Champions League


Leo Feng, News Editor

The Champions League is the pinnacle of soccer, exemplifying both the sport’s grandeur and popularity. With all of Europe’s top teams competing in the tournament, the Champions League is considered the most prestigious and competitive annual tournament in the world by many avid fans. Winning the tournament results in a cash prize of roughly 25 million euros as well as being crowned the “Champions of Europe”.

To maintain its competitiveness, the Champions League has a high bar for entry. Teams from the “top 5” leagues (France, England, Germany, Spain, and Italy) must place in the top 4 positions in their respective leagues, while teams from “lesser leagues” such as Russia and Turkey must either win or finish runner up. 

In the Champions League, teams are placed into 8 groups of 4 teams where they essentially play a round robin tournament against each other. The top two teams in each group based on their point difference (3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss) advance to the playoffs and the third place team in each group gets placed in Europa League, Europe’s “second tier” tournament. This year, major upsets include Barcelona, Juventus, and Athletico Madrid, massive favorites that all failed to qualify for the playoffs. 

In the playoffs, for both the round of 16 and the quarter finals, matchups are randomized via a draw. Through these randomized draws, a few notable matchups included PSG (Lionel Messi’s team) vs Bayern Munich and Real Madrid vs Liverpool, four teams that are considered by many to be the best in the world.. 

So far, the tournament has been nothing but excitement. Countless upsets, dominant wins, and a plethora of goals have headlined this year’s tournament. While the finals and semifinals have not been played yet at the time of writing, there is much excitement regarding the matches as they feature two intense and storied rivalries, one between two soccer titans in Real Madrid and Manchester City and another between city rivals Inter Milan and AC Milan. Based on betting sites, Manchester City and AC Milan are expected to make it to the finals but as former player Xabi Alonso once said, “Everything can change in the Champions League.”