It’s a time for dynasties all over the world, a time for consolidation that is most frequently highlighted amongst the best in European football. Amongst the top five leagues in Europe, Paris Saint-Germain are dominating Ligue 1, Juventus are on course for an eighth-successive Serie A title, Atlético Madrid only briefly halted Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance in LaLiga, while Los Blancos have amazingly managed win three successive Champions League honours on the bounce.
The phrase “building a dream” means more than most to Team Wellington skipper Justin Gulley.
Since he dropped out of the professional game with the A-League’s Wellington Phoenix in 2016, the left-back has been pursuing a builder’s apprenticeship by day and OFC Champions League success with TeeDubs by night.
After experiencing heartbreak in three consecutive OFC Champions League finals to the Navy Blues, Team Wellington exorcised their demons by defeating their New Zealand rivals in the semi-finals. The TeeDubs’s long wait for continental glory then came to an end after a high-scoring aggregate victory in the final against Fijian outfit Lautoka.
There will be one notable absentee from the line-up at the fast-looming FIFA Club World Cup. Auckland City have become familiar to worldwide TV viewers, featuring in the past seven consecutive tournaments and nine overall.
Their unlikely run of seven consecutive continental club titles eclipsed the mark set by Real Madrid’s storied all-star team of the 1950s.
Replacing Auckland City as Oceanian kings earlier this year were Team Wellington. The side from New Zealand's capital had inched ever closer to their domestic rivals over a period of several years. They agonisingly lost three successive OFC Champions League finals, before finally eclipsing the Aucklanders on away goals in an epic semi-final in April.