Attack of the Arsenal
Bayern Munich prepare for Arsenal FC in Champions League, Round of 16, 2nd Leg
Allianz Arena, Munich – List the top clubs in the history of the European club competitions, FC Bayern München make most top five lists, most definitely in the top ten. This year, the talk mentions the Bavarian Giants as the best this year in all of Europe.
Bayern are currently running away with the Bundesliga title, twenty (20!) points clear of the next club. They are still alive in the German domestic cup competition, the DFB Pokal, reaching the semifinals and favored to win that as well. After reaching the final of the Champions League in 2010 and last year playing in their own arena, the expectation and desperation have only intensified.
Sport Eagle TV Preview – Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal, Champions League, Round of 16, 2nd Leg
Over the past three seasons, the German record champions have been competing for the elusive treble, coming close three years ago, only losing out to Inter Milan who themselves collected the hat-trick of European, league and domestic glory. Last year, one by one, each title slipped through their hands. Rivals Borussia Dortmund held on for the league title and trounced Munich in the cup final. And then came the heartbreak in the ‘Finale Dahoam’ (Bavarian dialect for ‘Final at Home’), Chelsea’s shootout victory left Bayern trophy-less.
But take a step back from those losses. Bayern were right there, playing for the championship. Short of the final goal, but a thrilling ride for the players, fans and management. And lends to the argument – are they the best in Europe at the moment?
Bayern may have played in two of the last three finals, but FC Barcelona have won three times the past seven seasons, captivating fans with their style of play and collecting titles at a greater rate than Bayern or any top European club. Perhaps it’s safe to say FCB of Spain are 1a, and FCB of Germany 1b, based just on the consistency of both clubs near or at the top.
The purists may just stick with titles, and that said, Barcelona are the best – the most titles, with the best player among the best squad. And they are also still alive in the Champions League, perhaps a chance for Bayern to settle the argument on a London evening in May at Wembley Stadium.
The discussion has a chance to continue once Bayern finish off Arsenal and move on to the Champions League quarterfinals. Failing to do so will once again leave out the Reds, and leave us to accept the default answer to the question – Barcelona.
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