By Oliver Trust
The 2020 Champions League final tournament has triggered a renaissance of a long-forgotten footballing value.
Fans and pundits are fascinated as the upward trending team-spirit seems to have driven all four of the semi-final participants to maximum output.
While Paris and Bayern could count on the best squads in the last four, especially in the case of the French, it seems apparent so far that team unity was a major factor in them reaching the final for the first time in their history.
Former German international Lothar Matthaeus has noticed an entirely transformed Paris team.
He admitted that he is rubbing his eyes in amazement, witnessing Brazilian superstar Neymar and Kylian Mbappe having evolved from lonely wolves to reliable team players.
Having discovered football is a team sport has made Paris a significant force in European football, Bayern’s former captain said.
Matthaeus praised the work of Paris coach Thomas Tuchel who seems to have reached his goals after two difficult years. Tuchel’s message has finally penetrated his players’ ears, the 59-year-old stated.
“Many missed the changes in our team,” German international and Paris defender Thilo Kehrer said. “We have grown together. There is so much action of the team outside training and games. We are a true team now.”
Tuchel spoke about his side playing like a small team, “standing together against all the odds. But we are no small club; we are a big club. To feel the values of a united team makes me happy.”
Neymar’s teammates speak about their star staking a claim to winning this season’s Ballon d’Or.
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski has been undergoing a similar transition. Over a year ago, the Pole promised to concentrate on team values primarily.
The 2020 Champions League final isn’t only a battle for football’s most important club trophy but a race for the season’s best performer.
Thomas Mueller raved about the achievements of team spirit. “This is something rare. You don’t just press a button, and it’s on. To take some effort to get everyone’s feet behind the line,” the Bayern striker said.
Not only the bigger clubs seem to feel comfortable with the new trend.
Both Lyon and RB Leipzig party-crashed this season’s campaign, upsetting Manchester City and Juventus.
Out of the public’s attention, Rudi Garcia developed Lyon into a force, knocking out prominent clubs such as Juventus and Manchester City. “As an underdog and working together, by all means, you can get to new shores,” the French coach said.
The Eastern German club was one of this year’s surprises despite being a team without stars. Leipzig’s strategy to count on a passionate squad covering every inch of the pitch paid off despite the disappointment of having lost the semifinal.