UEFA Champions League 2010 - 11

previous years:
    2005 - 06     2006 - 07     2007 - 08
    2008 - 09     2009 - 10


As I've said before here, there will be no complete coverage of this year's UCL on FairFootball.
But, it so happens that Barca made it easy this year to at least draw a basic conclusion. Which is the essential, namely that they are beyond any reasonable doubt this season's deserved winners. I looked closely at their 2 games vs. Real and the final, and there were no significant problems, if anything the refs were slightly unfavorable to them by not booking the opponents, which lacking other means had to resort to fouls way too often, as much as they deserved. No big deal, especially considering the results. As for their previous matches, the scores by which they won against Shakhtar make a thorough analysis useless, and the tie against Arsenal was in the round of 16 so is irrelevant for FairFootball (very fittingly in this case, for all we know the opponents were indeed uneven).

So the FairFootball UCL winner of 2011 is the same as the official winner, Barcelona.

It has to be said that this is the first time since the site started in 2006 that there is such a clearly legitimate winner. The only other time that the official and the FairFootball winner were the same was in 2006, also Barca; but then there was some doubt, in the semi vs. Milan (not enough to make Milan the winner though). Practically no doubt this time.
As it happens, last year's Champs League should have been theirs too, were it not for ridiculous ref errors against them, so in fact they are back to back winners. Not 3 times consecutive ones because the one before probably wasn't really theirs.

This year's UCL officiating has been exceptionally good, but that's probably mainly because Barca were a class above any opponent. They made it easy for the refs. The big problems with officiating appear in hard-fought games among closely matched teams.

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