Bring On The Champions
August 31, 2012


When I first saw the pots for the Champions League draw, the Nostradamus in me immediately sensed that City would get Porto, Anderlecht, and Nordsjælland. (Where "æ", in case you’re wondering, is a single character.)

As the final grouping draw progressed however, I began to realize that I’m only as good at predictions as Pele, the man who once said that Nicky Barmby will be as good as Zidane and Maldini.

For the second year running, City is in the “Group of Death”. This time with Ajax Amsterdam, Borussia Dortmund and up-and-coming Spanish minnows Real Madrid -- all champions of their respective leagues. The more sanguine of City fans welcome the draw and the inevitable challenge ahead with open arms. Those with less optimism, like myself, cringe at the prospect of seeing Cristiano Ronaldo nutmegging Kolo Toure.

Alas, this is City. The club that is gradually yet persistently becoming the center of attention on and off the pitch; whether they want it or not. If the back-pages are anything to go by, at least, it’s evident that all eyes are on Manchester City, and Mario Balotelli’s latest cock-ups.

So what better way to live up to this expectation and continue to mesmerize the footballing world than to play in the toughest group of the greatest club football tournament on the planet.

I’d imagine some neutrals waking up in the wee hours around this part of the world to watch Yaya Toure and Mesut Özil clashing in the middle of the park at the Bernabéu. Or Carlos Tevez taking a penalty amidst a sea of black and yellow at the 80,000-capacity Westfalenstadion.

It’s the kind of stuff that makes for a great European night.

Either that or you can always switch to the other channel. Jonny Evans is taking a throw-in at the CFR Cluj half.


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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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