Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Allianz Arena, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Czech Republic, FC Barcelona, Germany, Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas, Italy, Juventus, Manuel Neuer, Petr Cech, Real Madrid, Roma, Spain, UEFA Champions League, Victor Valdes
Bayern Munich will meet Chelsea in the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League final on May 19 at Munich’s Allianz Arena, becoming the first team since Roma in 1984 to play at home in European club soccer’s biggest match.
The two finalists both pulled off stunning upsets in the semifinals. German powerhouse Bayern, a four-time Euro champ (1974, 75, ’76, ’01) eliminated Real Madrid while England’s Chelsea, a finalist in ’08, shocked cup holders FC Barcelona.
Prediction: With all due respect to Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), Victor Valdes (Spain, FC Barcelona), and, yes, Chelsea’s Petr Cech (Czech Republic), Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer will emerge from the match having cemented his place as perhaps the world’s best goalkeeper.
And if he doesn’t, he has plenty of time to do so. Already a World Cup veteran, Germany’s No. 1 is just 26.