Sport Eight teams that could win the UEFA Champions League

17:30  13 september  2017
17:30  13 september  2017 Source:   Larry Brown Sports

Spanish league wants UEFA to investigate Man City's spending

  Spanish league wants UEFA to investigate Man City's spending The Spanish soccer league wants UEFA to investigate Manchester City's spending and expand its newly-launched probe into whether Paris Saint-Germain has breached Financial Fair Play rules. Spanish league president Javier Tebas said in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that Abu Dhabi-funded City and Qatari-owned PSG are benefiting from state aid which distorts European competitions and "is irreparably harming the football industry."Tebas wrote separate letters to European soccer's governing body on Aug. 22 requesting investigations into Man City and PSG.

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

The group stage of the UEFA Champions League is underway, and 32 teams still have a chance to win Europe’s elite club competition. Here’s a look at the eight leading contenders to win the competition and call themselves champions of Europe.

Gareth Bale and reigning back-to-back champs Real Madrid have an embarrassment of riches.© Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports Gareth Bale and reigning back-to-back champs Real Madrid have an embarrassment of riches.

The group stage of the UEFA Champions League is underway, and 32 teams still have a chance to win Europe’s elite club competition. Some of them realistically have no chance — Cinderella teams from small leagues, such as Azerbaijan’s Qarabag FK, make for great stories but have no realistic chance of winning the competition. In fact, only about a quarter of the teams remaining in the draw look like they might end up realistically winning the trophy in Ukraine next May.

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Here’s a look at the eight leading contenders to win the competition and call themselves champions of Europe.

Spanish league wants UEFA to investigate Man City's spending

  Spanish league wants UEFA to investigate Man City's spending The Spanish soccer league wants UEFA to investigate Manchester City's spending and expand its newly-launched probe into whether Paris Saint-Germain has breached Financial Fair Play rules. This Card Is Offering a $200 Intro Bonus If You Spend $1000 Learn More Sponsored by NextAdvisor Spanish league president Javier Tebas said in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that Abu Dhabi-funded City and Qatari-owned PSG are benefiting from state aid which distorts European competitions and "is irreparably harming the football industry.

Fancy yourself as a UEFA Champions League Predictor expert? Our 2017/18 game is now live – make your predictions and you could win Porto will hope to extend their record of never having lost to Turkish opposition in eight previous matches when they kick off Group G with a visit from Beşiktaş.

The champions league trophy is the highest one a club can obtain. the UEFA Europa league is for teams that place in 5th and 6th (maybe 7th too? not to positive on that) in their own leagues . Who will win the 2017 Champions League ? Which major teams never won the UEFA Europa League ?

Atletico Madrid

This is not Diego Simeone’s most talented Atleti side, and they were hindered in a big way by a lack of summer additions stemming from a FIFA-imposed transfer ban relating to improper activities involving the signing of under-18 players. As such, this is more or less the same squad that ended up finishing third in La Liga behind Real Madrid and Barcelona last season.

Count Atletico out at your own peril, though, as Simeone has demonstrated a knack for taking this team deep into Europe’s premier club competition.

The flip side of the transfer ban is that it enabled them to dig in their heels and retain most of their key players, including French forward Antoine Griezmann, who had widely been expected to leave at the end of last season. In their last four seasons, Atletico’s worst Champions League performance has been a quarterfinal appearance — they lost in last season’s semifinals and have twice been runners-up to rivals Real Madrid. They have proven that they can have success in this competition, and it would be foolish to dismiss them easily.

Real Madrid Star Cristiano Ronaldo Predicts Lionel Messi Will Suffer With Barcelona This Season

  Real Madrid Star Cristiano Ronaldo Predicts Lionel Messi Will Suffer With Barcelona This Season ​Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly confident that he has an edge in the pursuit of individual honours over Lionel Messi this season as his side have a clear advantage over arch-rivals Barcelona - who are seemingly set for a tough year. Zinedine Zidane's side secured a La Liga and Champions League double last term and Ronaldo is said to be of the belief that another triumphant season awaits for Real Madrid, whilst Messi is set for anguish on both domestic and international fronts.

