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Inter beats Bayern: What the Champion's League Final tells us about the World Cup

Here are a couple of quick thoughts after today's Champion's League Final.

The nationalities of the winners of this year's Champion's League final may only interest me, but there is something intriguing about this group. Here is the line-up:

Internazionale - Julio Cesar (Brazil), Maicon (Brazil), Lucio (Brazil), Walter Samuel (Argentina), Christian Chivu (Romania), Javier Zanetti (Argentina), Esteban Cambiasso (Argentina), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Sameul Eto'o (Cameroon), Diego Milito (Argentina), Goran Pandev (Macedonia).

First of all, Internazionale is based in Milan, Italy and there are no Italians in the starting 11. Second, they have three Brazilians anchoring their defense, which tells me that Brazil will be very strong defensively in South Africa. Next, the four Argentinians are great players, but the second best Argentinian on the night wasn't picked to play for his country. Esteban Cambiasso was left out by the tactical genius (ha!) Diego Maradona. This tells me that Argentina will have a typically strong side that misses out on the Semi-finals of the World Cup due to poor management. Same story as 2006.

UPDATE: I also forgot to mention that Javier Zanetti was snubbed from the World Cup squad as well. Allegedly, Maradona blamed him for some of the poor results in qualification. There was also rumors that Zanetti overruled Maradona's tactics once the players stepped on the field.

Prior to today's match, I thought that Spain and Brazil were the teams to beat in the World Cup. After watching this game, I'd say Brazil has the edge. They are stronger defensively and in tournaments, that makes a big difference.
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  1. That's an amazing stat about Inter. Especially considering that most of the Italian national team players are on Italian club teams.

    The Maradona move still confuses me. Argentina is really, really good. They have one of the better teams in the tournament. But it seems impossible that they could win it with Maradona at the helm. At some point he has to do something crazy to make the team implode.

    I wonder if at any point he will feel threatened by any of the players and insist that he is better than all of them and he will suit up and try and play on the field. It wouldn't be surprising at all if Argentina made it to the finals and Maradona put himself in the starting line up.

  2. That would be fantastic. He'd probably score. They have such a talented team. I remember in 2006, after they destroyed their group, I thought they'd end up in the finals but their managers substitutions and tactics lost it for them. I can see a similar scenario this year.


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