Champions: League 2017-18 round-up
Will the defending champions claim the trophy to Bernabeu again or will it travel all the way to England to see the stadiums like Old Trafford or perhaps White Hart Lane? Writes Ananya Das.
Gather all your favourite football players in one place and ask them what their most memorable goal was. Most of them will probably tell you it was when they scored an important goal on a UEFA Champions League night. The importance of the tournament comes from the fact that the competition is now not limited to just your own home league's comfort zone but now the stakes are higher and bigger. The titans from all over Europe compete to get their hands on one of the most exalted and illustrious prize in modern football- the UEFA Champions League trophy. Every year, clubs from all the big-time leagues fight for a spot in the top 4 of their own respective leagues to come and clash in the arena of Champions League, its cutthroat and sometimes even personal but in the end, they all say it's worth it.
This year is no different as clubs from all across Europe have gathered fight in one of the most reputed tournament in the world and the competition this time around is as ruthless as ever. Premier League clubs have re-emerged as the rising phoenix to overcome the odds that seasoned European clubs present with and last season when Manchester United finally got included in Champions League line up after a dramatic Europa League campaign, the total tally for English clubs in the tournament goes up to 5, which is a better number than we have seen in recent years. Manchester United joins the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool with Liverpool being the only club out of these five who have not had a 100 per cent win record in the competition yet but there's still time to get that record nullified.
Clubs like United, Chelsea and Liverpool have proven their skin in the European stage and back in 2008, United and Chelsea met and battled it out for the Champions League trophy and there's no saying it won't happen again this year as both the teams are extremely well equipped to threaten the odds.
It is not just the CL veterans who are performing exceedingly well but Spurs are currently no. 2 on their group's table and arguably, they have one of the toughest groups in the tournament with last year's defending champions Real Madrid and the German giants- Borrussia Dortmund. Their star player Harry Kane is the top scorer so far and though it is early to call the shots, the Englishman doesn't seem to stop wanting this said title with 5 netted goals already. Manchester United won't be left behind this year as they remain number one in their group with Romelu Lukaku leading the team into almost all its victories. The thing about the European stage is that it is every bit as unpredictable as the weather itself and while we make assumptions of who the potential winner could be – someone from the opposite end might just take it from under our noses. The dark horses of the tournament are the one you need to be careful of- Sevilla and Monaco are the teams that are pushing towards victories with each passing day. Sevilla stands at number one ousting Liverpool to number 2 and while Monaco doesn't have the same rank as Sevilla in its own group, it has some promising young players who have pushed the limits of their opponents in all ways possible.
Spanish clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona will look forward to adding another trophy to their name and with Neymar gone, Barcelona will most completely rely on Lionel Messi to pick up the scrapes while Neymar wilfully helps the Parisian club, PSG to potentially lift the trophy this time around. Will the defending champions claim the trophy to Bernabeu again or will it travel all the way to England to see the stadiums like Old Trafford or perhaps White Hart Lane? The predictions are endless and the result only one. This week Real Madrid will face Tottenham Hotspur, United will face Benfica, Man City will once again take on Napoli and Liverpool will play against Maribor- in an all new and exciting UEFA Champions League.