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Live: 2037/38 Champions League Final

“Hello, hello! Welcome to the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul!!! It is amazing to be back here in this glorious city, the Second Rome, the City on Seven Hills!!! I’m your host, Champions League-winner, on this VERY pitch, Jamie Carragher!!! As always, here with me tonight is Gary “the Man with the Plan” Neville, a man known for his passion if nothing else!!!”

[The camera pulls back to show Gary wearing a full Duruji Kvareli kit (including shinguards), with a pair of Duruji Kvareli training paints belted to his head. Before addressing Jamie, Gary shakes a can of RedBull violently, cuts it open with a quick jab of a penknife before shotgunning it in one swoop and crushing the now-empty can on his forehead, shouting with passionate glee.]

“Jamie you old bugger! This is where the magic happens. There will be no sleep tonight, not until the Goose has cooked his final meal made of wee Ralphie’s bollocks, with some fava beans and a nice Chianti!!!”

[Overly pleased with his Silence of the Lambs reference, Gary does his best “Hannibal Lecter slurping brains” noise and cackles madly, before shotgunning another RedBull.]

“Whoa, there, Gar-bear! Save some for the rest of us, yeah?”

“That’s just what you’d like, you commie-pinko bastard!!! You want the custard and the cream!!! The giblets and the niblets!!! Not tonight, Jamie-lad, because your fancy-pants ****sucking ****s are can **** my ***, starting at the back and stopping when it gets crunchy!!! THE GOOSE IS LOOSE, JAMIE!!! AND THE GOOSE WILL TAKE WHAT IS HIS, WITHOUT APOLOGIZING FOR KICKING YOU IN THE ****!!!”

[Gary shotguns another RedBull. Jamie just sighs in resignation. His most fervent dream is that Gary passes out soon, like an over-sugared toddler. One of the producers calls Gary over, to show him what appears to be a Valdas Freidgeimas Bobble-Head. Gary scream in childlike glee, calling for Jamie to come look at it. But Jamie has seen the knowing wink from the producer, and knows that he has a few minutes to address the match at hand. Smiling warmly at the camera, Jamie just chuckles amiably.]

“Nothing wrong with a little enthusiasm, now, is there folks?! Now, there’s no question that tonight’s match is one for the history books. In one corner we have Duruji Kvareli, the hipster underdogs from Georgia, the neutrals’ favorite, the 2036 Europa League champions who reached last year’s semifinal, and have been giant-killers throughout the knockout stages this year. In the other corner, we have Manchester City. A veritable behemoth of the English game, three-time Champions League runners-up — losing the final in 2030, 2033 and AGAIN last year.”

[In the background, Gary has begins to sing This is How It Feels to be City at the top of his lungs after shotgunning two RedBulls back-to-back. The producers try to cut Gary’s mic, but his song is still readily-audible through Jamie’s, as he leaps about the studio.]

“Having failed to secure this most coveted trophy with style and grace, City have instead sought the deliberate pragmatism of Hassenhuttl. Will it be enough tonight, Gary? GARY?!”

[Gary stops jumping about, looking very ill all of a sudden. Without warning, he vomits all over Jamie’s back. Jamie — ever the stoic professional — does not flinch. A wince of existential pain is clear in his eyes, but he pushes on as Gary wipes his face on Jamie’s sleeve, before taking up the microphone to address the question at hand, the color in his face returning.]

“Really, Jamie–“

[A look of horror crosses Gary’s face, as he fights the urge to projectile vomit once again. Sweat begins to bead on his forehead as he feels the bile rising in his throat, but slowly he regains his composure…by the thinnest of margins. Jamie shifts ever so slightly away, to avoid being in the direct line of fire.]

“Whoa…sorry, there, Jamie-lad. Bit too much o’ Grandma’s pick-me-up, need to even it out with some of Grandpa’s cough syrup…one second…”

[Jamie’s horrified expression is met only with resignation in the control room, as Gary pulls out a two-liter bottle of purple liquid with the consistency of syrup. They all know exactly what it is. And while two liters of Sizzurp might temporarily calm Gary’s stomach, it will do nothing to dampen his spirit. Quite to the contrary. But it is too late, now. The head producer makes a mental note to fire Gary’s personal assistant.]

