It’s been almost literally a calendar year, but ewe are finally here. The UEFA Champions League Final is set to be contested in Lisbon this Sunday between German powerhouse Bayern Munich and French underdog Paris Saint-Germain.
The most anticipated match of the 2019-20 season will be played in front of billions of viewers, thousands of cutouts and zero actual fans in attendance, but the weirdest championship ever could also be one of the most compelling of all.
If this were a Karate Kid movie, Bayern would be Cobra Kai. Brash, cocky, but also feared and very willing to sweep the leg (just ask Barcelona how crippled Bayern left it after their eight-goal barrage).
PSG, meanwhile, is ready after years of being beaten up by the bullies of the European soccer world and seeing the girl leave the dance with 5’7’’ prodigies or ridiculously good looking Portuguese models, they are one win away from earning the respect and the trophy they have always craved.
Both teams are offensive juggernauts, having won their respective semifinals by a comfortable 3-0 margin, and they both play at breakneck speed. On one side, you have Thomas Muller, Canada’s own ankle breaker Alphonso Davies and Robert Lewandowski, the most feared striker in the world. Lewandowski has scored once in every match since the restart and is both the tournament ‘s top scorer with 15 goals and co-leader in assists with six.
Paris places its hopes and dreams of a celebration at the Arc de Triomphe on Brazilian superstar Neymar, the main catalyst of the offense along with Kylian Mbappé. Mbappé is PSG´s top scorer in the UCL with five goals.
The other one? Mauro Icardi, the disgraced Argentinian striker that will probably start on the bench seeing compatriot Ángel Di María try to untie himself from Lewandowski in the assists lead and maybe repeat what he did against RB Leipzig in the semis with a vital goal of his own.
The key to the match is simple: Who can land the best haymaker? Both Barcelona and Lyon had exceptionally good opportunities to take a lead in the first half, but they forgave and Bayern didn´t. Will PSG forgive? And if it does, will its defense pay a heavy price like so many others have?
I have gone against Bayern once and they scored eight goals. As tempting as it is to predict an upset considering the odds and the fact that PSG is 5-3 all-time vs. their opponent, I am not going to go against a team that is 10-0 with 42 goals in the tournament.
Hollywood would like us to believe in the underdog, but Bayern Munich will show no mercy once again.
My pick: Bayern 4-2 PSG.