UEFA Champions league is easily the top club football competition in the world. 32 teams are arranged in eight groups at the beginning of each campaign, as they aim to become the Champions of Europe. This competition holds the most attractive, interesting and most popular matches throughout the year. In the 60-year old history we have seen top clubs winning this competition, with current champions Real Madrid being the most decorated one with 11 titles.
The 2015/2016 campaign certainly has had its share of excitement, as we encountered Madrid rivals in the final. Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid battled it out in Milan, and Real Madrid came out victorious after penalties. In a turbulent season for the Los Blancos, Real Madrid deservedly won the eleventh title. However, with the new season set to begin in September, there are plenty of other teams entering the competition hoping to secure the title.
Real Madrid will probably aim to defend the title and become the only team to achieve that feat in the Champions league history. Zinedine Zidane has proven to be a jackpot appointment by president Florentino Perez and the new contract for Zidane justifies that claim. With incredible players, Real Madrid has a great chance of retaining the title, but it will be interesting to see the challenge other teams could offer to the Spanish giants. Real Madrid brought back Spanish star Alvaro Morata from Juventus, but no further (lucrative) acquisitions are expected.
Although an underdog, Juventus are set to seriously compete for the Champions league title this season, which would be their first since the 1996 trophy. Juventus significantly reiinforced their team ahead of the 2016/2017 campaign, adding the likes of Dani Alves, Miralem Pjanić and most recently Gonzalo Higuain to their ranks. Alhtough losing Pogba to Man Utd, this Juventus side can challenge the trophy heavily and it will be interesting to see this new Juve. Juventus were eliminated by Bayern Munich in the last 16 in the previous campaign, but will most likely go beyond that point this time round.
With the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as their manager, Bayern Munich clearly show that they want European dominance, instead of domestic success. Bayern is easily the best club in Germany and with exception of the Klopp years at Dortmund , is winning titles with ease. Bayern Munich reached the semi-finals in the previous campaign, but manager Pep Guardiola could not go pass this point. Ancelotti is expected to bring stability to Bayern but also utilize a very productive midfield with the new portuguese arrival Renato Sanches.
Luis Enrique narrowly won the La Liga last season, but failed to do anything serious in the Champions league, as the defending champions crashed out in the quarter finals. Barcelona finally decided to overhaul their defensive ranks, adding the likes of Digne and Umtiti to their team. With the best forward line in the world in Messi, Suarez and Neymar,Barcelona might easily compete to win the Champions league once again. Luis Enrique’s men are slowly regaining motivation, after being one of the most dominant clubs in the last decade.