One of the best parts of a soccer match is the 90-minute mark. The final one or two additional minutes have the uncanny ability of capturing the true essence of the sport, and as the major European leagues and tournaments head toward their respective finales, let us all sit back and marvel at the beauty of the game.
The year began with a multitude of transfers, mostly featuring English clubs trying to match the success found by teams in Germany and Spain in recent years.
Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean star was sent to Arsenal, while Manchester United made multiple moves by acquiring both Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao.
In England’s Barclays Premier League, many bigger clubs found themselves stumbling out of the gate. Manchester United, despite its numerous transfers, found itself on the bottom half of the league table.
“The coaching is solid, the players are great. We can and will do better,” said senior Edwin Carvajal, who is a Manchester United fan.
As the season comes closer to its end, these sides have miraculously returned to their superb form. United is closing in on a top 4 finish, and Chelsea is likely to win the league.
Meanwhile, in Spain’s top league, known as Liga BBVA or La Liga, F.C Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F are in a virtual deadlock for the top spot.
After a slow start, the Messi-led Catalans have claimed a two point lead in the league table over Real Madrid, and following a win in El Clasico, they look like the favorite to win both the league and the Copa Del Rey.
“I’m really happy with how they are playing. I feel like they are doing very good. There are a lot of hard games ahead, but if they keep on playing like this they have a great chance. Messi is the key player. He is present in every goal either by scoring, assisting, or creating the play” said junior Oryan Lechter, a fan of Barcelona.
Maybe the most interesting storyline, however, has come from Germany. In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich has continued the success found in recent years, and looks again to reclaim the spot as Europe’s top team.
On the other side, rival Borussia Dortmund has completely fallen off of the wagon. With injuries having plagued star winger Marco Reus, transfer rumors are circulating regarding the possible sale of Matt Hummels and other key players. With coach Jurgen Klopp announcing that he will step down at the end of the season, it appears that the team has a long way to go before returning to the top of European football.
“They’re [Bayern Munich] doing great. They’re truly an incredible team. Dortmund have definitely not been the same team as they usually are, they’ve let themselves be defined by Reus’ injury,” senior and Bayern Munich supporter Edgar Carrero said.