Wrote this piece on the best tournaments in the World last year. Thought I would dig out the Champions League section, which I placed third at the time, with tonight's final in mind.
3. The Champions league - Final knockout phase
The atmosphere in Milan last night got me thinking about this piece in the first place. 70,000 fans singing, cheering, an atmosphere that US sports, for example, simply can not touch. Shivers up the spine stuff. The game itself, Arsenal @ Milan, was another excellent advertisement for the Champions League. A vibrant young Arsenal team took the game to the old masters, regal Milan, and one of the next big superstars in training, the superb Cesc Fabregas, scored a dramatic goal to send Arsenal on their way. The finals are generally superb, be it Liverpool coming back from the dead to beat Milan, or the excellent Barcelona v Arsenal game in 2005. It's all about the incredible atmosphere though. Be it the Liverpool fans singing 'You'll never walk alone', the Barcelona fans incredible, game long participation or those freakish, vibrant and almost scary Turkish fans! Actually, you know what, you want a taste? Check this out. the pre-match atmosphere before Celtic against AC Milan. You may have not seen anything like this before.
The atmosphere at a Champions league game can not be matched, and those 'European nights' down the years have provided some of the best games I have ever seen.
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