G-14 is the outcome of the determination of the chairmen of the leading football clubs in Europe to join forces. They chose to ally the power of their experience and the legitimacy of their professional and operational abilities to form the best ever synergy of skills that will actively help to secure the future of football and the necessary changes it has to pass through.
There is no denying that the collective achievements, experience and financial weight and influence of the principal European Football Clubs deserve to be heard as the voice of this sport’s “excellence” : G-14 is the voice of the clubs.
The Champions League quarter finals kicked off in spectacular style at the Bernabeu Stadium, where holders Real Madrid put on a mesmerizing display of football to beat Manchester United 3-1. Figo opened the scoring with a superbly struck in-swinging chip, then Raul made it two with a low drive from the edge of the box. The football was breathtaking at times, with Zidane, Roberto Carles and Ronaldo showing all their tricks, but Manchester showed great character to hang on and go in just 2-0 down.
Raul looked as if he might have put the tie out of United’s reach when he scored with a wicked drive from outside the area, but Ruud van Nistelroy popped up to get his record 11th goal of the competition this season and give the hosts of this year’s final the vital away goal that ensures the second leg in a fortnight should be another cracking night between the two G-14 giants.
In contrast, Ajax and A.C.Milan fought out a goalless draw at the Amsterdam Stadium. Defences were on top with Chivu controlling Shevchenko and Inzaghi, whilst Maldini, Costacurta and Nesta defended magnificently for Milan. The best chance of the game came on the hour mark, when Van der Vaart turned an Ibrahimavic cross just inches wide. Bad news for the Italians was the injury to ex-Ajax midfielder Clarence Seedorf who limped off after 25 minutes, but they probably feel the more satisfied with the result ahead of the return game in the San Siro.
Barça keep up record
Wednesday saw Barcelona keep up their unbeaten record in the competition when they grabbed a 1-1 draw at the Delle Alpi Stadium againstJuventus. Despite what manager Radi Antic called: “not our best performance”, the Catalans will be the more confident of the two teams ahead of the return in the Nou Camp, thanks to Javier Saviola’s second half equalizer. Juve can take heart though from the ease with which they dominated the game and the number of chances they created, particularly an injury time opportunity for sub Di Vaio, who fluffed his chance with just the keeper to beat.
Down the road in Milan, Inter took on Valencia in a fiery affair that saw Emre and Albelda both sent off. Valencia looked dangerous enough, but the solid Inter defence restricted their goal opportunities and in an isolated first half attack Christian Vieri headed home an Emre cross for the single goal that Cuper’s men will have to defend on their trip to the Mestalla in a fortnight.
G-14 MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
Monday 28 April 2003 – 18hrs.
G-14 Headquarters, Brussels
Ave de la Toison d’Or, 67
G-14 GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING
Tuesday 29 April 2003 – 13hrs.
Hotel Amigo, Brussels
rue de l’Amigo 1-3.