This morning the draw for the Final Four of the Champions League was held, which will be held in Cologne on June 17 and 18, with a German Barça-Magdeburg and French Paris Saint Germain against Polish Kielce in the semifinals. Except for Magdeburg, the finalist teams have Spanish coaches in an edition full of morbidity from the beginning.
This is the eleventh presence of the Spanish champion in Cologne, where the fourteenth edition is held with the current format of the highest European competition. Barça is the only team that has won two consecutive Champions Leagues, and now it aspires to extend it to three, although before it has a very particular revenge: Magdeburgo is the only team that has defeated the Catalan team this season and I have won the two recent World Cups, 2022 and 2021. SUndoubtedly, she is the Chinese in Carlos Ortega’s shoe, the only rival she has never managed to overcome, and she also needs to claim victory on German soil, although in reality the fans in Cologne can well be said to be neutral.
In the other semifinal, in addition to the presence of Spaniards in the squad of PSG and Kielce players, the competition on the benches of two coaches with a close friendship: Talant Dujshebaev, now the Kielce coach, took the man from Valladolid with him as an assistant Raúl González to Ciudad Real and Atlético de Madrid, and gave him a hand to find a team when the rojiblancos disappeared; Raúl was champion of the Champions League with Vardar, and now he tries it with the Parisian team, while Talant is a classic with Kielce in the Final Four, with whom he has won a title (final goal by Julen Aguinagalde in the penalty shootout) The friendship goes back a long way, from their time as centre-backs in the national team, and in fact Raúl has seen Álex and Dani Dujshebaev grow in the youth ranks at Ciudad Real, and now they are two of the stars of the Polish team. Possibly, due to their personal relationship of years, they are the rival elite coaches, who are best known.
As a curiosity, Ortega, Talant and Raúl, are from the same era as players, they have in common having been teammates as national team in Spainand having very prosperous careers as coaches of clubs and foreign teams.