The joy and ecstasy of others as they celebrate a Champions League win reminds us of what football is all about. Crafting a team, these days from across the globe, capable of holding their nerve against Messi, riding their luck occasionally, and seeing it through in the end. No Liverpool fans cared about the quality of the occasion in Madrid on Saturday, finals are about winning, as a few Celtic fans remarked the previous week.
The celebrations of a club 200 miles to the south did make me feel disenfranchised, though. We were once what they are now, and we can never be the same again, due to the way TV contracts are written.
These days our European targets are more modest, but we should still plan for more than we have had in the last couple of decades. If nothing else, it is better to fail planning to succeed, than to modestly accept a 7-0 reversal as an indication of the way it has to be.
The now famous Andy Robertson tweet from 18 August 2012 was clear, “#needajob.” The less-aspirational Newco were also in dire straights that day, but celebrated a 5-1 win over East Stirlingshire. Andy was earning less that every one of the East Stirlingshire players that day, but he won a Champions League before either club won a major trophy. We might never win the Champions League again, but we need to do everything in our power to get close, without taking console in domestic wins.