Why Bayern vs. Chelsea Will Be a Better Final Than Barcelona vs. Madrid

Matthew CelentanoFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2012

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 25:  Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich celebrates with fans after scoring the winning penalty during the UEFA Champions League second leg semi-final match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on April 25, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

When the Champions League quarterfinal draw had been finished, it seemed like everything had fallen into place perfectly.

Barcelona would edge past AC Milan before beating Chelsea to get to the final, while on the other side, Real Madrid would cruise past APOEL before getting past Bayern Munich into the final.

But football just doesn't work that way, does it?

There are a few reasons why it's called the beautiful game: one of those reasons is its unpredictability.

That said, Chelsea overcame all odds to upset Barcelona and reach the final, while Real Madrid couldn't get the better of Bayern Munich when it came down to a penalty shootout.

While many predicted from the start of the tournament that it would be a Spanish-Spanish final—an El Classico final—it turns out that it's going to be an English-German final. 

Wish the final of the biggest club football competition on the planet could have been between the two best teams?


Don't be.

That's because a Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea in the Champions League final will be a better final than Barcelona vs. Real Madrid.

Now, I'm not going to claim that Chelsea and Bayern Munich are the two best teams in the world. Chelsea isn't even in the top four of their own league, and most would agree Bayern are the third or fourth best club in the world—but by no means the best.

No, neither club in the 2012 Champions League final is the best in the world.

That doesn't matter.

What matters is Bayern Munich vs Chelsea will be match a no one has seen for seven years. That's right, in all of football's history, Chelsea and Bayern have only met twice in European competition—the two legs of their Champions League quarterfinal in 2005.

How many times have Real Madrid and Barcelona played each other, you ask?

Eight times before in European competition, and add the two times a season they meet in La Liga, along with the odd Copa Del Rey matchup.

El Classico isn't exactly the most unpredictable, novel matchup.

We see it twice a season, and most of the time Barcelona defeat their arch rivals. We always know what we're in for: whether it's a Messi wonder goal or a moment of sheer stupidity from Pepe, there's always something to catch the headlines.

Bayern vs Chelsea will be a better Champions League final than an El Classico final would have been.

Not only is it unpredictable—something the average football fan doesn't see often—but it epitomizes what the Champions League is all about. It will be a battle of two teams from different countries, two European powerhouses facing off for the first time in years rather than a match between two Spanish powerhouses that we already watch twice a year. 

Get excited. It's going to be an incredible 2012 Champions League final.