McFarland, associate professor of history at Indiana University Kokomo, discussed the importance of football (soccer) in Spanish culture, in an article in the Wall Street Journal. Joshua Robinson, sports editor of the European edition, contacted him for insight in the days leading up to the prestigious championship, which featured Real Madrid CF and Club Athlético de Madrid.
"It's rare enough to have two teams from the same country, let alone the same city, in the finals," said McFarland. "It was a pretty big deal, and unusual."
The article was about the two rival sports newspapers in Madrid, which are two of the four highest circulation newspapers in Spain. Each has circulation of more than 150,000.
McFarland's specialty area is the cultural place of sports, in particular soccer, in Spain. Robinson found him online and e-mailed him to gain background information for his article.
"It was fun being able to explore some of the history he didn't know," McFarland said. "It was nice to be able to get that kind of exposure for IU Kokomo."
Real Madrid CF won the championship match 4-1 in extra time.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.