Having finished runners-up more times than anybody in Leverkusen cared to remember, Bayer 04 had claimed the undesirable moniker of “Neverkusen”. Playing at times the best football in the country the side ultimately always fell short in collecting silverware. In 2001/02 they lost the Bundesliga title race on the last matchday. A week later they fell to Schalke in the Cup final. Another four days later another defeat in the Champions League final would forever cement their place in footballing lore as nearly men.
Their opponents at Hampden Park faced their own bit of pressure. Having delivered two CL trophies to Madrid within three years club president Lorenzo Sanz was nonetheless voted out of power. New guy Florentino Perez wasted no time by ushering in the Galácticos era at Real, bringing in Luis Figo from Barcelona and, in 2001, Zinedine Zidane from Juventus. For all the money spent they travelled to Glasgow empty handed having finished third in La Liga and losing to Deportivo La Coruna in the Copa final.
Amadei, Falcao, Totti: a lineage of great footballers and, as far as Romanisti are concerned, kings; for each of them had been instrumental in Roma claiming their Scudetti. Amedeo Amadei was the side’s top goalscorer during the 1941/42 campaign. Paulo Roberto Falcão pulled the strings in midfield as the Giallorossi for the first half decade of the 1980s, in ’82/83 Roma came out on top.
In 2000/01 AS Roma won their third, and to date last, Scudetto. Led by 24-year-old playmaker Francesco Totti the Giallorossi beat out an incredibly stacked field to claim the league. The other team from Rome had broken Juve’s stranglehold the year before. They, as well as Parma, relied on seemingly inexhaustable war chests, luring many of the world’s best players to Serie A. Juve, of course, wanted their crown back and still boasted an amazing side including Zidane, Davids, del Piero…
So, just how did Roma do it? Well that’s what we’re trying to figure out with this episode, talking tranfers, tactics, and performances. To help us, Marco Ciarla jumps in mid-way through the show. Marco is an avid Romanisti and part of the CurvAmerica podcast who talk Serie A on a weekly basis. As a bonus we get to pick his brains about where Roma (and Serie A) are headed in 2017. In between we, of course, talk about a lone match in way too much detail: Roma’s final league match against Parma.
Minutes if you want to jump around:
0:01:45 Southern challengers for the Scudetto appear (Parma & Lazio)
0:13:00 The 101 on AS Roma club history
0:24:14 Franco Sensi buys Roma for 20 billion Lire in 1993
0:34:45 Totti at loggerheads with Bianchi, center-piece in Cappello’s system
0:43:00 Marco on the landscape of Serie A in ’00/01,
0:53:15 And on Roma’s team set-up in ’00/01
1:07:00 Quick run-down of Roma’s season
1:17:15 Capturing the Scudetto on June 17th against Parma
1:58:30 Marco on Totti’s place in Roma’s club history,
2:05:15 On Roma in 2017, Juve’s push for the triple
2:13:45 And on what might happen in Serie A ’17/18
In a YYFP-first we bring a new voice into the fold. Lukas Tank (@SergiXaviniesta) was kind enough to join Sebastian for an hour long interview. Lukas has worked his way through football history, publishing his thoughts on the legends of the game along with his “Teams of the Decade” on his blog footballarguments.wordpress.com.
The over-arching theme for the talk turned out to be how yesteryear affects the modern game and what we can gleam from diving into old matches to help us understand football today.
We ran the gamut of topics, such as Cruyff’s ever-lasting importance, Matthäus’ longevity & standing in Germany, or who could be considered the greatest Italian player of all time?
Minutes in case you want to jump around:
0:03:00 What does Lukas’ process look like?
0:09:00 Does the big stage make the big player?
0:13:45 Could Benteke hack it in the ’60s?
0:17:15 Where does Lukas’ fascination with football history come from?
0:28:30 Who is the greatest Italian player ever?
0:33:00 Does Matthäus’ longevity aid or hinder his all-time status?
0:42:30 What might be learned about modern football by watching historic matches?
