Can AaB and Atalanta shock Europe?

And so we reach the end of the 2000-01 season, I’m beginning to get into the swing of things now and all 3 teams had a good end to the year. With all that has been happening at my clubs, we’re falling a bit behind with what’s happening in the rest of world football..so here’s the world record transfer to keep you going

trans6 Betis paid Arsenal £1.9 million for Nico just two seasons ago, and he hasn’t exactly set the world alight. Former giant of world football massively over-spending on promising French forward… Anthony Martial anybody?

While we’re talking about other teams, let’s stop by at Stamford Bridge for a minute

8-5

13 goals conceded, but the keepers both had good games apparently. That match won’t have much of an impact on the top of the league, which is once again dominated by Manchester. This game in March was realistically the last chance City had of catching their cross-town neighbours

cityuited prem 30

Notice us sitting pretty in 6th, just above Liverpool and Arsenal.

There was a real story going on in Europe, where Aab of Denmark were embarking on a famous Champions League run.

aab eurosemis

Although they’ve had a relatively easy draw to this point, AaB have actually got a really good team. Here’s the line-up that dismantled Bruges in the Quarter-Final

aabteam

Thomas Brolin is obviously the standout player, but players like Erik Mykland, Percy Olivares and Freddy Dos Santos could all play at any top European club. Bruges have been smashing everyone in the Jupiler League, but they were totally overwhelmed at the Nordjiske Arena.

And, guess what happened at the Vicente Calderon…

aabwaywin

There was drama in the second leg though. Atletico went 2-0 up in the first half and were on the way to the final until a late goal sent the game to extra-time and a mammoth penalty shoot-out
aabsemi2

So it’s AaB versus Juve in the Champions League Final

Here are the other European semis

cwcsem uefaseim

Betis not missing Anelka too much in the Cup Winners Cup. A crazy Milanese derby in the UEFA cup ends with Inter going through 3-2 to face Napoli in an all Italian final.

The FA cup threw up a few shocks, but the big guns got the easy draw in the semi-finals

faseims

Liverpool have become a real cup team under Roy Evans and Man City are having an all-round impressive season once again.

Chelsea won the league cup last season and reached the final once again. This time their opponents were Everton. The Everton side were captained on the day by Gazza, and ran out as winners, thanks to a goal from my old boy Andy Mainwaring

lcfinal

Sol Campbell, captaining Chelsea, having turned down Arsenal to make the move across London from Spurs.

No surprise when this happened

utd

Or this

bruges

4 in 4 for United. 3 in 3 for Bruges.

Serie A was a different matter though. Juve were out of the title race, but did manage to pick up another Coppa Italia, with the Champions League final still to come

coppaitalia

You’ll remember from last time that Atalanta were the shock contenders for Serie A, battling Inter for lo scudetto. With two games to go, Atalanta needed two wins to pull off one of the all-time great shocks. Their penultimate game was away to Torino, who were in mid-table with little to play for. What could go wrong?

seriea atalant

Oops…atopabot

That capitulation from Atalanta left Inter as title winners for the second time. Juventus acted swiftly to their third place finish, immediately buying Atalanta’s star player

trannn

Monza slipped down the table after I left and they ended up making a quick return to Serie B.

Would I be replacing them in Serie A? A run of 7 wins and a draw in 8 games saw us shoot up the table and with 5 games to go we were sitting on the edge of the promotion spots

b33

Two more wins later and we were in 3rd place

b35

We didn’t drop any lower than 4th for the rest of the season.

promo

That’s the third time I’ve been promoted. This time I might try and stay in Serie A for more than a few games!

In England, we lost our way a little bit at the end of the season, and didn’t manage to qualify for Europe

prem top

Still, not bad for our first season in the top division

doncleague pos

The board rewarded me with this

capcity

We’re getting closer to having a reasonable sized-stadium. finally.

There were also a few tears shed amongst the Donny faithfuls as the last surviving player from our third division days left the club

bjorn

Liverpool might be underachieving in the league, but they snapped up a second successive FA Cup

fafina;

Man City finished runners-up in the league and cup, but no shame there for them.

We had an OK end to the season in Belgium.

jupe final

4th place isn’t good enough for Anderlecht, but I only joined midway through the season, so next year I’m hoping to launch a real title challenge. Bruges are unstoppable though, winning the Belgian cup too

belgcup]

Mbo Mpenza and Freddie Ljungberg are both stars for them, and Martens scored 32 goals in the season, having signed from rivals Standard Liege in the summer. The board look like they are still backing me

9.5mil

Ah, thanks guys!

The European finals were all close games. Napoli beating Ronaldo and co on penalties

napoliuefa

Betis and Fiorentina played out two hours of goalless football and were seperated by penalties

cwcfinal

And so to the game we were all waiting for, AaB put up a brave defensive performance against the most successful club team of recent years. They even played half-an-hour with 10 men, but went down to a solitary Enrico Chiesa strike as Juve once again were crowned champions of Europe

clfinal

End of season awards. The voters were obviously swayed by the massive transfer fee paid for Nicholas Anelka….engawardAlex Ferguson once again the manager of the year. And Manchester City did win one trophy at least. My old goalkeeper Nathan Munson was crowned PFA player of the year.

So next season we’ve got all three teams in their respective top divisions again. No reason why Doncaster can’t be pushing for Europe, and it’s about time I won a Belgian league too!

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