Greetings, fans ... your DeKalb County United are hosting a Champions League Watch Party at Fatty's Pub and Grille on Saturday, June 1 ... and we'd love for you to be there to watch the championship game of all championship games ... the Champions League Final.
I've been a fan of one of the finalists, Tottenham Hotspur, since I was 10 years old. And the Lilywhites (one of their nicknames) have never been to the final in this competition, which started out as the European Cup in 1955.
Spurs feature World Cup-winning keeper and French captain, Hugo Lloris, central defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertongen, midfielders Christian Eriksen, Mousa Sissoko, and Dele, and forwards Harry Kane, Lucas Moura, and Heung-min Son. They finished fourth in the recently-completed Premier League season, which guarantees them entry into the 2019-20 Champions League competition.
Spurs' road to the Final was one on the knife's edge all year long. Capturing just one point from their first spin around their group (Barcelona, Inter Milan, and PSV Eindhoven), Spurs needed to win out to have any chance of advancing, unless they had help. Spurs won at Wembley, 2-1 over PSV, and 1-0 over Inter, to move into a tie with Inter for the final spot in the Round of 16. When Spurs scored late to draw at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, all they needed was for Inter to draw at PSV ... which they did ... to move on.
In the Round of 16, Spurs defeated Borussia Dortmund, 3-0 and 1-0 for a 4-0 aggregate win that saw them through to the quarter-final against Premier League rival, Manchester City. Winning the opening leg at their new stadium, 1-0, Spurs headed to Manchester knowing that a single goal at the Etihad might serve the day. But, they proceeded to get into a shooting match with City, scoring twice in the opening ten minutes during an opening 21 minutes that saw City take the lead, 3-2. City made it 4-2 on 58 minutes, taking the lead in aggregate before Fernando Llorente scored in the 78th minute to make the final, 4-3 to City, the aggregate, 4-4 ... but Spurs' three away goals on the day sent them through to the semi-final against Ajax.
However, Spurs lost the opener, 1-0, at London, and went to Amsterdam absolutely needing a win to advance to the Final. But two first-half goals put Ajax up, 2-0, and 3-0 on aggregate. But Lucas Moura scored twice in four minutes to draw Spurs level in the match. They still needed to win the match to advance. And, in what has been called "The Miracle of Amsterdam", Moura scored with, literally, seconds remaining in the match to put Spurs ahead, 3-2, level on aggregate at 3-3, and advancing on away goals, 3-1.
We Spurs fans are excited to be in the Final, against a club that had us in a hoodoo this past season. We believe it's our turn for some silverware, and we look forward to wiping that big grin off Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's face at the Metropolitano in Madrid on June 1. So, come on out to the watch party ... pick a side to support ... and enjoy the final professional football match of the 2018-19 European football calendar ... and ... COME ON YOU SPURS!!!