0:47:00 Looking for exellence in football/sports history
0:51:00 How did Lukas build his “Team Of The Decade ’75-85”; what are his criteria for inclusion?
0:57:00 Which “Team Of The Decade” is the easiest to break into?
1:00:30 Are we living in a silver or even golden age of football right now?
For most of the ’90s Milan and Juventus had a stranglehold on the Serie A. But, as the new millenium dawned, Rome ruled the roost. Lazio won the 99/00 Scudetto, while Roma claimed top honours in 00/01.
Lazio were able to spend silly money under the ownership of Sergio Cragnotti, bringing in a slew of stars every summer. It was fun while it lasted. And, in March 2001, Lazio were still very much in the mix. As they hosted Juventus both needed to win in order to catch up with Roma who led the pack. We watched the match.
Under the most dramatic of circumstances Bayern had lost the ’99 CL final. In the Y2K edition Valencia were downright demolished. Yet both made it to Milan in May 2001 to vie for the European football crown once more. The match up would grant redemption to one side, whilst condemning the other to more heartbreak.
In episode nine we cover the Champions League Final 2000/01 contested between German champions Bayern Munich and Spanish representatives Valencia CF. Before that, though, we delve into all of the drama surrounding Bayern between their final appearances. Rest assured, there was plenty to be had on and off the pitch. In the aftermath we focus on Valencia with Rafa Benitez at the helm.
Here are the minutes:
0:04:30 Bayern after CL 99, summer moves
0:08:00 Drama in Munich & New York
0:14:30 Drama in Hamburg & Magdeburg
0:31:00 Valencia’s domestic season
0:35:00 CL: groups and quarters
0:45:00 Setting the stage at the San Siro: line-ups, expectations in Germany
0:57:20 Kick-off, Valencia convert an early pen, Bayern miss their’s
1:05:00 What are the side’s match plans?
1:12:00 Bayern dominate but hardly create
1:19:45 Jancker sub nets a third penalty
1:26:30 Valencia gassed? Few chances on either side
1:35:15 Into extra time with golden goal rules
1:48:15 Awards & viewing recommendation
1:52:00 Valencia under Benitez, subsequent decline
Approximate formations and player movements for Bayern vs Valencia, May 23rd 2001
At the dawn of the new millennium Fernando Carlos Redondo Neri was at the zenith of his power. Just two years after winning their seventh European Cup, the Argentinian playmaker led Real Madrid once again into the final. For the first time ever two sides from the same country would square off as Valencia CF reached the final in their first ever Champions League season. Could the newcomers usher in a new era or would the old powers remind them of the natural hierarchy?
We’ve re-watched the Champions League final of 1999/2000 and now we’re to talk about it. After a brief trip down memory lane, we focus on the 101 of Valencia’s club history and cover what has been happening in the short time between finals at Madrid (Spoilers: a lot!). We quickly go over the worst format changes to the Champions League, aka the dreaded double group stage, and how the sides reached the final in Paris.
Here are the minutes if you want to jump around:
0:01:30 Recollections of Spanish football in late ’90s
0:08:00 Valencia club history 101: foundation, domestic success in the ’40s, European titles in the late ’70s
0:19:00 Bloated CL format in 1999/2000
0:22:00 Real Madrid’s managerial merry-go-round ’98-’00
0:28:00 The path to the final
0:33:00 Valencia’s home form
0:37:30 Semi-final return leg Real Madrid @ Bayern Munich
0:43:00 ELO & expectations
0:51:00 Opening exchanges, general set-up & approach
1:03:30 A first surge by Madrid draws first blood
1:08:30 Valencia’s lacking response after half-time
1:16:00 McManaman & Raul seal Madrid’s victory
1:24:00 Where did it go wrong for Valencia?
1:28:30 Awards: MOTM, Best hair, viewing recommendation
1:33:00 Off-the-cuff Mount Everest of CL era managers
Man Of The Match: Fernando Redondo, ran the show, untouchable at times