Monday Musings: Cup Final Hangover Edition

It was a fun weekend of cup final football, wasn’t it? The top leagues in Europe crowned their domestic cup champions on Sunday as Barcelona, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and PSG all threw one last big party for their fans. The FA Cup featured one team with nothing left to play for against a team with nothing left to play for. Thankfully it resulted in a very entertaining match for a neutral like me. Despite what you’ve heard lately, the FA Cup is still a big deal. Well, it is for Arsenal. Chelsea forgot to show up, while Arsenal used the occasion to momentarily forget about “qualifying” for the Europa League. Embed from Getty ImagesAlexis, is this goodbye?

At the Estadio Vicente Calderon, Lionel Messi put on another extraterrestrial performance in the stadium’s last-ever Copa Del Rey final. Messi netted his 37th goal of the season, ending the year with a cup trophy and a Golden Boot (Pichichi in Spain). The 3-1 result was a foregone conclusion well before kickoff, but if you love golazos, this final had them.

In Germany, Borussia Dortmund’s forgettable 2016/17 season ended with a German Cup trophy and an unfortunate knee injury to Marco Reus. Hard to believe that it was his first major trophy after what seems like an eternity at the club. Against Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday, Dortmund’s other stars carried the team in an inconsistent performance highlighted by two world-class goals. Thomas Tuchel summed up his team’s accomplishment with, “Right now, I feel empty.” Yikes.

Source: DFB-Pokal

In France, PSG needed a 91st-minute own goal to defeat a team many of us have never heard of. Angers SCO were in their first French Cup final in 60 years and almost stunned the 2016/17 league runners-up in the 100th edition of the tournament. It was PSG’s third consecutive French Cup and 11th overall.

Source: Soccer World

And finally in Italy, after 25 years with the club, Roma said goodbye to Francesco Totti, The King of Rome. The emotional scenes at the Stadio Olimpico were as real as life can get. For me, Totti is one of the best players to ever walk onto a pitch. There’s no doubt it my mind. He’s a rare creative attacking number 10 that can score from anywhere. His top goals are trending on Youtube and they should be. But I’ll remember Totti for being the last great right-footed genius after Zinedine Zidane. His assists were just as spectacular as his strikes on goal. It’ll be strange to think of AS Roma without their emblematic captain. Arrivederci, Francesco.

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