back next year, something that will not be true for Ajax). I was counting down the last seconds of added time with my friend, I think we got down to three or maybe even two, and we were grabbing onto each other's shirts in preparation for that jump-in-the-air-hug you do when your team wins. And then gone.
I feel for you. Well, as much as possible. What a gut-punch.

I was at a pub in Philadelphia watching the Atletico-Real Madrid Champions League Final a few years ago, the one in which Ramos scored in the 93rd minute to put the game into overtime.

I was one of the only Atletico fans there, surrounded by mostly Real Madrid fans. A few of us -- mostly, my buddies that support Barca -- were starting to count down at 91:00 and 92:00. I was ready to go absolutely nuts and jump up and down.

Instead, Ramos nails the goal. The Irish bartender sees my dejected and gutted, and slides me a double shot of whiskey.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Ajax are very much my other team, and that was about as bad a sports loss as I can ever recall.
Mine, as well. Made the emotion a little trickier, but once the ball rolled in to play, I could only see Spurs.
Bar was about 50/50, and both sets of fans were extremely polite and respectful -- if not entirely shell-shocked -- after the match.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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I think soccer/football is most prone to the gut-punch phenomenon just because scoring is so infrequent. Basketball shots and football passes happen all the time, but a goal at any particular moment is an improbable event, especially with stoppage time elapsed and the ref looking at his watch. You'd expect to win 990 out of 1000 of those.
 

Spacemans Bong

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Mine, as well. Made the emotion a little trickier, but once the ball rolled in to play, I could only see Spurs.
Bar was about 50/50, and both sets of fans were extremely polite and respectful -- if not entirely shell-shocked -- after the match.
Where did you go in SF where half the pub was supporting Ajax? Were they Dutchies or Yanks like us?

I used to wear Ajax stuff around town back in the day, and no one ever said anything to me!
 

coremiller

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I think the tiebreaker has to go to Spurs here. The Saints will always have 2010 and Spurs' last real honor was what? 1984 European Cup?
Spurs' last significant honor was the 1991 FA Cup, en route to which they beat Arsenal (who won the League that year, thus denying them the Double) in the semifinal, where this forum's namesake scored a famous free kick from about 40 yards out.
 

Zososoxfan

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Spurs' last significant honor was the 1991 FA Cup, en route to which they beat Arsenal (who won the League that year, thus denying them the Double) in the semifinal, where this forum's namesake scored a famous free kick from about 40 yards out.
I don't consider domestic cups to be significant for big clubs, but YMMV. The context you provided for that trophy is what ramps up its significance.
 

coremiller

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I don't consider domestic cups to be significant for big clubs, but YMMV. The context you provided for that trophy is what ramps up its significance.
I think the FA Cup meant a lot more in 1991, before the European Cup expanded into the Champions League, than it does now. I'd even say the dividing line for when the FA Cup stopped really mattering has a clear date: 2000, when Man Utd skipped the competition to attend the Club World Championship in Brazil.

Spurs won the League Cup in 2008, but I think everyone (except Jose Mourinho in the year he wins it) agrees that the League Cup doesn't matter much.

Also, Spurs have only been a "big" club for about four or five years. They historically have not been big enough that they can shrug off FA Cup victories as insignificant.
 

Dummy Hoy

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No one should shrug off domestic cups. If there was a superleague, at least the rest of the world could enjoy FA Cups again.