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Champions League defies prediction


Football is a delightful but crazy game with its uncertainties and unpredictability.

Match results often make a mockery of those of us who profess to ‘know’ the game and predict how matches will end. In the end, many of us are made to eat humble pie.

As the world prepares for a truly spectacular quarterfinals of the Uefa Champions League, we are all reminded that only the foolish dare stick out their necks and predict.

The draw for the upcoming matches is Malaga v Borrusia Dortmund, Real Madrid v Galatasaray, PSG v Barcelona and Bayern Munich v Juventus. They are all mouth-watering fixtures and none more so than the Bayern v Juventus pairing. However, as we saw in the last round, no one can predict these games anymore.

In the last round I was privileged to witness three incredible matches that had everything – the good, the bad, the unpredictable, the truly beautiful and the spectacular.

Schalke,did not know what hit them when Galatasary came calling. The first match had ended in a 1-1 draw in Istanbul. All Schalke eeded was a scoreless draw or any win at home to go on to the quarterfinals. However, Galatasary came armed with a strategy that confounded everyone.

The final score line was a miracle created by sheer hard work, determination and the spirit to win. Fans of Schalke are still in shock.

Arsenal defeated Bayern Munich on the hallowed ground of the Allianz Arena!

A team that has given its millions of global supporters more headache and heartache than joy and cheer, went to the home ground of one of the world’s most disciplined and successful teams and came away with a 2-0 victory.

However, there was an even more dramatic match that took place at the Camp Nou.

In 90 minutes Barcelona overturned a 2-goals deficit, added two more goals, and made AC Milan, their conquerors only two weeks ago at San Siro, look like confused and bungling school boys.

Confidence has now been restored in the team and the world can sit back again, relax and continue to enjoy Tiki Taka football.

These surprises make the prospect of the Uefa Champions League quarterfinals really intriguing.

One thing is for sure, count me out of sticking my neck out and declaring even my favourite club, Barcelona, the club champions of 2013. I know better than to tempt fate now.


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