He later lined up against Zlatan Ibrahimović when his Fenerbahçe SK team beat FC Internazionale Milano 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2007/08. • Despite a host of injuries and Dmitri Baga missing through suspension, BATE claimed only their second win in eight league games

The 16 surviving teams join 16 seeded teams in a group stage. Eight group winners and eight runners-up enter the final knockout rounds, which Liverpool, whose 2005 win was their fifth overall. The first European Cup/ UEFA Champions League final to be competed between two clubs from the

Barcelona

Barca are definitely not in the best place they’ve ever been. Neymar’s decision to bolt for Paris Saint Germain surprised many, and it left a big hole in the club’s vaunted front line that had been their great equalizer. There is a lot of concern about the future of Barcelona and whether they can maintain their status as perennial contenders, and for good reason.

But for now, this team still has Lionel Messi, and as long as Lionel Messi is playing for you, you have a chance to win any game you’re playing. The same goes for Luis Suarez, who has toned down his biting habits and instead devoted himself to being one of the game’s great pure goalscorers. Barca aren’t the best team in the competition, but they have arguably the best player in the competition. They will be a tough out because of that reason.

Bayern Munich

Bayern are perpetual contenders, and it’s telling that their quarterfinal exit last season would actually count as a disappointment — it was the first time they’d departed the competition before the semifinals since 2011. The addition of 2014 World Cup standout James Rodriguez should add more punch to the attack, and the team still has the same core that has made them German champions for five years running.

'Cristiano is from another planet' - Zidane hails Madrid star as the best

  'Cristiano is from another planet' - Zidane hails Madrid star as the best The Real Madrid lauded several of his players but put special praise on his Portuguese starRonaldo, 32, enjoyed another stellar season in 2016-17, scoring 42 goals in all competitions, helping Madrid win La Liga and the Champions League.

Team facts. Legend. UEFA Champions league - 2016/17 season. Match press kits. • The Merengues were on an eight -match winning streak in European home fixtures prior to their 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund on matchday six.

The Union of European Football Associations ( UEFA ) is the governing body for association football in Europe. It organises three club competitions: the UEFA Champions League (formerly European Cup), the UEFA Europa League (formerly UEFA Cup) and the UEFA Super Cup.

The problem with such sustained domestic success is that it becomes expected — and in contrast, the club’s failures in Europe are magnified. It’s up to manager Carlo Ancelotti to make progress there.

Juventus

Heavily favored to win their seventh consecutive Italian title this season, Juve were Champions League finalists for the second time in three seasons last year. The result was the same — they ran into a Spanish buzzsaw in the form of Real Madrid, just as they had in 2015 against Barcelona.

There was some upheaval in Turin over the summer, with defensive stalwart Leonardo Bonucci departing the club. Talented youngster Daniele Rugani won’t miss much of a beat, though. Juve still boasts one of the game’s most talented young strikers in Paulo Dybala, as well as a giant in defense in Giorgio Chiellini. They’re typically a sturdy, tactically sound outfit, which bodes well in European play. They have a chance to go far once again.

Manchester City

Man City are long overdue for a big step forward in the Champions League. This will be their seventh season in the competition, and only once have they made it past the last 16 — a semifinal appearance in 2016 which, frankly, felt like a fluke. Part of their issue has come down to squad depth problems and balancing the rigors of the domestic campaign with the difficult European season.

'Scary' PSG must challenge in Champions League - Henry

  'Scary' PSG must challenge in Champions League - Henry The Ligue 1 club's "crazy" spending spree means the pressure is on to challenge for Champions League glory, according to the retired Arsenal strikerNew boy Kylian Mbappe became the latest big-money PSG star to score on debut as he joined Neymar and Edinson Cavani in finding the target in a 5-1 rout of Metz on Friday.

UEFA President Ceferin: A future Champions League final could be contested in New York - AP. Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 5-3 in penalties to win UEFA Champions League final The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams and play each other in a double round-robin system.

