By Heejae Park
The UEFA Champions League is renowned for being a fan favorite – it is known best for its dramatic last-minute wins and sensational rivalries between participating teams. This year’s Champions League started in the 18th of September with the participants working hard towards winning the glorious Cup this season.
Having the world’s best football clubs, the league is perhaps the most competitive of its kind. All of the teams have played their second group stage matches. Some of the major European teams have seen to be adjusting to new managers and new players. The following are a few of the top teams that are taking part in the league.
Real Madrid, 3 consecutive European Champions
FC Barcelona, La Liga Santander title holders
Juventus FC, Serie A TIM title holders
FC Bayern Munich, Bundesliga title holders
Paris Saint Germain, Ligue 1 title holders
Manchester City, Premier League title holders.
This year marks former Real Madrid player, Cristiano Ronaldo’s, first appearance with his groundbreaking summer transfer team, Juventus FC in the Champions League Cup. Last year, Ronaldo won the Champions League for the third time in a row with Real Madrid and was awarded the UEFA Best Forward of the Year.
These achievements started the speculation amongst football fans that Juventus had the ability to win the cup this year with Ronaldo’s involvement. However, given that Ronaldo now has different teammates, a great chemistry, at least initially, is not expected.
Apart from Ronaldo and other legends of the game, such as Lionel Messi, many other game-changing players are also taking place in the UEFA Champions League. For instance, the cup will involve remarkable players who have proven their worth in the World Cup, such as Kylian Mbappe for PSG, Antoine Griezmann for Atlético Madrid, and Paul Pogba for Manchester United.
The Champions league had some of the greatest comebacks in football history, giving football fans, a taste of the European Championship. Matches like FC Barcelona versus Paris Saint Germain, took the fans by storm with the comeback of FC Barcelona, from 3-0 down in the first leg, to 6-5 in the second leg to secure progression towards the quarterfinals in the second leg.
Within the transfer of Ronaldo to Juventus, Juventus will have high expectations of winning the Champions League. Alongside the absence of Ronaldo, Real Madrid is expected to be weaker in terms of the starting eleven, giving the Magician, Lionel Messi, a chance towards snatching the Champion League back with FC Barcelona for the 5th time. Or, perhaps, another team would rise up towards taking the trophy from Real Madrid. All we have left in our minds is a plain question of ‘Who will rise as Champions this year?’.