So Long, Farewell! (End of a Football Season Reflections)

DROGBA WITH TROPHY

So long, farewell Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight! As the football season reached its climax across Europe last weekend and all the visuals of champions popping champagne in a show of triumph and splendor after a long tedious season dominated the media, I can’t help but recall the music scene in the 1965 classic drama, Sound of Music, where the children of Captain Georg von Trapp entertained their father’s guests while hosting a grand party in their palatial home in a well-choreographed dance while bidding farewell to the encapsulated audience. A simulacrum of the same scene was evoked as some teams celebrated their league triumphs, junketing in the ecstasy of their achievements while other teams who could not help themselves over the course of the season went down to lower divisions— and some others too where promoted in a twist of fortune.

In the English Premier League, it was Hull City who joined the already confirmed Queens Park Rangers and Burnley in the dreaded route to the less lucrative. The new English champions Chelsea finished up with eight points clear of Manchester City after winning their last game against Sunderland and soon sauntered into a delirium as they marked their first league conquest in five years, signaling a sign of a new dawn in the second coming of the Special One. It was a terrific moment as the team that won the championship in 2004-2005 reunited with the current champions. More remarkable was that players like John Terry, Peter Cech and Didier Drogba were all there when this first happened and were there again to witness the highly nostalgic occasion. Mourinho couldn’t help but express his delight over what he thought was a great moment and quickly added that he would like to have a trio of champions from three generations celebrating with him in 2025—hinting how he would love to create a dynasty in the English premier league with the Chelsea outfit. The newly crowned champions later on Monday painted the town blue while parading their trophy with about 70,000 fans trooping out to see their team show off their deserved trophies.

DROGBA 2

In Spain, the Catalan giants too emerged victorious after clinching the title last week and drawing their last game against Deportivo de La Coruña. Luis Enrique’s men are having the time of their life as they could still do the treble this season with two more final games for them in the Copa Del Rey and Champions League. It was however a time to say good bye for veteran midfielder Xavier “Xavi” Hernández who tearfully ended his 25 years relationship with Barcelona. The Spaniard would be joining Qatari side Al Sadd.

Archrival Real Madrid gave Barcelona a good push and only finished just two points behind the competition, with Cristiano Ronaldo clinching the Pichichi with 48 league goals and 61 in all competition, his personal best in a season. The heroics of the world’s best soccer player, however, did not impress Fiorentino Perez and the principalities at the Bernabeu as Carlo Ancelotti, the man who helped the Los Blancos grab the much coveted 10th Champions League triumph, graciously known as La Decima and Copa Del Rey last season suffered the same fate his predecessors have had to endure in the palms of Real Madrid’s board room who can’t take the smack of a trophyless season in the chin!

XAVI

Stephen Gerald had announced his imminent departure to the MLS after a glittering career with the Reds and couldn’t depart in a way he would have wanted as he ended on the wrath of an unforgiving Stoke City side, albeit still with a goal to his name. Although Stephen won everything with Liverpool except the Premier League which literally ‘slipped away’ from his hands when he slipped to give Demba Ba a chance to dent what appeared to be his closest chance to the crown. That would, however, not affect the reputation of this brilliant sportsman who deserves all the accolade he is getting.

GERRARD

Didier Drogba also bid farewell after his successful second spell with the new generation Chelsea. The big Ivorian consolidated his legendary status at the club as he contributed his quota when he was called upon this season to do the job. It was always going to be difficult to match the prowess of his younger years when he tore apart teams in the premiership but his coach—Jose Mourinho—lauded the influence he had on the younger players in the team this term.

Elsewhere, Former teammate Frank Lampard fired home a trademark 10-yarder against Southampton as he also departs for the MLS.

FRANK LAMPARD

As seasons end like this and heroes depart, it reminds you that whatever has a beginning must surely have an end. Things will never remain the same. Some will move on and some will remain. Some will relegate and some will triumph. No matter the situation we find ourselves, however, we must always look forward to a new season—a new phase in our lives when we can become better. Yesterday’s success or failure is no longer valid—a new dawn will come when we will hopefully rewrite our histories for the better!

O.P. Philips is a freelance writer/entrepreneur. He is the author of The “OBAMA” in You! His new book, “What Football Teaches About Life” will be released soon.

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