So exit Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan and others from the 2006/2007 Champions League. Such is the impact of getting knocked out that you can expect Fabio Capello, Frank Rijkaard and Roberto Mancini to all lose their jobs within the coming days, weeks or months.
After all, the Champions League is what separates the best of the best in Europe. The high stakes are battled both on the field and off. The financial implications of getting knocked out are huge. Don’t forget that one of the main reasons why Manchester United fell down Deloitte’s Money League was because of their early exit in last year’s tournament to Benfica.
Capello, especially, looks like the first to go. But how close it was in the Real Madrid 2-1 loss to Bayern Munich. Sergio Ramos scored a brilliant goal near the end of the match, but the goal was ruled out due to a handball. If that had gone in, Real Madrid would have been in the last eight and Capello would have been in charge for a few weeks more, at least.
The first 10 seconds and the last ten minutes of the match were incredible to watch with both teams playing end-to-end football. Let’s see how Bayern will now cope in the next round.