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Prologue to the FIFA World Cup was a success

May 18 2006

Last night at the stadium "Stade de France took the final Champions League match between Barcelona and London's Arsenal. He will go down in history not only thanks to the famously twisted intrigue, but more established therein statistical achievements.

Before starting the game almost all the experts called a favorite match the Spanish club. For Barcelona to play almost everything - and a stable game during the season and svezhezavoevanny title of national champions, and a phenomenal game Ronaldinho. At Arsenal, at first glance, there were only two trumps - incredible for the duration of the "dry" series at 920 minutes, the two goalies the team and leaving behind the tournament giants such as Real Madrid and Juventus. So easy life favorite nobody promised.

Added intrigue and incredible story of the referee team from Norway, which has been entrusted to serve the game. Before the match on the pages of the Norwegian newspaper Drammens "appeared a picture of one of the referees in the shirt of Barcelona. Sound of the scandal, and UEFA had to quickly change the line referee. Jumping forward a little, we say that one of the main actors in the play eventually became chief judge Terje Hauge.

As soon as the game began, the British rushed to the gate of the contender. Most likely, before the match they had received jolt of the coach Arsene Wenger, who has 10 years of dreaming victory in the Champions League, but above the quarterfinals before this season, his team never gets. Hardly the first attack of the Gunners' strike ended in emphasis Frenchman Thierry Henry on the gates of Barcelona. It is incomprehensible that goalkeeper Victor Valdes moved the ball to the corner.

In the middle of the first half there was an episode that almost all the predestined future course of events. Defenders of the English club have made a mistake with the implementation of offside, and goalkeeper Jens Lehmann brought down on the penalty released him to "date" the Cameroonian striker Barça's Samuel Eto'o. After that, the ball picked up a partner African Ludovic Giuly calmly rolled the ball into the goal for Arsenal. However, the judge Hauge prematurely gave a whistle, a goal lifted and removed the German goalkeeper off the field. At the gates of the British appointed a penalty which Ronaldinho was unable to turn into a goal. The proceedings lasted for several minutes, and the fans of Barcelona booed incessantly.

Special meaning nezaschitanny goal became a 38 th minute when, after drawing the penalty defender Arsenal's Sol Campbell shot up over the opponent's penalty area and drove the ball into the goal of Barcelona. After a couple of minutes, Eto'o burst into the penalty for Arsenal but his blow took over the bar. Five added to the first-half minutes did not change the balance of power. 1:0 in favor of Arsenal - Arsene Wenger and the dream began to become reality.

After the break, Barcelona, taking advantage of the numerical advantage, began to weave lace around the gates of the British team, but the Gunners will not let Ronaldinho, Deco and their partners to enter the stopping position. English themselves snapped twice. First, well spent match the Swede Fredrik Ljungberg has made a solo pass and shot from an acute angle, and then Thierry Henry went one-on-one with Valdes. 2:0 - it seemed to all: Henry of such provisions, not smears. But ... the ball tochnehonko flew into the hands of goalkeeper Catalans.

It came to mind the old truth - you do not score, you score.But before she began to be implemented, the famous last Dutch player and now coach of Barcelona's Frank Rijkaard has proved to be the football commander, firing a replacement has recently recovered from injury Swedish striker Henrik Larsson and Brazilian defender Juliano Belletti. While they were up to date, Ronaldinho struck from distance, but the leather sphere barely missed with the net.

On the 76 th minute of the rain that accompanied the entire course of the match turned into a real downpour, and at this point plan Rijkaard has earned. First on the 76 th minute Larsson gave a perfect pass to Eto'o and the Cameroonian-blank shot the opponent's gate. And after five minutes Larsson turned around and laid on the transfer of course burst into the penalty Belletti, who started the ball between the legs of goalkeeper English - 2:1. In the left before the final whistle, while Barcelona is easily brought the matter to a logical victory and the second time in its history, won the title of the strongest teams in Europe. Wenger and Henry on the final whistle it was painful to watch.

It is curious that two-goal Barcelona put an end to a phenomenal series of goalkeepers for Arsenal in the Champions League. They did not see the ball in the net his goal for 995 minutes, while playing at Shootout not Real Madrid or Juventus Turin, no upstart, "Villarreal" so never managed to upset Arsenal. The previous record of AC Milan was blocked almost in half. "Autogen" lock on the gate of English club only found Rijkaard, and then through trial and error.

Interesting to achieve set and the coach of Barcelona. The club won the second time a major European trophy, and the second time it occurs under the guidance of the great Dutch player in the past. 14 years ago to coach the bridge of the Catalans was the great Johann Cruyff, but now he was replaced by Rijkaard. The latter won the European Cup as a player four times (three times - in the "Milan" and once - "Ajax"), and now he joins the glorious cohort of great players who have become famous coaches.

After the match the players happy, "Barcelona" steel fasten themselves their national flags. Thus, the emergency team player Edmilson wrapped himself up in a Brazilian flag, defender Rafael Marquez - a Mexican, and one of the Catalans - in Spanish and Catalan. It reminded the world that the main event at the bow four years of football - World Cup, where they will be on opposite sides. And the Champions League final was a wonderful prelude FIFA World Cup and a connecting link between the tedious evrosezonom and this feast that awaits fans around the world in the fields of Germany.


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