Shamik Das

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Van der Sar the star as Utd crowned Tsars of Europe

Once, twice, three times a champion: Manchester United add the Luzhniki Stadium 2008 to their European roll call of honour, alongside Wembley 1968 and Camp Nou 1999

SO, how was it for you? The thrills, the spills, the tears, the beers, the suicidal impulse when Terry stepped up to take his kick, the greatest feeling in your life when Van der Sar saved Anelka's penalty.

Never before have so many undergone so pronounced a shift in emotions. We should have known it wouldn't be easy after the sizzzling end to the Bayern final.

Back then Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær were the heroes, now it was the time for Edwin Van der Sar to join the pantheon of Old Trafford legends.

Call it fate, call it karma, call it what you will, Terry's slip was divine intervention from the football Gods. Half a century on from the Munich disaster, United's name was on the cup, and nothing, nothing at all would stop them winning.

And how great that Terry, Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba should be the fall guys? Especially Terry, the ultimate exponent of anti-football, a violent bully and England's worst captain in history.

Didi really do that: Drogba is sent-off for a pathetic little bitch-slap on Vidic    Terry's all-cold: The Chelsea captain falls to the ground as the rain beats down, having fluffed his lines at match point

The sight of this muppet with his head in his hands, contemplating his error, was a sight to behold! He'll replay it in his mind for the rest of his days. If only Frank Lampard had screwed up as well; now that really would have been the icing on the cake.

Chelsea's scumminess and approach to football was summed up by the fact that, while United ascended the steps to collect their trophy led by Sir Bobby Charlton, none other than their vile cheif executive Peter Kenyon led the losers up the stairs, through a guard of honour formed by the men in red.

Could you imagine Chelsea doing the same if they had won? Not likely.

For Roman Abramovich, crestfallen in his own courtyard, the lesson was clear: There are some things in life money just can't buy - respect, class, decency, honour, history...

As for Dr Death, the man who promised his paymaster he'd win him the quadruple, the message is crystal: Dos vidana, Avram!


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