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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Road to Rome; Real Madrid vs Liverpool pre-match discussion



This will be the 54th edition of the European Club Championship and the 17th edition under the current UEFA Champions League format. The Final will be played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on 27 May 2009.

The final itself will be the seventh time the UEFA Champions League Final has been held in Italy and the fourth time it is to be held at the Stadio Olimpico.


01 Aug 2008; Draw for third qualifying round

12-13 Aug 2008; Third qualifying round, first leg
26-27 Aug 2008; Third qualifying round, second leg

28 Aug 2008; Draw for group stage

16-17 Sep 2008; Group stage, Matchday 1
30 Sep-1 Oct 2008; Group stage, Matchday 2
21-22 Oct 2008; Group stage, Matchday 3
04-05 Nov 2008; Group stage, Matchday 4
25-26 Nov 2008; Group stage, Matchday 5
09-10 Dec 2008; Group stage, Matchday 6





19 December 2008; Draw for First knockout round

17-18 Feb 2009; First knockout round, 1st leg
03-04 Mar 2009; First knockout round, 2nd leg

20 Mar 2009; Draw for remaining rounds

07-08 Apr 2009; Quarter-finals, 1st leg
14-15 Apr 2009; Quarter-finals, 2nd leg
28-29 Apr 2009; Semi-finals, 1st leg
05-06 May 2009; Semi-finals, 2nd leg


27-May 2009; Final in Rome, Italy








 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Back-to-Back league titles gives us that Champions taste but I think everyone at the club knows that the main focus for 2008/2009 will be recovering our European prestige. The absolute bare minimum will be snapping our streak of four consecutive years of bolting out at the second round stage. I think we have a great team - arguably the best in Europe - a very expensively assembled squad, so we should be looking at anything less than a semi-final appearence as a considerable disappointment.

Btw - looking at the likely grid for the group stages above, the obvious group of death there would pit us against Bayern, Juve and Fenerbahce. I am not sure about Juve and Fener, but Bayern is almost a standard draw for us nowadays. Trip no.420937513974213 to Bavaria wouldn't surprise me one bit.
 

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Mo you and your road contruction :D
 

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Its not like i want spoil your party on the way to Rome, but how many of you think Schuster will get fired if you continue your last five year streak in CL.
 

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So lucky you made the first pot afterall. I'm a bit disappointed, I admit, who could predict both Milan and Sevilla not making the CL. Anyway, enjoy this year's draw, as it's the last time you are groupped in the same pot with the elite of European football.
 

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Back-to-Back league titles gives us that Champions taste but I think everyone at the club knows that the main focus for 2008/2009 will be recovering our European prestige. The absolute bare minimum will be snapping our streak of four consecutive years of bolting out at the second round stage. I think we have a great team - arguably the best in Europe - a very expensively assembled squad, so we should be looking at anything less than a semi-final appearence as a considerable disappointment.

Btw - looking at the likely grid for the group stages above, the obvious group of death there would pit us against Bayern, Juve and Fenerbahce. I am not sure about Juve and Fener, but Bayern is almost a standard draw for us nowadays. Trip no.420937513974213 to Bavaria wouldn't surprise me one bit.
Dont agree with that mate.....but any ways i expect RM to do better that previous seasons this time.
 

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I wouldn't say we were lucky to be in the first pot. If you look at the teams in pot 2, the only one there to have done alright in the last few years is Roma to an extent. Bayern failed to qualify the other season, and the rest have done nothing of note more than Real Madrid in previous seasons consistently, whereas since we won it, we have always qualified from the group stages at the very least, and have then fallen short.
 

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Omg, not this jinxing thread again! :nono: Close this thread & throw it to the pits!! You can open one when we have won the trophy & it has safely landed at the Madrid airport. :mad:
 

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Zid: this is the road to rome, not the direct flight to Rome. Mo has opened a thread like this for the past few seasons where we can talk generally about our european travels.

i dont agree with Mo about our squad, i dont think at present time its good enough to win or good enough to compete. but its only 2 weeks into July theres a lot of time left. at the end of august i can really assess how i think we're gonna do with the squad we have. but at the moment, knockout round and back to madrid.
 