“Where was I?! Oh, yeah…see, whether it is humanity evolving slowly over time, lions stalking the Serengeti, or an old woman and baby fighting to the death in a steel-cage match at Wrestlmania, there’s one thing that science has taught us. Competition makes us stronger. In the business world, that means better products — pills that look like candy, hands that can shoot lightning, and a new generation of hurricane-proof dogs. But here, on the football pitch, it means that ****s like City get their bollocks twisted off by sexy Georgian hipsters in tight pants. That’s just science, Jamie-lad!”

[Gary looks eminently pleased with himself as Jamie tries to press on, refocusing on the match at-hand.]

“Of course, Gary. That’s…err…exactly what I was thinking…”

[Gary grins and takes another long, slow pull from his 2-liter bottle as Jamie continues on.]

“For me, it’s going to come down to grit. The Georgians won’t give City an inch, it’ll be a scrap. And when they recover possession, it’ll be a knife fight in a back alley to keep them from going straight to goal.”

[Gary cackles with glee.]

“And you’d know something about knife fights in alleys, you Scouse ****!!! But for once in your life, Jamie-lad, you’ve got it right. As Neville Neville always told Phil when he was being a little ****, sometimes in life you’re the pigeon. Sometimes you’re the statute. Tonight, City are the statue and when the Goose takes flight, he’s going to **** all over Ralph’s mangy head. I mean, seriously, what’d they cut his hair with? A knife and fork?!”

“Hassenhuttl’s haircut aside–“

“Seriously, Jamie-lad. It’s the worst use of scissors since Giggsy’s failed vasectomy.”

[Jamie sputters, trying to bring the discussion back onside, but the Champions League anthem has begun down on the pitch. Gary begins to sing along, improvising his own lyrics about the glorious, imminent triumph of Duruji Kvareli over the infidels at Manchester City — a song sung with the hearty passion of the heavily-intoxicated (and/or mentally infirm).

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5th minute

“Gary, my old son, what are Duruji thinking?! Clear the ball!!! But both Kouakou and Nikolaou stand there, waiting for the other to act!!! This is not the time!!! It was all too easy for Zeferino “the Brazilian Ibrahimovic” Maracat!!!”

“An utter shambles, Jamie-lad! But have faith! These Stockport ****s are just being lulled into a false sense of security.”

11th minute

“Well, Gary, your precious Georgians seem to be crumbling like the proverbial cookie, eh? They’ve got nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip.”

“These first 10 minutes have been depressing enough to make Eyeore finally call it quits and hang himself, Jamie, and I’m going to borrow the rope when he’s done if this doesn’t turn around.”

20th minute
[Gary screams in impotent rage at the Duruji Kvareli players on the pitch below, as City tear them apart with a quick counterattack. Jamie attempts to describe the play-by-play and provide pertinent color commentary as City take a 2-nil lead, but he cannot be heard over Gary’s screaming, and the sounds of Gary tearing the Duruji Kvareli kit from his body.]

30th minute
[Gary sits in the corner, weeping, drinking from his two-liter of Sizzurp, clad only in an animal-print banana hammock.]

“It’s a question that we will only be able to answer in due course, Gary, but the question has to be this. Is this a masterful display of pragmatic football, or the failure of Gooseball as a tactical concept?! A bit of both, perhaps?”

[Gary makes an obscene gesture that the censors are unable to blur before it is beamed worldwide.]

“Oh, that, just… A poor free kick, allowing Menzo to easily gather, he lays it…AND IN STREAKS FREIDGEIMAS, THE LITHUANIAN LE TOUX WITH THE MAGIC TOUCH!!! THAT’S DURUJI ON THE BOARD!!! A terrible attempt to play the ball back to the keeper, the Bethlem Royal Hospital pass of hospital passes! A gift to the Georgians if ever I saw one!!!”

[Gary screams in delight, a wordless, atonal cry of sheer joy. He leaps to his feet and grabs Jamie in a bear hug, the integrity of the hammock suffering a fatal, structural rupture as Gary cavorts around the studio overlooking the pitch.]

