“Hello and welcome to the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna! I’m Jamie Carragher, here with Gary Neville, for the Champions League Final!”
[The Champions League anthem plays in the background, as highlights from this year’s tournament play. The camera swings to Gary, clad in a full Panathinaikos kit.]
“Jamie-lad, this won’t be a game tonight. Nicolaj Bur and Greekland boys will do for these Spanish lightweights. Open and shut case. Like the one against your da’ for stealing from your nan.”
“Gary, you can’t… This isn’t what we’re here to…”
“Don’t be angry, Jamie-lad. Just because your crusty gym sock of a club couldn’t get past the quarterfinals–“
“Gary, first of all, we’re here as neutrals. Try to act accordingly. Second of all, count this you fuc–“
[The Champions League anthem begins blaring, as Jamie Carragher shakes 9 fingers in Gary’s face, representation of Liverpool’s 9 Champions League titles. The camera quickly cuts to commercial. A few minutes later, and we’re back. Jamie seems to have lost a tooth. Gary’s hair is mussed, but he wears a self-satisfied grin. A splash of blood is on the front of his Panathinaikos jersey. Jamie tries to regain some semblance of professional decorum. Gary is bouncing around the broadcast booth, singing Panathinaikos anthems.]
“Well, Gar, it looks like…Panathinaikos, the favored side…pressure has to be on them tonight. They’ve got the top goalscorer in the tournament, in Aymen Mejri, a young, confident side with the world at their feet. Whereas Sevilla appear to be a classic cup side, as they finished 5th in La Liga, 35 points behind Barcelona. But it all comes down to this, 90 minutes and a ball. And, here come the teams. Time from grandpa to drink his cough medicine, because we’re ready to kickoff here in Vienna… Live, it’s the Champions League Final!”[Note: if you are here during the live blog, you will need to hit refresh to see new updates as the match progresses.]
If you’ve stumbled upon this post and are finding yourself a bit confused… Don’t worry. The basic concept behind the Nearly Men save is explained here. Just need to catch up? Each installment in Nicolaj Bur’s story can be accessed through the Nearly Men Archive.
And if you just can’t get enough…join us for The Ballad of Toothless Bob, a series conceived and co-authored by Seattle Red and Oriole that explores the world of Nicolaj Bur, away from the pitch. What is Project Arcturus? What lies beyond the twisted redstone door, deep in the bowels of the Santiago Bernabéu?