It is time to throw away the American inferiority complex with its place in the sport, where many blindly claim that technique should come above all in choosing and developing the best prospects and that the U.S. is not an international power because it cares too much about athleticism.
Champions League Final Headed For Blowout
This Champions League final promises to be one of the most entertaining we've had in recent years, at least on paper. There are a plethora of great storylines at hand. We have the Ballon d'Or race, and what say Mane could have if he tops Benzema in the final. You have Mo Salah's opportunity for revenge. You have Benzema's looking to seal one of the greatest individual seasons ever if Madrid win the final. I'm sure I'm missing a few other storylines, all adding to what will hopefully make for a fun final.
Unfortunately, I think the Champions League Final will be a blowout, with Liverpool winning by at least three goals.
For one, there is a giant gulf in the quality between the two teams. Any way you slice it, whether you go player for player, tactical fit, playing style, or dominance this season, Liverpool have the better team. They've looked comfortable in their Champions League run save for a half against Villareal, whereas Real Madrid have looked anything but assured.
Against PSG, they were the worst team for all of the first leg and the first half of the second leg before a Benzema hattrick fueled by a PSG collapse let them through.
They needed an 80th and 96th-minute goal against Chelsea at home to go through.
And then against Manchester City, they were the worst team for two legs and needed three goals in the 90th minute to win the game.
For some, you may interpret that as a juggernaut team who are never out of any game. But the way I see it, that's the sign of an overrated team who relied on a few minutes of incredible luck to make it as far as they have.
And for context on the difference in quality between the two teams, Liverpool has lost fewer games across their whole season (3 losses in 61 games) than Real Madrid in the champions league (4 losses in 12 games).
Liverpool is a team that relies on the entire squad and a tactical setup that gives them an advantage, while Real Madrid is a team that hangs on for dear life and whips in crosses to Benzema, hoping they get something out of it. That will only last so long, and this final will be one game too far.
Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid
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