In the last few years, the crown of Europe’s strongest club, in the form of the UEFA Champions’ League Trophy, has bounced around from England to Germany to everywhere in between.
This year, fortunately for soccer fans around the world, is just as unpredictable. Running down the list of potential victors, it seems fitting to start with the defending champions Real Madrid.
As most people have figured out by now, Los Blancos got even stronger over the course of this transfer window via adding Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez to an already lethal midfield.
No analysis of Carlo Ancelotti’s side would be complete without mentioning the deadly BBC attack trio of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, and Cristiano Ronaldo. As a matter of fact, the Portuguese winger is closing in on the record for most Champions League goals, trailing only Madrid predecessor Raul and contemporary rival Lionel Messi by a measly one goal.
The Galacticos, though, face competition from within their own country, as Barcelona looks poised to rebound after a rough campaign last season. Most notably, the addition of Luis Suarez looks to revitalize Luis Enrique’s team, who did not have a true striker in the team, only a center forward.
Granted, it can be misleading to say only when said center forward is considered by most to be the best player in the world, but a center forward none the less.
Similarly, Bayern Munich, who arguably had a disappointing season by their standards in the 2013-14 campaign, had one of the more high-profile transfers of the summer, bringing in Polish striker Robert Lewandowski from Bundesliga rival Borussia Dortmund, on a free transfer.
Finally, the 2012 winners of the trophy, Chelsea, looked to be armed to the teeth with a fresh new batch of players. Up top, Diego Costa has come in to replace both Samuel Eto’o (Transferred to Everton,) and Fernando Torres (Loaned to AC Milan.)
After the brilliantly shrewd sale of David Luiz to French giants PSG, Jose Mourinho was able to dictate how he wanted that newfound money spent, which came in the form of Filipe Luis and Cesc Fabregas.
In addition, as if the Blues didn’t have enough world-class goalkeeping talent in Petr Cech, they recalled Thibault Courtois from his loan at Atletico Madrid, making the London side a practical threat in the later stages of the competition.
Furthermore, other teams to look out for could be Paris Saint Germain and Borussia Dortmund, plus Italy’s Juventus. However, as it stands now, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea seem the most likely to take home the UEFA title during this campaign.
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