Friday, July 30, 2010

The Worst Sporting Champions of All Time ! - Part Two!

This is the second installment in my series looking at and 'celebrating' those undeserved 'Sporting Champions' - those teams and/or individuals that were actually top of their field, yet were still pretty rubbish.

Last time it was Blackburn Rovers who felt the wrath of my written tongue, as I described their 1995 Premiership winning team as pretty crass. This time I am sticking with the sport of football as I look back to 2005 and 1982, and poor cold water on a couple of English teams 'glorious' European triumphs!

There are plenty of folk, especially in the Greater Manchester area, who insist that Liverpool's Champions League winning team of 2005 were indeed the worst European Champions of all time!
Despite their dramatic penalty shoot-out final victory over Milan, in the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul - they have a point!

You can't be picking players like Djimi 'gauche' Traoré or Harry 'supersize me' Kewell and expect to receive much in the way of props. But in their defence the Reds did at least have the decency to 'somehow' defeat several quality teams along the way such as Milan, Juventus and Chelsea and to a lesser extent Bayer Leverkusen.

However Liverpool only made it through to the knock-out phase of the competition, ahead of the 'mighty' Olympiacos of Greece on goal difference, after finishing runners-up to AS Monaco in their qualifying group.
The Anfield side did finish a semi-respectable fifth in the league during their cup-winning season.

Similar claims of beating reputable opposition on their way to European glory cannot be made for Aston Villa's 1982 campaign.

Villa that season 'officially' became the worst side ever to lift the most sought after European club trophy of the modern era!

The old adage of ' you can only beat what is put in front of you ' still sadly fails to make their triumph seem anymore than futile.

Villa won their solo European Cup (in the days when it was a straight knock-out competition) by beating the muscle of Valur Reykjavik, Dynamo Berlin, Dynamo Kiev, Anderlect and in one of the most tedious finals held in Rotterdam, the most toothless Bayern Munich side in living memory, care of a 67th minute Peter Withe goal.

Meanwhile back home, Villa defended their 1981 domestic league title with a complete lack of aplomb, by losing 15 games and ending the season in 12th place - no European champions have ever finished as low - quite a feat and in doing so simply re-emphasising their title as ' the worst side ever to lift the European Cup! '

No comments: