This past weekend, including today, can only be described in the World of Football as not just Beautiful, but PUMA-ful as four major victories were achieved by PUMA sponsored clubs.
English FA Cup – Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
Arsenal entered the FA Cup final as extreme underdogs against League Champions Chelsea. To cap off what had been a tough season the Gunners were missing three first choice centre backs meaning Per Mertesacker would start his first game of football in over a year! The game however produced what many have been hoping to see all season as the Gunners produced a display of heart, courage and skill in dominating a final to become the most successful team in the history of the FA Cup with 13 wins. Arsene Wenger also became the most decorated manager in the FA Cup by winning his 7th trophy.
To top it off Arsenal have now won the FA Cup 8 times since Tottenham last won it.
German DFB Pokal – Dortmund 2-1 Frankfurt
Incredibly Dortmund made the final of the DFB-Pokal for the fourth consecutive year and were finally looking to break the losing run having lost to Bayern Munich in extra time (2014) and on penalties (2016) as well as Wolfsburg (2015) in the last three years. They encountered a fired up Eintracht Frankfurt side who were playing in their first final since 2006.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the hottest striker in Europe, may have possibly been playing his last game for Dortmund, but his audacious panenka was the match winner that sent the Yellow Wall into delirium as they finally won the cup.
Mexico Clausura 2017 Final – CD Guadalajara (Chivas) (4) 2-1 (3) Tigres UANL
Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Commonly referred to as “Chivas”) are an incredible team steeped in history and are well known around the world for the fact that they only select Mexican players in their squad. They have produced some worldwide stars like Carlos Salcido, Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez an Omar Bravo.
Having last lifted a LIGA MX title in 2006 it’s been a long decade of waiting for Chivas fans, who had their appetite slightly suppressed by winning two cup titles in that time (including this season), but it all came together as Chivas on Sunday confirmed their title with a thrilling display to hold off UANL and win the title. Incredibly it is the first league and cup double since 1995 by any team and comes in just their first year with PUMA on board. Must be a sign.
The Championship Playoff Final – Huddersfield 2-1 Reading
Although PUMA were always going to be a winner here, this is still regarded as the richest game in World Football and one team had to win it. Victory for Huddersfield means they will bank at least £170m over the next three seasons.
And although the game was not a great spectacle, the victory means so much. Huddersfield are a team with so much history and this promotion will bring them to the fore once again. In 1926 they became the first team in history to win three successive league titles under future Arsenal legend Herbert Chapman (The first two were under him, the third Cecil Potter). It’s also a beautiful story as the Terriers narrowly missed relegation when David Wagner came on board and now find themselves dining at the elite football table.