UEFA Champions League is a yearly club competition in Europe which was established back in 1955 and used to be known as European Cup. 22 Teams has won the european cup so far with Real Madrid being the most successful winning 11 overall titles and first five consecutive

This year, City should have the depth. They have six top-quality attackers, including three of Europe’s best players in Sergio Aguero, David Silva, and Kevin De Bruyne. Their undoing could be defensive frailty. Even in their signature Champions League performance last season, a first leg win over Monaco, they allowed three goals, which proved their undoing in the second leg.

The talent is here, and they have a manager in Pep Guardiola who has won the competition twice and only failed to reach the semis once in his career — last season. No more excuses.

Manchester United

It may be a year too soon for Manchester United, but they have the top-level talent to do well in this competition. They have a manager in Jose Mourinho who has won it twice at Porto and Inter. They have a player in midfielder Paul Pogba who rates among the best in the world. They have a goal-scorer in Romelu Lukaku who, while untested in Europe, has been a quality scorer in the Premier League for several seasons now.

What could hold them back is a relatively youthful, untested, and shallow squad. United finished sixth in England last season, though they made marked improvements over the summer, but it’s a big jump to go from sixth in England to champions of Europe (unless you’re the Chelsea side of 2012, that is). Still, Mourinho’s pragmatic style of soccer plays well in Europe, and they have the talent to make a serious run.

Watch: Messi plays Champions League anthem on piano

  Watch: Messi plays Champions League anthem on piano Lionel Messi is a man of considerable talent on and off the field.Someone’s excited for the @ChampionsLeague.

All of the teams from the UEFA Champions League Group Stages are in the game as well. (Do you think your club can win UCL title, if it’s a European and playing in Champions League ?)

While in Milan, football lovers may also take this opportunity to visit the exclusive San Siro Museum, boasting a fabulous trophy case (including the UEFA Champions League past editions trophies won by both Milanese teams ), old jerseys, photos, boots and tickets.

Paris Saint Germain

The Champions League has been the holy grail for Qatari-owned and backed PSG, but despite heavy investment in the squad over the last six years, they’ve never made it past the quarterfinals. What happened last season was the last straw — a Round of 16 exit against a Barcelona side that they beat 4-0 in the first leg and led 5-3 on aggregate with five minutes to go at Camp Nou before conceding three goals in seven minutes to get knocked out in one of the most remarkable collapses in the history of the competition.

The Parisians are not messing around now. They got back at Barcelona — sort of — by snagging Neymar away from them, and used some fancy accounting to bring in young French star Kylian Mbappe from Monaco. They already had such gifted players as Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani, Marco Verratti, and Thiago Silva in the fold. It’s been made clear to PSG through their summer business that failure is no longer an option and progress is mandatory in this competition. Expect them to make it.

Real Madrid

The reigning champions in back-to-back seasons and likely favorites to do it again. As they always do, Real Madrid boast an embarrassment of riches, particularly in their Cristiano Ronaldo-led attack. If the likes of Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Isco, and Toni Kroos are supporting acts in your attack, you have a really good team, and that’s without getting into one of Europe’s brightest young talents in Marco Asensio.

What has made this particular iteration of Real Madrid so successful is a steady defensive presence. Casemiro has been an outstanding fixture in midfield; Sergio Ramos remains one of Europe’s best defenders; and goalkeeper Keylor Navas had become one of the steadiest in the world at his position. Manager Zinedine Zidane was a Real legend as a player and has been given an unusual amount of autonomy in his role. The club is extremely political with a lot of executive meddling, but giving Zidane control has paid off. It would not be a surprise if the 12-time European champions made it lucky number 13 in 2018.

Bartomeu: Messi already playing under new contract .
There are no doubts over Argentine star's contract with the La Liga giants according to the club's presidentWhile Messi agreed to a contract extension until 2021 in July, the Barca star is yet to put pen to paper on the contract with the La Liga giants.

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