I was speaking to my good friend recently and he asked me a question I had actually been thinking about for a few days:
If I had to choose only one, would I prefer that Fiorentina win the UEFA Cup, or qualify for the Champions League?
It’s an interesting question. Of course the Viola still have the chance to get both prizes, and as fans we don’t have to choose one or the other. It is really just a hypothetical, but it gets to the root of what we want most as fans.
On one hand, it makes a lot of sense to hope that Fiorentina gets the CL spot. It will probably be better for the club in the long run, in terms of making more money, and will certainly be a blast for fans of the team next year. Making the Champions League would also vastly improve the team’s chances of keeping this very likable and interesting group of players together. Frey and Mutu (for example) might be offered more money elsewhere, but the lure of playing in the Champions League will be strong. (This is true particularly in Frey’s case, since his main suitor will likely be Milan; if the Viola make the CL, that means Milan will not.) There are even rumors that Coach Prandelli might leave after the season (God forbid, and thankfully he has refuted them) but regardless he would surely stay if he had the chance to coach in the CL next year.
However, if I absolutely had to choose between the two, I would choose the UEFA Cup trophy. While qualification for the Champions League is wonderful, it is still fleeting, while a trophy lasts a lifetime. And there is no feeling quite like winning. I would like a trophy to commemorate what really has been a very special season on the banks of the Arno.
As I said, of course, we don’t have to choose. We can just root like hell for both. But what do you think? If you had to choose, would you take the trophy, or CL qualification?
I’ll be back tommorow with the Rangers preview.