Champions League Semi-Final Preview
For all the prevailing narrative of Bundesliga and Ligue 1 being “farmers’ leagues”, it is clubs from these two leagues who make up the semi-final line-up of the UEFA Champions league.
How’s that for a riposte?
There are no clubs from either the Premier League or the La Liga, and for the first time in many years, neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing in the semi-finals. It’s like a foreshadow of a time when both these footballers would be retired, leaving us shorn of the magic and the rivalry that captivated fans across the world.
But let’s not draw our focus away from the men of the hour. After the adrenaline rush of the quarter-final stages, there might be a suggestion that this is a format better suited to the competition than its traditional, season-long, two-legged knockout ties version. Why not stage it like this every year, at the end of the season.
Champions League Quarter-Final Review
So another season of the Champions League is coming to a close. Special circumstances, and a different format, but no doubt, the excitement is quite the same. After the fall of 2018/19 trailblazers Ajax in the group stages, there was a familiar look in the round of 16, with clubs from the top five leagues making the knockouts. And now that the quarter finals are over, there’s just three games to go before we find out who lays their hands on the coveted trophy.