Originally written on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 11/15/14
The dream Champions League final, in pure football terms, would have been Barcelona versus Real Madrid. But the world's two best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, both fluffed penalties in the semifinals, leaving us with the thinking fan's final, instead. Which isn't to say that Bayern Munich against Chelsea is a dull second-best. European club football's most coveted trophy and, in some ways, its soul and UEFA boss Michel Platini's ambitions for the future will all be in play when the sober Bavarian and glitzy west London teams meet at the Allianz Arena in Munich. A final with the Spanish giants might have produced a better show and a bigger global television audience. But Bayern vs. Chelsea could be more significant, philosophically. Bayern touts itself as a model for the type of club Platini wants to see and is pushing for: Financially sound and adroitly managed, profitable for the past 19 years, living within its means, not beholden to a rich sugar daddy, and certa...
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