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Talking Champions League

Posted on 28 May 2003  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

David Pleat suggests that the presence of two Italian sides in the Champions League final is more of a 'quirk' than a sign of shifting power from Spain.

AC Milan and Juventus contest the big prize at Old Trafford tonight, with Juve having removed hot favourites Real Madrid at the semi-final stage.

Spanish sides have blazed a trail in the competition in recent times, while no Italian team even reached the quarter-finals since Juve in 1998-99 when they were toppled by Manchester United.

Valencia - three-times finalists - and Barcelona were removed by Inter Milan and Juventus respectively at the quarter-final stage, prompting suggestions that Serie A sides were once again establishing dominance.

"I think in Spanish football this year the best four clubs have been fantastic from what I've seen," reflected David. "Deportivo have been excellent against the odds and Real Madrid obviously.

"Spain has been very good - and they haven't got a team there.

"I think it is more of a quirk. I would hate to say it is because the Italian clubs have defended better, but it probably is."

David, a regular Champions League co-commentator, hopes that the Old Trafford showpiece is not totally dominated by defensive excellence.

"I hope it is not dour and they do come out and play. Of course though, the signs are that the trophy means more than the performance.

"There are wonderful players - Seedorf, Davids, Trezeguet, Shevchenko, Inzaghi. Watch the defending too though, they defend awfully well.

"I just hope it is a fine game. I think it will be Juve, I don't know if Milan have got enough in the middle area. It'll be close, but I think Juventus will shave it."

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