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Champions League Final

2010 May 22
by Brad Humphreys

Tonight (this afternoon in North America) is the final of the Champions League.  The match between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan will take place in Madrid.  Bayern beat Lyon in the semifinals; Inter knocked off Barcelona.  It is somewhat surprising to have clubs from Germany and Italy in the final, as the English Premier League and La Liga, the top Spanish league, are considered to be stronger leagues than the Bundesliga and Serie A.  The top English clubs were eliminated in the Round of 16 along with La Liga powerhouse Real Madrid.  For those who don’t follow football, the Champions League is an annual pan-European club competition.  The Champions League final is roughly comparable to the Super Bowl in terms of interest and prestige.  It will draw a huge television audience and the winner will get $150 million.

The winner of the match will pull off a rare “triple”: it will simultaneously hold the championship of its domestic league, the championship of its domestic cup competition, and the championship of the Champions League.  Unlike in North America, European club teams compete in multiple contests at the same time.  For example, a top EPL club like Chelsea could be simultaneously competing in the Premier League, the Football Association Cup, a single-elimination or “knockout” competition open to every club in the Football Association in England, and in the Champions League.

The betting odds currently favor Inter Milan slightly.  The implied win probabilities from the odds on the match at Bet365 are roughly Milan 40% to win, Bayern 30% to win, and a 30% probability of a draw in regular time.  In addition to the cash and prestige, the team that wins the final will earn an additional berth for a team from that country in the 2011-2012 Champions league.

7 Responses
  1. Dan permalink
    May 22, 2010

    Well Inter wins but if I’m an Italian I wonder how great it is when the Italian team wins without any Italians on its team.

    The thing I always thought what was weird with the tournament is that it is held during the leagues’ regular season. It would be like MLB teams playing a World Classic tournament game every two weeks from April through September with the WC finals held after the World Series and being as big as the Super Bowl.

  2. Nick W. permalink
    May 22, 2010

    Interestingly, the game was also important in deciding the European coefficients which determine how many teams a country places in future competitions. I believe with the win, the Italians will have four representatives in Champions League (one has to do the qualifying stages) which Germany will have only three. If the Germans had won, the results would have been quite the opposite. They say that playing in Champions League is worth tens of millions of dollar in revenue for some teams, so today’s game had big implications not only for the teams playing in the game, but also other teams in the domestic leagues from their respective countries.

    Also, I have to say it was a good match, though I have to still wonder why Maradona doesn’t include Milito and Cambiaso on the Argentine World Cup squad.

  3. May 23, 2010

    England and Spain probably do have the strongest domestic leagues. But Inter vs. Bayern is hardly a matchup of underdogs or unknowns. A few years ago, three of the final four teams were from the Italian league — plus Italy is the current World Cup holder. Munich has a handful of European Cups/Champions League titles.

    Steve

  4. Tom permalink
    May 23, 2010

    This is the first year they played the final on a Saturday. Until now, it was on a Wednesday, which is when European games are played because the clubs play in their domestic leagues on the weekends. I’m interested in how this was recieved, and if it effected TV veiwership numbers in Europe and world wide.

  5. Dan permalink
    May 24, 2010

    Nick, Argentina has so much talent even Maradona might not screw it up.

    Then again it looks like he is doing his best to do just that. Great players rarely make great coaches.

  6. Nick W permalink
    May 24, 2010

    I understand, the Zico years were close to a disaster for us (Japan) though te Okada years right now are the biggest disaster.

  7. Greg Pinelli permalink
    May 31, 2010

    Unlike North American teams…the Inter and Bayern Munich sides can actually play…A couple of points for Dan… Inter has Milito..he is of Italian descent..like MANY Argentinian players who relatives came to that country. In fact..Argentina wouldn’t have won anything in the past without those players.

    As for Maradona..he is capable of screwing up anything. He’s a drug addled has been..and it shows Argentina’s continued inferiority in coaching to the rest of the world that he has the head coach position of the national team. By the way..he doesn’t like Milito.

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