By Emmanuel Ebimoh
The preparation for a huge task may require a lot of physical training, mental alertness, body massage, and also, some holidaying to clear the mind. For Chelsea players, the pre-match pictures of them walking in a beautiful garden in Munich look like a perfect setting for them to reflect and prepare their mind for what may seem like a herculean task tonight as they hope to turn around a 3-goal deficit against the lethal German side, Bayern Munich.
The resumption of matches in the 2020 UEFA Champions League after five months break due to the Covid-19 global pandemic has, so far, seen some unexpected and shocking exit of ‘big’ names. Just last night, 13 times winners, Real Madrid and Italian giants, Juventus were knocked out of the competition in a manner which some might describe as ‘disappointing’.
The prestige of the UEFA Champions League has grown over the years to be the most exciting club footballing spectacle in the world, and so clubs battle tooth and nail on the football field to be known as one of the elites in the competition.
No doubt, talking about one of the elites in modern club football, one would easily be tempted to think of the name, Chelsea. This is because, after the take-over by the Russian Billionaire, Roman Abramovich about 15 years ago, the club has monumentally risen into the high ranks and have won 5 English Premier League titles, 1 UEFA Champions League title, 2 Europa league titles, and 5 FA Cup titles. Today, with the popular trademark name, The Blues, many Chelsea fans around the world would be hoping for more successes to come.
One of such successes may come tonight. Tonight, the seats in the Allainz Arena, home of Bayern Munich Football Club, may be empty of fans, but our television screens will definitely be shinning bright as Chelsea visits Bayern Munich in a deciding UEFA Champions League second round encounter.
Victory in football, as some School of Thought might argue, goes beyond the battle on the field of play. It may take some psychological warfare, mind games, emotional preparedness, and reference to a football deity, as the case may be. For the Chelsea players and indeed the entire team, victory against Bayern Munich tonight would require nothing short of a miracle. After losing the first leg of the tie 3-0 at Stamford Bridge, qualifying into the quarter finals means that Chelsea would need to win the Bavarian giants with a difference of 4 goals, or win by a 3-goal margin to take the tie to extra time and maybe penalties. Well, it sounds like a high mountain to climb, but never impossible.
Whatever happens on the field of play as these two Powerhouses do battle tonight, we will definitely be glued to our television screens hoping to watch some beautiful football moments.
Emmanuel Ebimoh is a writer and football enthusiast. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria. You can contact him on email@example.com