Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team are now the outright favourites to challenge for the Champions League trophy in May after an easy group stage draw ensured they should make it into the knockout phases of the competition. The reigning Premier League champions will face Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon then followed by Hoffenheim in a draw that […]
Category: UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is an annual continental club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and contested by top-division European clubs. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football, played by the national league champion (and, for some nations, one or more runners-up) of each UEFA national association. The UEFA Champions League final is the most watched annual sporting event worldwide. The final of the 2012–13 tournament had the highest TV ratings to date, drawing 360 million television viewers.
Introduced in 1992, the competition replaced the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, or simply European Cup, which had run since 1955, adding a group stage to the competition and allowing multiple entrants from certain countries. The pre-1992 competition was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each country. During the 1990s, the format was expanded, incorporating a round-robin group stage to include clubs that finished runner-up of some nations’ top-level league. While most of Europe’s national leagues can still only enter their national league champion, Europe’s strongest national leagues now provide up to four teams for the competition, and will provide up to five teams from the 2015–16 season onwards. Clubs that finish next-in-line in each nation’s top level league, having not qualified for the UEFA Champions League competition, may be eligible for the next level UEFA Europa League competition.
In its present format, the UEFA Champions League begins in mid-July with three knockout qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams enter the group stage, joining 22 other teams qualified in advance. The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams and play each other in a double round-robin system. The eight group winners and eight runners-up proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in May. The winner of the UEFA Champions League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Real Madrid is the most successful club in the competition’s history, having won the tournament 11 times, including its first five seasons. Spanish clubs have accumulated the highest number of victories (16 wins), followed by England and Italy (12 wins apiece). The competition has been won by 22 different clubs, 12 of which have won it more than once. Since the tournament changed name and structure in 1992, no club has managed consecutive wins; Milan were the last holders to successfully defend their title, in the 1989–90 season. The reigning champions are Real Madrid, who secured their eleventh title in the competition after defeating Atlético Madrid on penalties following a 1–1 draw in the 2016 final.
Real Madrid’s and Spain international Sergio Ramos has set many tongues rolling over his own long-term future with the Champions League holders following their Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Juventus. Gareth Bale netted a stunning volley in the Los Blancos’ 3-1 International Champions Cup defeat of the reigning Serie A champions, while Marco Asensio scored a […]
It has now been made official. Cristiano Ronaldo has joins Juventus in a stunning £99.2 million transfer from Real Madrid, worth a reported £26.5 million a season. According to the Real legend, he calls time on his historic nine years professional career at the Santiago Bernabeu by venturing to Italy with Juventus. BREAKING: @realmadrid have […]
Liverpool have searched for a replacement for Philippe Coutinho ever since the Brazilian left to join Barcelona in January and they may have settled on Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean forward Heung-min Son. According to German news outlet Sport1, Liverpool are battle Manchester United and Arsenal to procure the 25-year-old signature this summer. Son made 53 […]
Zinedine Zidane brought an end to his reign as Real Madrid manager, days after guiding them to the third Champions League title in a row. Real president Florentino Pérez was shocked at the decision, as were the supporters, but now the hunt on his for his replacement. We have identified five potential candidates to be […]
Zinedine Zidane spoke in a press conference on Thursday afternoon to announce his decision to resign as Real Madrid head coach. The Frenchman explained that Los Blancos “needs a change” after winning three consecutive Champions League titles. Zidane explained his reasons with Real president Florentino Pérez seated next to him who had a surprised look […]
Chelsea’s hopes of Champions League football next season were dealt a major blow after they were held to a 1-1 draw against Huddersfield Town on Wednesday. The Blues had many chances and the lion’s share of possession but found themselves frustrated by David Wagner‘s men, who secured their Premier League status for another season with […]
Real Madrid reached their third consecutive Champions League final after beating off a strong Bayern Munich side in Tuesday’s semis. Jupp Heynckes‘ men lost 4-3 on aggregate but put up a fantastic fight and came close to going through themselves. Ulreich‘s mistake cost Bayern dearly Bayern’s man between the sticks, Sven Ulreich, had been in […]
Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor believes he’s proving he belongs at the top level this season, with manager Brendan Rodgers starting him in big games in all competitions, reports The Scottish Sun. The 24-year-old was recently singled out for praise by Rodgers who compared him to Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm for his versatility and tactical […]
Brendan Rodgers has turned things around at Celtic since his arrived in May 2016. The ex-Liverpool manager won a domestic treble in his first season at Parkhead and set a new British record for unbeaten domestic matches (69). He’s close to sealing another domestic treble in only his second season at Celtic, which would be […]