The upcoming Champions League Final between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium will see unprecedented levels of stewarding. The Football Association (FA) has invested over £5 million to ensure the highest safety standards and infrastructure improvements. Marking the “highest stewarding deployment in Wembley Stadium history.

In the world of UEFA Champions League, anticipation is brewing as thrilling events approach. Among the highlights. The clash between the Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund stands out. Promising an electrifying display of skill and determination on the field. As fans gear up for this monumental showdown. Securing UEFA Champions League Final Tickets becomes paramount.

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Unprecedented Security Measures

More than 2,500 stewards will be on duty for the Champions League Final. This significant investment aims to prevent any repeats of the chaos seen during England’s Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy. An independent review by Baroness Casey in 2021 highlighted over 20 “near-misses” during that event, with ticketless fans attempting to force entry into the stadium.

Addressing Past Failures

The 2021 report criticized the “collective failure” in planning for the Euro 2020 final, which saw around 2,000 unauthorized individuals entering Wembley. Chris Bryant, the FA’s director of tournaments and events, acknowledged the past shortcomings, particularly in stewarding. “One thing in the Euros final was very much the supply of stewarding, which I can say was at a low point off the back of Covid,” Bryant stated. He assured that the stewarding supply has since improved significantly.

Lessons from Previous Champions League Finals

Following incidents at the 2022 and 2023 Champions League finals in Paris and Istanbul, where fans faced severe disruptions, Uefa has intensified its security measures. In Paris, fans were teargassed outside the Stade de France, prompting a Uefa-commissioned report to note the fortunate absence of fatalities. In Istanbul, Manchester City supporters experienced delays, with some not returning to their hotels until after 03:00 BST.

Enhanced Safety and Security Protocols

For this Saturday’s Champions League Final, a “robust and comprehensive testing plan” for digital ticketing and checks will be in place. The FA has also implemented new measures tested at the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals, including increased camera surveillance and additional lock systems on doors and gates.

Improved Fan Experience

To facilitate smoother entry, Wembley Stadium will open its gates four hours before kick-off instead of the usual two. Transport for London will provide extra services to help manage the flow of supporters to and from the stadium. Enhanced security measures also include monitoring nearby pubs and increasing the number of body-cams worn by stewards.

The FA and Uefa are under pressure to deliver a trouble-free Champions League Final. With these comprehensive safety measures, fans can look forward to an event focused on security and enjoyment.

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Champions League Final: Alan Shearer on Joselu and Niclas Fullkrug, the Unlikely Heroes

Celebrating the Centre-Forwards in the Champions League Final

As a former centre-forward myself, watching the Champions League semi-finals filled me with immense pleasure. In an era where many top teams often eschew a traditional striker, these decisive matches were defined by No 9s. Dortmund surged ahead against PSG with a stunning goal from Niclas Fullkrug, while Real Madrid, in their characteristic fashion, clinched a victory with two late goals from Joselu.

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The Timeless Art of Goal Scoring

Scoring goals will never go out of fashion, a truth the Champions League consistently underscores. However, I must admit, I didn’t foresee myself writing about these particular strikers in the context of a Champions League final.

Joselu’s Journey to the Champions League Final

I had numerous opportunities to observe Joselu during his two-year stint at Newcastle. Leading the line for my former club was a tough task back then, as they weren’t creating nearly as many chances as Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak receive today. Despite this, Joselu’s record of seven goals in 52 games was underwhelming.

Still, it’s important to recognize his recent achievements. Scoring two crucial goals for arguably the biggest club in the world to propel them into the Champions League final is no small feat. He may not be considered top-tier quality, but clearly, Real Madrid saw something in him worth taking a gamble on. And in many ways, playing as a centre-forward is all about taking those calculated gambles.

Niclas Fullkrug’s Remarkable Transformation

I also watched Fullkrug in action at St James’ Park earlier this season during Dortmund’s 1-0 win in the group stage. As always, my focus was on the strikers. If I had written a scouting report on him that night, it would have been lukewarm: ‘Must do better’. But what a transformation he has undergone since then!

Both Joselu and Fullkrug have defied expectations and showcased the enduring importance of the traditional No 9. Their performances have brought a refreshing reminder of the classic centre-forward play, right in time for the Champions League final.

Champions League Final: Spotlight on Late-Blooming Forwards

Credit to Fullkrug and Joselu

Both Niclas Fullkrug and Joselu have earned their places in the spotlight of the Champions League Final. Neither player has had an easy journey, and their stories share striking similarities. Fullkrug spent much of his career in Germany’s second tier, while Joselu is currently on loan at Real Madrid from second-tier club Espanyol. Fullkrug is 31, and Joselu is 34, highlighting the unique paths they’ve taken to reach this stage.

Late Bloomers in the Champions League Final

Fullkrug only made his Germany debut two years ago, but has impressively scored 11 goals in 15 caps. Joselu debuted for Spain just a year ago and has netted five goals in 10 appearances. Their late emergence as top strikers echoes the career trajectory of Jamie Vardy, proving that experience and persistence can be just as crucial as early success.

Experience Matters in the Champions League Final

Centre-forwards like Fullkrug and Joselu exemplify how players can peak later in their careers. Their extensive experience means they understand the nuances of the game, even if they may not be the most glamorous forwards. What truly matters is their ability to score goals. In their thirties, these players often possess a refined understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Losing a bit of pace is compensated by an improved speed of thought, allowing them to outsmart defenders and find the back of the net consistently.

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The Value of “Simple Goals” in the Champions League Final

Some critics might label the goals scored by Fullkrug and Joselu in the Champions League knockout stages as ‘simple.’ However, this perception overlooks the complexity and skill required to seize these opportunities. If scoring were truly simple, every player would replicate their success.

Joselu’s Key Goal against Bayern

Take Joselu’s first goal against Bayern Munich, for instance. This goal stands out among the four he scored, primarily because it capitalized on a rare mistake by the usually impeccable Manuel Neuer. Neuer had been outstanding throughout the match, making numerous exceptional saves. However, Joselu’s quick reaction and anticipation turned an unlikely chance into a crucial goal. His alertness and willingness to gamble on a one-in-a-hundred scenario changed the entire tie, showcasing that such goals are far from simple.

Joselu’s goal exemplifies the significance of being in the right place at the right time, especially in high-stakes matches like the Champions League Final. His run ensured that Neuer’s mistake didn’t go unpunished, a testament to the importance of experience and instinct in football.

By focusing on these critical moments, Fullkrug and Joselu have demonstrated that their contributions are invaluable, proving that seasoned forwards can still shine brightly on the grandest stage of European football.

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