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Heynckes signs off

On Unique FC

A star added to the Bayern Munich crest. Yes, they were crowned champions domestically and in Europe for the fifth time in the 2012/2013 season. It was coming sooner or later with the disappointments faced in 2010 and 2012. This Bayern Munich team have been resilient and the signing of Pep Guardiola is a mark of intent as to which direction the club is heading. Having said that, one cannot take away credit from an exceptional Borussia Dortmund team who have lost only twice in the tournament overcoming the likes of Manchester City, Malaga and Real Madrid to reach the final. Klopp has built a team which have stood firm following their recent success and although the underdogs for the final, no one could question their display against the German and European champions. Their only weakness was a lack of sharpness in the centre of defence with the pairing of Hummels and Subotic. It cost them dearly and Klopp admitted that the final that may happen in Berlin, two years from now, is a realistic target for Dortmund. Only a brave man, with one of the strongest mentalities could make such a claim straight after a loss in the final. As Lineker said, “football is a game played by 22 men kicking a ball about for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans win.... and lose”. I couldn’t agree more after watching these two teams dominate the biggest names in European football, Real Madrid and Barcelona, to say the least.

It was a night of joy in particular for Arjen Robben who savoured that late goal. This man has endured heartache after his displays in the 2010 world cup and the 2012 champions league finals. He missed several chances against Spain only for Iniesta to capitalise late into the game to crown them world champions in 2010. And against Chelsea, it was a night to forget for Robben. He missed several chances including a penalty into extra time which could have given them the edge over Chelsea. Subsequently, he did not step up to take a penalty after extra time clearly down to his lack of confidence as a result of his missed chances.

However yesterday, there was no better player than Robben in the second half. He took his chances well and was sharp on the ball. He looked threatening cutting in from the wing, trademark Robben, but better. He capitalised well on the lack of concentration from Subotic and Hummels to finish cooly into the corner of the goal getting the better of weidenfeller for only the second time in the game. Bayern Munich deserved that win and Robben’s tears at the end sums up what that trophy and performance meant to him. Jupp Heynckes’ tears in his post match conference against Borussia Mönchengladbach were justified as he is the only manager ever to reach the champions league finals for every team he has managed in the champions league. He leaves with his head held high only to set up the stage for the incoming, Pep Gurdiola.

Favorite Things Friday! - Travel Edition

On Zen Wednesday

By this time next week I will be hip-deep in beer celebrating Oktoberfest in Munich (so don’t be surprised if my next post is misspelled – ha!). In honor of our upcoming trip to Munich and Paris (SQUEE! I am so excited!!); here are the things I am happy about, or grateful for, when it comes to traveling:

1.Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone - We humans are such creatures of habit. We sometimes move through our days on auto-pilot, not noticing our surroundings. Traveling (particularly to a foreign country) makes you hyper-aware of what is happening and brings you back to the present moment. You have to navigate different languages, different cultures, and you’re surrounded by new and interesting landmarks you’ve never seen so you pay more attention. It is a prime environment for personal growth and gaining insight into how you navigate your way through the world. I am grateful for opportunities to experience this.

2.Letting Go – Americans have a tendency to take our jobs and our schedules way too seriously. Being in a different space, in a different time zone, with no real planned agenda allows me to let go, de-stress and recharge. I am looking forward to having the time to just wander, explore and be myself – without distraction.

3.Meeting New People – I have met some amazing people in my travels and I am looking forward to the chance to add some new, interesting and fun international friends to my network.

4.The Generosity of Friends – How awesome is it that on the German leg of our trip we get to stay with our cool German friends (thanks Jess and Andi!) who can show us the best sites in Munich, or the best beer of Munich (or maybe both). Yay!!

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