December 2018 saw the release of the first Avengers Endgame trailer where we saw Iron Man adrift in space recording a message to his beloved Pepper Potts, “If you find this recording, don’t feel bad about this. Part of the journey is the end,” he says. And the end it is for Marvel’s 22-movie series on the 26th of April in the final act, the world’s hope lies in the surviving Avengers’ response to Thanos’ calamitous victory in the previous film.
April 2019 also marks the beginning of the end for a lot of other iconic affairs as the final season of the highly rated Game of Thrones franchise starts being released midmonth, the curtain closes on European football leagues as well as the NBA and we see the final fixtures of the UEFA Champions League.
The Night King, Lannister, Jon Snow, Daenrys Taegeryan are all household names today and it’s left for us to see which of them eventually sits on the Iron throne. On Sunday, April 14, for the very last time, a season of Game Of Thrones will begin and then, five Sundays later, for the very last time, a season of Game Of Thrones will end.
But finality’s always been baked into Game Of Thrones ’ king-sized pie of epic fantasy, political intrigue, and things you can’t do, say, or show on broadcast television, hasn’t it? Dynasties get snuffed out, campaigns for the Iron Throne are squashed, and so, so, so many people die. The final curtain will definitely be no different.
Trophies are won at the end of competitions and a lot of the last few fixtures of the football season are key in deciding the winners, this is why it is termed “business end of the season”. Optimum performance is required more than ever as any slip up could be disastrous to all efforts towards achieving set goals.
On Saturday, 6th of April , we saw potential title deciding clashes in three of Europe’s top leagues. It was men against boys in Germany as Borussia Dortmund fell apart against Bayern Munich and proved to be title pretenders as they lost 5-0 and slipped one point below their opponents on the Bundesliga table, they can only hope for redemption onwards. Juventus pulled a comeback against AC Milan to win 2-1 which extended their lead to 21 points and remain on course for a record time win for their eighth straight title. Diego Costa saw red against Barcelona in the 28th minute, leaving Atletico Madrid with 10 men at the mercy of the home side who went on to win 2-0 and extend their lead to 11 points with seven games to go. The English premier League remains a two-horse race as Manchester City sit two points behind Liverpool with a game in hand.
The Madrid 2019 UEFA Champions League also draws to a conclusion as the quarter finals first legs were played on the 9th and 10th of April with Liverpool beating Porto and Tottenham earning a surprise win against premier League counterparts Manchester City on Tuesday. The following day, Ajax held Juventus to a 1-1 draw and Barcelona beat Manchester United on home turf with a Luke Shaw own goal. The second leg fixtures take place next week and the semifinals kick off on the last day of the month.
Elsewhere in sports, with the conclusion of the regular season on Wednesday, 10th of April, all attention is on the NBA Playoffs which starts weekend.Thirty teams have been cut down to 16, with Golden State Warriors looking to win their third-straight title and a staggering fourth in five years.The Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets are likely to be their main challengers out in the West, while the Milwaukee Bucks head the talent out in the Eastern Conference.
Let’s sit back and enjoy the climax as it unfolds in these amazing events over the following weeks, keeping in mind that “Part of the journey is the end”.
BY UTHMAN BABATUNDE