The MoneyMan travelled to Paris to watch the Champions League final, and as a neutral supporter was able to sit back and observe the spectacle, unbiased, for the grand occasion it was.
I had the fortunate experience of being among those in the stadium on a day where Paris
was painted red but Real Madrid were just too good. It was a special occasion, and as a
neutral supporter (given my beloved Leeds couldn’t quite make it to the Champions League
final) I really was able to sit back and absorb the occasion; the magnitude and the beauty of
such a big clash.
We were part of the thrill and chaos of the anticipation as we bounced between queues and
basically scrummed to work our way through the gates, where kickoff was postponed by
half an hour because the fans couldn’t get into the stadium.
The belief and heart of these Liverpool fans couldn’t change the fact that they were on the
other side of a sporting inevitable: There always has to be a winner and there always has to
be a loser.
But on the day that Real Madrid reinforced their status as kings of the Champions League I
watched my brother – a die hard Liverpool supporter – celebrate the happiness of a young
boy who had his Madrid shirt on, and despite the result my brother and him were among
the fans of opposing sides who were still able to embrace and celebrate the occasion.
That is the beauty in sport, and though there are exceptions with hooligan fans who have
nothing to share but hatred, what I witnessed in Paris was the most passionate support for
Liverpool, the most humble victory for Real Madrid and the most gracious response from
the people around me after the final whistle, regardless of whether that shirt was red or