Dearly beloved here on Bleacher Report and the View from Victoria Street,
We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of FC Barcelona's 2011-12 UEFA Champions League campaign.
It died a horrible death at the hands of Chelsea's Fernando Torres in the first minute of stoppage time at the Camp Nou on a shot that was never offsides, for the record. It leaves behind a campaign for the Copa Del Rey and the La Liga title, and millions of heartbroken Barca fans around the world.
It also certifies the possibility that Pepe Guardiola may not be going anywhere soon.
No one will forget the many glories Barcelona's campaign has accomplished.
The 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou against AC Milan. The 5-0 shutout of BATE Borisov at the Stadion Dynama in Minsk. The 2-0 victory over Viktoria Plzen and the 4-0 shutout on the road afterward. The 3-2 victory over Milan at the San Siro and 4-0 victory over BATE at home.
And no one will forget the 10-2 aggregate victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 16 or the 3-1 aggregate victory in the quarterfinals over AC Milan.
But of all the events that have happened in its short life, no one who believes in the Blaugrana will ever forget, nor forgive, the goal by Torres that slayed the defending champions of Europe and forced them to wait until next season for another chance at the Club World Championship.
As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and you all know as much as I do that great teams will have to take defeats on the chin like Barcelona is doing right now. The Blaugrana will rise again, and we will expect more of the same great football from one of the most celebrated teams in Europe and the world.
We can all be assured that it is now in a better place in this world: the pages of footballing history. May FC Barcelona's 2011-12 UEFA Champions League campaign rest in peace.
That is all. Dismissed.