FOOTBALL (Soccer)

It is the time of the year when European Cup finals are about to take place .

Spain’s had yet another edition of El Clásico betwenn Real Madrid v FC Barcelona , this time played at the Mestalla in Valencia. Real Madrid’s effective counter-attacking paid off with goals from Ángel di Maria and Gareth Bale.

On the Saturday 3rd May the  cup finals will be played in France and Italy, at Stade de France in Paris and Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The French Cup final is an unexpected encounter between Stade Rennais and En Avant Guingamp, in other words a Brittany Derby; also known as the Derby Breton. Both teams remain just above the relegation zone in Ligue 1 and for their supporters a cup final is a gift from heaven.

The clubs met five years ago in the Coupe de France final . Guingamp won 2-1 that time. It is also the club’s only major title – not surprising given that Guingamp only has just over 7000 inhabitants. Rennes has twice as many cup titles , two. The last one was won in 1971 however.

In Italy Fiorentina and Napoli will play in the Coppa Italia final. Fiorentina have won the Italian Cup six times ( most recently in 2001 ) and in addition played the finals in all three European cups. The Only international title is  however the  Cup Winners’ Cup – for fifty-three years ago …

Napoli  have four domestic cup titles . It is only two years ago Juve were defeated 2-0 in the final and put an end to a twenty-two -year title drought . Napoli have a European cup title : The UEFA Cup 1989, during Maradona heydays.

The 3rd of May 2014 will be a big day for both Napoli and  Florentina when they hope to become Italian Cup Champions at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Two weeks later , Saturday, May 17th, it’s time for the last two major domestic Cup Finals in European football. The first game  takes place at Wembley, where Arsenal face Hull in the FA Cup final . The Gunners have won the FA Cup ten times, most recently in 2005.

For the Tigers from Hull and their fans , this will be a historic day . Hull City have never played the final of the FA Cup . The longest they have reached is the semi-finals – and that was eighty-four years ago. In other words, the London club is the big favorites – just like Manchester City were last year against Wigan.

Later the same day at Olympic Stadium in Berlin The German Cup Final, DFB Pokal, takes place. It is a clash of the Titans as Bayern Munich takes on Borussia Dortmund. In one corner we have FCB , the defending triple champions. They have won the German Cup sixteen times, most recently last year.
In the other corner waiting are Dortmund who won the DFB Pokal two years ago – against Bayern Munich by 5-2.

The philosopher Pep Guardiola against enthusiast Jürgen Klopp , Mario Götze Bavarian against his former club and Borussias Robert Lewandowski against his new club – this match has all the ingredients to go down in history as one of the greatest German Cup Finals.

You have a beautiful selection of cup finals this year- which game do you want to go to? Make your decision and get in touch with us to arrange it!

 

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