Les grandes équipes!!!
No matter which club you support, this song is bound to put a smile on your face. The Champions League is back and we football fans are ready for this new season. Not only because this is the biggest club competition on the planet, but also because several high profile players have switched clubs and we are excited to see them play for their new and in some cases their old clubs. Here we are looking to see which of the 32 teams participating in the competition have a genuine chance to take the trophy home.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane bring a lot of European pedigree to Old Trafford with a total of 9 Champions League titles, which is 8 more than the rest of the squad combined. Varane has played under the tutelage of Sergio Ramos for 10 years and has become one of the best in the business. Cristiano Ronaldo, Mr. Champions League himself, was unable to win the coveted trophy in Italy, but will be hell bent to bring it back to Manchester like he did in 2008. In Jadon Sancho, Manchester United has secured one of the brightest stars of modern football who will add a lot of technicality to this Manchester side.
Though Manchester United is going to be a joy to watch with these new signings, a run for the title might not be on the cards yet because they still have a hole in their team: a genuine CDM. If the Red Devils want to take a real shot at the title, they need to strengthen that position in January.
On the other side of Manchester, the Sky Blues have brought in Jack Grealish for £100 million. He has already made an impression in front of the Cityzens and they have liked what they have seen so far. They are still missing a dangerous number 9 profile and this might just cost them against defensively sound teams like Chelsea. Had they gotten Kane or Ronaldo, they would perhaps even rival PSG to be the favorites to win. Nevertheless, they still have a great squad and Pep Guardiola is one of the best football minds out there so one shouldn’t be surprised to see them reach deep into the competition or even win the whole thing.
After one of the best transfer windows in history, Paris Saint Germain is the clear favourites to win their maiden Champions League trophy and become the first French team to do so since Marseille in 1993. They have abundant firepower going forward, leadership in defense and a tenacious mid field and an overall hard working squad. This is surely PSG’s year… right? This situation is very similar to the one of Real Madrid in the mid 2000s.
They had a star studded team with legendary players like Ronaldo, Michael Owen, David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy in the ranks but still were unable to win the Champions League for over 10 years. This proves that just having super stars doesn’t guarantee success and can actually rather work against you. Pochettino has a winning team no doubt but he has to manage that team well, getting the best out of every player and keep those egoes under control.
The Galacticos are the most successful team in the history of the competition by a mile, however they have not been one of the best teams since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. Florentino Perez tried to change that though by opening his wallet up and offering €200 million for a Kylian Mbappe who will be free to leave next year.
Though Perez was unable to get his man this season, this just means that next season Madrid will go on a shopping spree and build another winning team like they have previously. Currently, it is highly unlikely that they will compete for the title, however, only a fool will ever rule Los Blancos out especially one with Carlo Ancelotti on the helm. Also there’s a teensy chance that Real will make a play for Mbappe in January.
Calling Bayern Munich in form is like calling The Professor from Money Heist prepared, but their performances in the past 3 games have been nothing less than insane. They have scored 21 goals and only 1 goal conceded in those 3 games and have scored 3 or more goals in all of their last 5 games. Last season there were a few spells when Bayern’s dominance was not as evident as it usually is but this season under the new management of Julian Nagelsmann, the Bavarians look even stronger. They need to sort a little out at the back but apart from that if anyone can give a challenge to Man City and PSG, it’s Bayern Munich.
From one recent UCL winner to another, the defending champions have strengthened their squad even more with the addition of a certain hunky Belgian. Their defense is as impeccable as ever, Jorginho and Kante are perhaps the best mid field duo in the world currently and with the addition of Lukaku you would expect Chelsea to score a lot more goals than they did last season. They are a complete team with a master mind leading them, they are perhaps being a little underrates with the bookies giving them 9/1 odds to win the UCL as opposed to PSG’s 4/1 and City’s 9/2.
The 2019 UCL winners have not strengthened much in the summer but that was because Klopp didn’t feel the need to. They might not have the deepest squad but their starting 11 is definitely among the best in the world. Winning multiple trophies might not be the cards but Liverpool has prioritized winning a certain trophy before and they could do so again. Winning the UCL is most definitely not be an easy task but on their day, Liverpool can be the hardest teams to play against.
In essence, the UCL title has never been more open with so many teams making a genuine claim for the title. Whether it’s teams trying to repeat history, create history or try to avoid becoming history, they will all fight with all their might to win the coveted trophy.