A revolution of joy? What awaits us in the Champions League


Almost five whole months have passed since the last goal scored in the Champions League until the resumption of the glittering factory. For those who are brainwashed and unable to remember, we are told that it was Albero Murata who subdued Allison Becker in the 120th minute and secured the victory and promotion of Atletico Madrid to the quarterfinals of the factory at the expense of European champions Liverpool. Less than 48 hours later almost all football matches in Europe have been postponed due to the outbreak of the corona virus and the lifestyle of us all has taken a turn.

It must be said, with a fair amount of fairness, that in contrast to the cloud surrounding the renewal of local leagues and the infamous future of the euro that March, there was no doubt that the UEFA would make every effort to complete the Champions League – the most prestigious product it has to offer. Tova on the continent had to continue and its result – which we will be able to analyze a little more in depth in the next two weeks – is a new and revolutionary version.

Never in all the history of the factory, even before it changed its name to the Champions League in 1992 and was called the European Cup, the Final 8 method was introduced – the same one knockout game, the customer from local cup games, World Cup or Euro, From 60 years. The games will take place without a crowd, an unpleasant experience to which we have become accustomed, and in two different stadiums in Lisbon, all the way to the trophy. A similar thing will happen in the Europa League (4 different stadiums in Germany), starting from the quarter-final stage.

It is clear that without the great fear of the virus and time pressure to open the 20/21 season back in August, UEFA would have reserved the right to hold two games in the quarter-final stages. This was true both financially and professionally. It should be remembered that what made the The Champions League bombshell of rating, excitement and quality, stemmed in large part from the product of the sweeping knockout stages we experienced from Barça’s 1-6 at PSG to Tottenham’s inconceivable comeback against Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena last year.

In just the previous three seasons, the average number of goals scored in the knockout stages of the Champions League was 3.3 per game – a higher number than any game in a major European league. Without the reciprocal games, which currently seem forced as a result of a ban on bringing in an audience, a new challenge has been born that could slightly threaten all the beauty we have experienced in recent years. Similar to the World Cup and Euro Games, the Final 8 method changes the rules of the game and will cut down on the teams left in the game a little more controlled, as there is no chance to correct beyond 90, 120 minutes or penalties. When the tension goes up, the gates go down and maybe even the quality.

For romance lovers, there is certainly a line here as the Underdog has a lot more to sell in the Corona format of the Champions League. Atletico Madrid, who are fond of play-offs, Leipzig, Atlanta and even Lyon and Napoli (who have to go through the quarter-final rematch first) can certainly see themselves (almost) equal among equals. Fate wanted (or the lottery) and beyond the first three we mentioned, PSG is also on the “right” side of the track to Lisbon, and it is already certain that one finalist will get there, with no history of factory wins. As any major tournament teaches us – from the youth Euros to the World Cup for the seniors, the man makes plans and then the knockout comes and laughs in his face.

What has not changed so much since the outbreak of the corona to this day, is the functioning of the participants in the factory. Regarding the big ones: Bayern Munich continued exactly where they left off (only wins) and looks like the big favorite to win, Real Madrid is built from exactly the same basic elements that gave birth to the championship in Spain, Manchester City can deliver record views and fall in the moment of truth (Cup semi-final), Barcelona is troubled In the same problems that accompanied it before the Corona period (from Kika Stein to Griezmann) and Juventus continues to fake in the defensive field.

Atlanta is breaking conquest records in the Italian league, Simeone’s Atletico has been on the rise since February and Chelsea are in any case irrelevant to the high stages. PSG and Lyon are hard to beat, as the French league has been discontinued. Only one team can say that the Corona has really disrupted the plans and it is Leipzig that has deteriorated in the Bundesliga and has now lost Timo Werner who moved to Chelsea. All the other teams are supposed to continue from the same point and the matter of the loads and pressure on the players that was talked about during the leagues, is no longer really relevant.

And since most of the participants show vulnerability and almost every possible result in the conditions created, already in the quarter-final stage we may get seven teams that have never won the factory and four meetings that have not yet been seen in the later stages of the factory. For that to happen, Napoli have to oust Barça (difficult, but possible), Lyon Juventus (it’s not in the sky) and Manchester City Real Madrid (chances are it will). Sponsored by Corona or not, this could be a super special season that you will never forget.


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