Barstool’s Champions League Preview – The “Madrid vs Madrid For A Shot At All The Marbles” Edition

Sam’s Soccer Safe Space For Stoolies

Hi haters,

Ho hum, not a big deal, just down to the last few clubs in this season’s Champions League and – whoa, what? – not one but TWO are from Madrid? Weeeeeeeird. Well I guess there’s a first time for everything.

Some people are already suggesting that we should just fast forward to Real Madrid versus Juventus in the final, but those people are utter morons because while we may eventually arrive at that almost-final destination it is the journey that really matter most anyway.

Before we get to the games though, a little babymaking music to get your head right:



Schedule for the next two weeks:




Real Madrid [-130]
Atletico Madrid [+390]
Draw [+250]

Quick question: what is one thing that every single sport has in common?


WRONG, there is no flopping in hockey. Just ask hockey guys.

Well, shit, never mind. Okay fine, new question: what is a second thing that every sport has in common?

That’s right, it’s the fact that every coach in history claims that they are not the favorite.

“We are not favorites. It is 50-50, as it always is in the knockout stages.”

That was Zinedine Zidine a couple days. Okay, Zizou, oooooookaaaaaaaaay.

That’s not what everybody else in the world, including the bookies who are putting their ill-gotten money on the line, are saying, but I appreciate you continuing to fuck that chicken.

Real Madrid has lost one game since what feels like a Carter administration (and that was only thanks to just another ho-hum magical performance from St. Messi), and come into the game with Ronaldo being Ronaldo, Isco and Marcelo in the respective forms of their life, and should get a big boost from the return of Rapheal Varane to partner alongside Sergirojo Ramos in the center of defense, mercifully returning Nacho to his rightful place anywhere but on the field.

Sergio in his happy place

Sergio’s happy place

Point being, Real are in good shape and in good form.

Then again, Atletico has – in their typical fashion – much more quietly been racking up results of their own. Nothing screams Diego Simeone as loudly as advancing past UCLeicester with a 1-0 home win followed by a 1-1 road draw. Quintessential Simeone right there. His coaching philosophy is analogous with my studenting philosophy: “do jussssssssssssst enough to get by and no more”.

Unfortunately Atleti are missing some important players for this one, including Juanfran, José Giménez and Sime Vrsaljko (and I realize many of these names will mean little to those of you who aren’t ardent followers of La Liga and/or the Other Madrid team, but trust me, they will be missed).

Word of warning for those only interested in the game as a moneymaking opportunity: I realize (from oodles of messages on twitter dot com) that the Over Train – Choo Choooooo – has been rolling in Champions League recently, but this being a first leg involving a Simeone-led Atleti squad away from home… let’s just say that a “cagey” affair would surprise

The uglier this game is, the happier Simeone will be after the final whistle. I’m guessing he will be more successful than not in trying to disrupt Real’s attempt to actually play some soccer – keep in mind these teams are intimately familiar with one another – but as the home side showed against Bayern in the quarters it only takes one momentary lapse in concentration to get burned.

Rule #7 of soccer is underestimate Atleti at your peril, but the fact is they have had a relatively charitable run through Champions League (Bayer and the wee Foxes in the knockouts, for example) and just look a quarter-step below the level that they have been at the last couple seasons. Griezmann and Gameiro are a perfect little duo for a team hoping to magically conjure up a goal out of a nothing-like counterattack, but based on form and fitness and functional capacity… I’m going Real Madrid to win 1-0 on a 17th minute goal from Ronny is his Tightiest Whitiests.



Ronny at his Ronniest


God GAWD these blogs sure are a lot easier when there’s only one game to worry about. Whoda thunk? Quick reminder: another Champions League semi-final tomorrow followed on Spursday by United’s biggest game of the season so far…. Stay pumped.

Note: that right there is what we in the biz call “soccer pornography”

Samuel Army