There was a time when looking at Spanish football was synonymous with finding a good handful of the great stars of the Old Continent. In fact, not long ago in the Champions League finals, Spanish was spoken, because for five years there was at least one La Liga team on the last date of the competition. However, the current situation is far from what it was then. Paris, at the stroke of a checkbook, has established itself as the city of stars, with a dream team that includes Mbappé, Neymar and Messi, among many others, among its ranks. The PSG He does not give up in his efforts to win the Champions League and this year he has reasons to be closer to his desire than ever.
And on the other hand, the Premier, which also thanks to the money that comes in and that it has, has recovered the splendor of yesteryear with outfits that, at least on paper, promise to be a real nightmare for any of its rivals. But before traveling to England, it is advisable to take a walk through the rest of Europe.
Italy, down; Germany, difficult
On ItalyOn the contrary, the waters do not fall as crystal clear as in the British Isles. Not even winning Serie A has allowed the Inter de Milan keep players of the stature of Achraf or Lukaku. And the Juventus, who has been fighting with herself for years to reign in Europe as she does in Italy, is going through one of the most complicated moments in its recent history. With a tie in three league games, and after losing Cristiano, his most decisive player, Allegri does not finish hitting the key to re-float a team adrift.
On Germany, although we are not talking about a Bayern Munich as fearsome as a few years ago, he is still one of the ogres capable of standing up to the favorites. The Germans’ options depend to a large extent on Nagelsmann being on the bench, although it is never advisable to lose sight of the Bavarian team. In fact, two seasons ago, with Bayern evicted in November, Flick’s arrival on the bench reinvigorated the team to end up winning all the titles.
The other team to consider is the Borussia Dortmund, with Haaland as the main argument. Even so, it would be surprising if the Norwegian genius was enough to dream of the Champions League, although in the case of Haaland, we should not talk about impossible either. It should not be forgotten that Haaland’s emergence in the highest competition in continental football is unmatched, where he has scored 20 goals in just 16 games.
The english fortress
But if there is a country where candidates accumulate, that is England. Up to four teams have reason enough to dream of the final on May 28 at the Krestovski Stadium in Saint Petersburg. First of all, the Chelsea, current champion of the competition after the demonstration of physical and tactical superiority that he gave during the previous edition. A team that with Tuchel seems like a tuned orchestra, and that this summer has added Lukaku, who promises to drill goals throughout the continent.
Another who played in the 2020/21 final, although he did not have the same final as those in London, was the Manchester City. Guardiola’s team has been reinforced with Grealish, the most expensive signing of the summer. After touching glory a few months ago, the ‘citizens’ dream of finding in Russia the luck that they did not have in the final in Porto. Already in the group stage they will have a litmus test with the double duel against PSG.
The Liverpool Klopp’s is another who wants to join the party. After a season without great fanfare in which he accused Van Dijk’s dismissal, the ‘red’ team is confident of returning to set a good performance in Europe. At first, it is in the same group as Atlético, Milan and Porto, three teams that can scare any of the others and complicate the classification.
And finally, the Manchester United. Perhaps he was not in the quarter of favorites in the middle of summer, but the latest market movement, with Cristiano returning home, forces the ‘red devils’ to dream of lifting the Champions League again. The Portuguese re-release last weekend could not be better, with a double and the feeling that he is in the team not to be important, but to be decisive. This, together with a squad with players of the stature of Varane, Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, makes United another clear candidate to be crowned in Europe.