Champions editor Paul Simpson unleashes some random thoughts ahead of the Wembley finalA century before certain notable events happened in England, 1866 was a great year for Argentinian football: Angelo Messi was born. Seventeen years on, Lionel MessiÃ¢ÂÂs great-great-great-grandfather set sail from Italy to Rosario, a journey that transformed football more than a century later. The glorious talent that so conspicuously lights up Argentina could have inspired the Azzurri.
As well as having to deal with carbon monoxide, choking fumes and the hot air generated by Boris Johnson, the poor, suffering people of London are now also having to cope with BarÃÂ§aÃ¢ÂÂs gargantuan smug cloud, which has reached 'The Smoke' after a drifting three-day journey from southern Europe.
Spanish football club presidents would love to tie managers up. No, not with twine to a railway line, but on minute-by-minute contracts stuffed with Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂve just grown so tired of seeing your stupid, ugly face every dayÃ¢ÂÂ sacking clauses.
The regular season is over, but the football isn't Ã¢ÂÂ and in Holland, play-offs aren't restricted to deciding promotions from lower divisions. The season-sending shoot-outs this weekend (first legs Thursday, second legs Sunday) will help decide who gets into Europe Ã¢ÂÂ and who drops out of the division.