Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fulham's fantastic European journey came to an end last night. It was heartbreaking for them to lose so late, but if it wasn't to be their night it was better that way than someone missing a penalty.

The commentator summed it up well when he said that there were "so many fans of so many other clubs who are becoming Fulham fans for the evening and wishing it was their club here in Hamburg".

So very true.

It was a great story this season. One of the best, if not the best, in UK football. For a Club like Fulham to even reach European competition is an unexpected bonus for their fans. To make a European final, stuff dreams are made of.

The Club have never won a 'major' trophy and this was only the second ever time that they had qualified for European competition but they took their chance fully, respected the competition and had a refreshing never say die attitude that paid off for them and led to their final place. They didn't devalue the competition by fielding weaker sides and fully deserved their place in Hamburg.

Atletico Madrid edged the game and deserved their 2-1 victory. It was nice to see them rise out of the shadows of their city rivals Real for a moment. It's been said that Real are the team for the world, whereas Athletico are the team for the city. A real team for real fans in a big city, who don't just care about success. Much like Fulham.

It may not have worked out with the ideal fairytale ending, but Fulham were an inspiration to fans of clubs outside the big boys. Clubs whose every season is a battle for making the best of the resources and players at your disposal, but who still harbour the ambition and the talent to try and make that breakthrough into the top sides.

We also have to say a big congratulations to the city of Hamburg, who put on a fantastic final. We really enjoyed the pre-match displays and post-match celebrations. The huge banner at the start, with all the clubs that took part in this year's competition, was class.

I also really admired the Atletico player's post match celebrations where they put the Cup down in front of their fans and acknowledged them. Great stuff.

Finally, to Fulham. We salute you and may you build on this success to move on up. It's been great being on the ride with you guys. Hopefully next time you will get that dream ending.

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