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Fans discuss which way will fortune sway at UEFA Champions League

Updated on: 28 May,2024 09:29 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Devashish Kamble |

As the UEFA Champions League reaches its crescendo with Real Madrid battling it out against Borussia Dortmund, we check the pulse of Mumbai fans before the final showdown

Fans discuss which way will fortune sway at UEFA Champions League

German nationals Toni Kroos and Marco Reus at a previous encounter between the teams. Pics courtesy/Instagram

While the city was caught up in the IPL knockouts and finals last weekend, Borussia Dortmund (BVB) and Real Madrid fans had their own nail-biting showdown. A friendly encounter between Borussia Dortmund Supporters Club Mumbai and Pena Madridista De Bombay, the two official fan clubs, built the anticipation for their clubs’ upcoming clash in the finals on June 1. Even as Madrid fans emerged victorious at the local turf in Juhu, the question remains: which way will fortune sway at Wembley this weekend?


Club comes first

It will be interesting to see Toni Kroos’ last hurrah on the biggest stage. A key factor could also be whether Carlo Ancelotti plays Andriy Lunin or Thibaut Courtois in goal. Ancelotti has stated that he considers Courtois the best in the world, but he’s coming back from the injury. I’m hoping whoever plays has a good game, and doesn’t make a name for himself for the wrong reasons. My eyes are on Mats Hummels. He is no spring chicken; he’s been here before and knows the pressure of a big game. If he has a masterclass to display and is able to keep our forwards quiet, it will give BVB a chance.

Matchday ritual: For years, I’ve considered myself the jinx. I leave for a movie, a stand-up comedy show, or someplace where I can’t see the match as soon as it begins. I watch the replay the next day.

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Real Madrid

Jitesh Shahani, 34, founder, Peña Madridista De Bombay

Defence for the win

The club has been criticised online before every game only for each win to be chalked off as a lucky win after the game. This UCL run is anything but lucky. The defence has been rock-solid, and we have wingers who close down the flanks with their respective full backs, and that’s one area I will be looking into the most. It has been said far too often: attack wins you games, defence wins you titles. I would love to see Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho rip open the Madrid defence in the second half but that will depend on manager Edin Terzić and his substitutions. I hope that the players soak up the atmosphere and play without pressure, it wasn’t easy getting to the finals.

Matchday ritual: A Reus jersey, BVB scarf, with the lyrics to ‘Ole Jetz Kommt der BVB’ memorised. It’s going to be a glorious day.

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Real Madrid

Kaustubh Rane, 29, PhD student

Rise in silence

Every football enthusiast doubted the fate of the club this season. After a slow start, Dortmund emerged from the bottom of the group to eventually topping the group, surprising everyone in the process. More than individual brilliance, our boys fought as a team to secure an entry into the finals. The duel between Mats Hummels and Vinicius Jr will be very interesting. With the experience of Hummels keeping fast players like Kylian Mbappe at bay in the past and the dynamism of Vinicius, I am looking forward to the clash of the two powerhouses. 

Matchday ritual: I will wear my club jersey and watch the game in the comfort of my home with a few colleagues and pretend that the stakes are low to save myself from the disappointment in case things don’t go our way.

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 1–0 Real Madrid

Mayank Pachauri, 30, consultant

No weak links

Toni Kroos in his 10th, and now what we’ve come to know as his final year not just at our club but also for the game has been in some of the best forms of his life, cutting through defence lines with just one single pass and orchestrating our entire game from the middle. 

Brazilian duo Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo has been sensational on the wings, while the defensive partnership of Dani Carvajal and Antonio Rudiger has been solid. Their coordination and experience will be essential in keeping Dortmund’s attackers at bay.

Nakshatra Jadhav

Matchday ritual: Before every match, I call my father or any immediate family member and say “Real Madrid is going to win tonight” three times in a row. It seems to have worked well.

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 0–3 Real Madrid

Nakshatra Jadhav, 27, technical director

Crack this footie quiz

Borussia Dortmund fans hold up the team flag at a meet-up
Borussia Dortmund fans hold up the team flag at a meet-up

1 The UEFA Champions League (UCL) was formerly called X before its rebranding in the year Y. What are X and Y?
2 The iconic UEFA Champions League Anthem is written in three languages. Can you name them?
3 The list of most appearances in UCL matches is topped by Cristiano Ronaldo, while Lionel Messi takes the third spot. Which player holds the second spot?
4 When was the last time a German side played a Spanish side in a UCL final?
5 Which manager has won the highest number of UCL titles. (Bonus points if you can name the teams.)

Zinedine Zidane at the 2002 finals; (right, in black) Carlo Ancelotti
Zinedine Zidane at the 2002 finals; (right, in black) Carlo Ancelotti

Archil Sahu, Pena Madridista De Bombay
European Cup. I’m not sure which year
English, German and French
Iker Casillas
Not sure
Carlo Ancelotti with AC Milan and Real Madrid

Sanket S Gaonkar, BVB Mumbai
I don’t know
No idea
Iker Casillas
Real Madrid in 2002, but I can’t recall the opponents
Carlo Ancelotti with AC Milan and Real Madrid

Correct answers:
1. European Cup and 1992, 2. English, German, and French, 3. Iker Casillas, 4. Real Madrid vs Bayer Leverkusen in 2002, 5. Carlo Ancelotti with AC Milan (2003, 2007) and Real Madrid (2014, 2022)

Catch the match

Real Madrid fans cheer for the team at a previous official screening of a football match
Real Madrid fans cheer for the team at a previous official screening of a football match

>> TAP Restobar
At Juhu; Bandra and Andheri.
Call 42631000

>> The Studs - Sports Bar and Grill
At Unit 2, Centrum IT Park, Wagle Industrial Estate, Thane West. 
Call 9602299696

>> Peninsula Redpine
At Andheri - Kurla Road, Bori Colony, Marol, Andheri East.
Call 40912345

>> OF10
At A/204, Supreme Business Park, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai.
Call 9920290368

>> Warehouse Kitchen and Bar
At Vinay Industrial Estate, Malad West.
Call 9029115115

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