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Thank you, Xabi

It's difficult to complain after such a wonderful performance as yesterday's, but the loss of the red-beard for the Final is quite a thing.

Alex Grimm

Last night our players gifted us with the best performance they have displayed throughout the season. The 0-4 victory over Bayern was a remarkable proof of what this team is able to achieve, and made us reach a UEFA Champions League final for the first time since we won the Novena.

Nevertheless, not everything was joy and fun last night. Xabi Alonso, Ancelotti's representative on the field, must have been a little dejected since he will not be able to participate in the most expected game in Lisbon. In the 38th minute, he was shown a yellow card that caused his ban for the final.

The score was already a clear 0-3 for Los Blancos, but Xabi was not willing to let our rivals have any chance to get back at the game. Schweinsteiger's onslaught needed to be stopped and Alonso tackled, as he knew that was the better call. The action was not too dangerous and there was no violence there, but Proença did not hesitate and approached our beloved #14 with the clear intention of booking him.

The world trembled. Or, at least, my sofa did. Xabi wouldn't even rise his face from the floor. He knew what was going on and he regretted having gone for that tackle. Ramos and the rest of our players tried to persuade the referee with no success. The yellow card was shown, meaning that Alonso will not play in Lisbon.

However, Xabi did not let his demons consume him. Thirty seconds of mumbling were enough for him to take back the lead in the midfield, waving his hands to conduct the beautiful orchestra our 4-4-2 was last night.

After the game, our coach complained about how unfair the suspension rule is, but he also claimed that we will win the Champions League as a present for Xabi. Ronaldo, as well, regretted that such an important player as the #14 will be missing in Lisbon, but he stressed the importance of having a versatile roster full of good people and was confident enough to say that the one who takes Xabi's spot will also be great.

We all know how important Xabi is for this team, there's no point of discussing that just now, but we have got plenty of options to substitute him: Illarra, Khedira, Isco or even Varane are world-class players that could help Carletto to configure a lineup to deserve to win the Décima. Or, better-put, and paraphrasing Xabi, to win, because "there's nothing about deserving to be in the Final, it's all about winning the Final".

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