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I think the squad is good enough to advance far as long as injuries to key player dont hurt us and other player elevate their game, our problem is we do not have that one player to take us over the top (I.E. Kaka, Cristiano) for us to progree Robinho and Sneijder and possible Guti will need to have top performances and unexpected goal when needed from unxpected players. However I do believe if our backline stays fit and it it the best in europe we can advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i dont agree with Mo about our squad, i dont think at present time its good enough to win or good enough to compete. but its only 2 weeks into July theres a lot of time left. at the end of august i can really assess how i think we're gonna do with the squad we have. but at the moment, knockout round and back to madrid.
Reddy, how can you say our squad without any additions isn't good enough to compete? We have all the ingredients needed to triumph; a world-class GK, two crack-stoppers (Ramos, Pepe), defensive power in midfield, flair on the flanks and the two all-time CL top scorers upfront. If that isn't good enough to compete, I don't know what is. Remember that we never had all those players available at the same time last season, in the league or the CL.

Also, last season we played our best football in the last three months because that's how long the team (and the coach) needed to gel as a unit. We can expect a much, much stronger challenge next season. I am confident we can challenge for the CL even without a single signing (assuming we stay healthy, of course).
 

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Gary hit it the spot exactly.
If our 4 four + casillas are not injured, we have good chances to advance further more, but without that key player we won't go all the way.
and Mo, I do believe the best team in Europe won the CL last season, maybe how players have played in U2008 will help some players advance to higher level and more importantly - constant level of play.
So far in the last few years, regardless if it was injuries, players drop of form, changing coaches and buying/selling players, we did not have constant level of play in Europe which is why we went out so early.
I have to add that our current management does add to this since I can not see this all CR7 fiasco adding anything good to the changing room... Balance that manU with Fergie are keen to keep while in madrid its all one big Marca/AS circus...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Gary hit it the spot exactly.
If our 4 four + casillas are not injured, we have good chances to advance further more, but without that key player we won't go all the way.
:thumbsup:

I thought Roma last year were full value for their win (tactically), but it's not unfair to point to how many of our best players missed at least 90 minutes in the two matches; Ramos, Pepe, Heinze, Robinho, Sneijder, Van Nistelrooy and Robben.

and Mo, I do believe the best team in Europe won the CL last season, maybe how players have played in U2008 will help some players advance to higher level and more importantly - constant level of play.
Yes, certainly in Sneijder's case you raise a great point about the Euros. I expect big things from no.23 next year, he's really won me over with his displays over the last four months. I think Sneijder is fabolous when he brings his A game, and more importantly he seems to be bringing that now on a weekly basis. If we can keep him fit and on form, sky's the limit because he has the key to keep things fluid and in motion.
 

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look if Villareal have no injuries they can win la liga. if Atletico get no injuries they can win the CL should they get there.

i said before ill have more faith in this squad if we get rid of deadweight and not sign anyone, than signing players and keeping dead weight. Soldado, baptista, saviola, and salgado, if we have to rely on those players when the first 11 are injured, theres no hope.

i agree Mo our starting 11 kicks ass, especially our defence, but its a young squad and most of them have only been together for a year. as i said my opinion is only for now, it depends who we sign and how the team plays in its first few games.

we'll see i guess, but i dont want to get ahead of myself.
 

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I would worry more about qualifyig first, if I was you.
Noone worries, this qualifications are a blessing in disguise. The Eastern European fans can hope to see FCB in their neigbourhood (that's me for example), the qualifications shortened our circus tour in faraway lands to just one week/two games, we'll get more time to seriously prepare to take la liga title, and plus we'll earn some extra money, not just through attendences but due to TV rights too, which were sold extra to Mediapro (?) last week. Apparently UEFA doesn't own the TV rights for the qualifications, as it does for the CL itself. It all benefits us so much that Laporta is working behind the scences to convince RFEF (Villar is our man, don't forget) and UEFA to allow us to play qualifications every season, even when we'll finish first. Which we will, btw.

And before someone says, what extra money, 2 or 3 millions, who cares about such peanuts. Well, those are exact peanuts you are selling your canteranos to anyone who stumbles knocking on your door.
 
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