What’s up everyone, TFT Mike here and I’m back with something new for you. We already saw our President Young Leg make one of these, but I figured I’d give it a shot as well. There are a ton of games that I have seen that gave me more excitement than I could imagine and I wish there was a way to watch them again for the first time. I’m sure everyone has a few on the top of their heads. Here are mine, starting with the most recent.
1. Atletico Madrid against Juventus 0-3 (2019 Champions League Round of 16)
After losing 2-0 away to Atletico in the first leg, Juventus were not looking too hot to make it into the quarterfinal draw. I, feeling a bit optimistic, made a few bets on a Cristiano Ronaldo Hattrick to send them through. Could you imagine my excitement watching this game as each Ronaldo goal happens? With 2 CR7 goals and Bernardeschi drawing a late penalty, I knew Ronaldo and his clutch genes would come through on the PK. I was going insane, knowing they were making it through and knowing I was about to fill my pockets from my bets.
2. Barcelona against Juventus 0-3 (2017 Champions League Quarter-final)
Now I’m not going to lie, drawing Barcelona in the quarterfinals of Champions League made me nervous. Barca had Messi, Suarez, and Neymar and their chemistry was untouchable. However, Juve had been playing well and I looked at the matchup with an open mind. The defense held strong, keeping this stacked Barcelona offense to a fat goose egg over both legs and going through on a 3-0 aggregate score. Dybala scored two beautiful goals, as per usual, and Chiellini added to the thrashing with a second half goal. All the Allegri side had to do was keep their lead through the rest of the first leg and the entirety of the second. They were able to pull through and complete their revenge from the 2015 final.
3. Juventus against Real Madrid 1-1, 3-2 Aggregate (2015 Champions League Semi-Final)
Juve brought a 2-1 home win with them to the Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg and were looking to push through to the final. With Ronaldo bagging a penalty and putting Madrid through on away goals, it was stressful times. Then we saw Alvaro Morata come through with another goal against his childhood club, sending Juventus through on 3-2 aggregate. This game was incredibly stressful but that stress turned into excitement on the Morata goal, sending them through to their first UCL final in 12 years. We won’t be talking about this final, as that would go into games I want to erase from my memory forever.
4.Italy against Germany 2-1 (EURO 2012 Semi-final)
Lets just say this was another game to add to the Balotelli hype train. With Balotelli on the up and up, Italy were flying through the Euro 2012 tournament. I truly believe this was their best side since their 2006 World Cup winning team. The defense, with Buffon behind, were having a great tourney, Pirlo was manning the midfield, and Balotelli banging in goals up top, they were on a roll. This game was a major test for Italy in the semi final, with the chance to make it to the final. Balotelli bagged a brace and the defense held strong in this insane matchup to make it to go through. This brings us another final we won’t be talking about today.
5.Italy against France 1-1, 5-3 PEN (2006 World Cup Final)
This world cup is what really pushed my love for the game over the edge. Picture 10-year old TFT Mike watching this game surrounded by about 50 family members, family friends, friends of friends, family of family, lets just say a bunch of Italians squeezing into a couple rooms together to watch this final. The reaction of us all when Zidane was sent off, the game remaining intense until and during penalties, and so much more. It capped off an amazing cup journey. Then, when it was all said and done, Italy were world champs. I would give anything to relive that day again at this age. We can only hope Italy can continue to build their squad up for another run at the cup.
Written by: Michael “TFT Mike” Cooke (@Mike_cooke3)