36th minute
[Gary watches as Duruji Kvareli deliberately build from the back, moaning at the glorious passing angles and aggressive playmaking from a deep-lying double pivot, pushing forward relentlessly.]

“This is the good stuff, Gary, my my my…look at that. The angles, the purpose…the….Freidgeimas drops deep, playing Hjaltason who is hitting the gap…Panchev cutting underneath…hitting the gap…HE SMASHES IT HOME!!! DURUJI KVARELI ARE LEVEL!!! PUT SOME PANTS ON GARY, PLEASE!!!”


45th (+1) minute

“I can’t believe what we’re seeing here, Gary. City, the dominant side, yet we’re level where it matters. And Nikolaou has just made up for his earlier error, calmly parrying that blast from Rahman.”

“Jamie-lad, can I have your pen?! Don’t worry, it isn’t for anything weird. It’s just a fetish I have.”

[Gary is singing anti-City songs in the back at full voice, currently serenading Jamie with My Old Man Said To Be A City Fan.]

“After that first 45 minutes, I can’t imagine what is in store for us in the 2nd half, Gary. Does Goose have something up his sleeve? Can Kvareli catch City out again?!”

[Gary runs over to Jamie like a lovestruck puppy, hammock utterly useless — but thankfully blurred. Repeating his name, over and over. Poking him with the pen Jamie promptly turned over to Gary a few minutes earlier. Finally, Jamie gives in.]

“What is it, Gary?”

[Gary giggles.]

“Pull my finger.”

[A look of exasperation passes of Jamie’s face.]

“I will never pull your finger, Gary.”

[Gary scowls in derision.]


48th minute


“Gary, I’m on your side here, son, young Nikolaou sprouting wings to deny Maracat!”

60th minute



64th minute
[Both Jamie and Gary scream in abject pain, as City launch an incisive counterattack after a period of sustained pressure from Duruji Kvareli. 3-2, City, as Freddy Kone-Coulibaly buries it off the far post.”

73rd minute
[Gary is back in his corner, curled into the fetal position, crying.]

“Last roll of the dice for Duruji Kvareli, as Mestrovic enters the fray, taking over for Kessie. Mbabu and Dahlen have already come on. They need…something.”

“Almost immediately, Dahlen is through…”

[Gary mumbles incoherently on the floor, taking a long pull from his two-liter bottle. Disconsolate.]


83rd minute
[Wordless, incoherent rage again takes over the broadcast, as City and Kvareli exchange counterpunches in what has become a wide open game, but City are the side to break through, as Maracat finds a gap and slots his finish into the far corner to give City a 4-3 lead.]

90th minute; Injury Time
[The 4th official holds up a sign indicating there will be 5 minutes of time added-on. Gary is busy smashing anything and everything he can get his hands on, as Jamie begs for the spirit of Istanbul 2005 to appear and deny “those Stockport ****s” (a phrase he keeps repeating, much to the dismay of the censor who has been unable to stop them all).]

[On the pitch, Duruji are pressing high, looking to force a mistake. But City go direct, finding a gap. Tomas Hernandez seizes the moment, firing it home for City’s 5th. The dream is over, for some. For others, it is coming true. Jamie grabs a wrench. He and Gary share a look, and begin to smash the studio in tandem.]
Full Time

The final whistle blows, as Duruji Kvareli’s players drop to the turf. Broken. Shattered.

In the technical area, Levan “Goose” Akhobadze looks on, a righteous fury consuming every fiber of his being.

He need not speak a single word. The entire world can see it in his eyes.

Vengeance shall be his. In this life, or another.

Thank you for joining us in Istanbul. Duruji Kvareli’s 2038 campaign will continue in the 2038 Open Thread: Peace Was Never An Option.

God leaned over to the Devil, drew him close and declared, “those who will drink three glasses of chacha may be on my side. After that, they are yours.”

If you’ve stumbled upon this post and are finding yourself a bit confused, the basic concept behind Duruji Subsequent ThreadSave is explained here.  Just need to catch up? Each installment in Levan “Goose” Akhobadze’s attempt to take over the football world, starting from the Georgian Regional Leagues, can be accessed through the Duruji Subsequent ThreadSave Archive.

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