It’s not often that pundits will say that AC Milan are severe underdogs to any other club in the world let alone at the home in the San Siro. Yesterday was different, as the Rossoneri took on Barcelona in the Champions League knock-out stage. Barcelona are roundly regarded as the biggest and best club in Europe, and most were predicting them to take a win or at least a draw back to Spain for the return leg. Milan are in a so-called rebuilding stage, and their squad has been turned over ten fold in the off season.
Milan played stout in defense for most of the match. What else is different for an Italian squad?
Then, out-of-the-blue, Kevin Prince Boateng put away a deflected free kick. Fifteen minutes later, Sulley Muntari finished off the game on the counter attack. Milan’s pressure anywhere and everywhere on the field will now be a blue print for all who want to defend Barcelona’s ticky tacka system. Lionel Messi was nowhere to be found. Xavi Hernandez and Andreas Iniesta were missing in action as well.
It was the midfield where the home team won its’ battle, with both Boateng and Muntari carrying the load. Boateng was hands down the man of the match.
Boateng and Muntari are both Ghanaian internationals, and both names must sound familiar to fans in England They both should make fans in the south of England heart’s flutter. Yes, this is the same Boateng and Muntari that once graced the uniform of Portsmouth. They ran around Fratton Park helping the squad stay up in the premiership and even making a FA Cup final appearance in 2010.
Sadly the dream ended with Portsmouth in financial difficulties dropping to a lower division and having to let both Boateng and Muntari leave Imagine only three years later to see both score in the Champions League against Barcelona.
Imagine if the club could’ve stayed financially sound and kept both players. What could’ve been?
Sometimes things happen for reason unknown to those who are watching. How did both Boateng and Muntari end up at the same time at Milan? Why did both score against Barcelona? Most importantly for Pompey fans, how did they end up playing at Fratton Park? How could a middle-of-the-road club from a smallish southern port town have both internationals playing for it?
I can only imagine what fans of Pompey are thinking right now: what happened to us?
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