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An Exciting Future
April 4, 2023
With the UEFA Champions League approaching its final and most intriguing stages, the question rises: Who is going to lift its glorious trophy once again? The Champions League has been the main focus for top European teams since it was established back in the 1955–56 season. The glory of becoming the best team in Europe has been regarded numerous times as one of the highest achievements one can achieve in the game of soccer. The tournament consists of 32 teams that fight for the top two spots in 8 different lettered groups. After the infamous group stages, a draw takes place for the round of 16, as the knockout stages continue until the final.
This year, we saw the defending champions, Real Madrid CF, fly through their group while demolishing FC Liverpool, a strong English team, 6 to 2 on aggregate. The exciting encounter between these two teams sparked tensions among them, as it was essentially a rematch of last year’s Champions League final, which saw Real Madrid win the trophy for the 5th time in the last 10 years. Additionally, the matchup saw this year’s Ballon d’Or winner, Karim Benzema, as the main protagonist, scoring half of Madrid’s goals by himself. As they continue to march unbothered, Real Madrid will face Chelsea in the quarterfinals, which will definitely bring a show for the fans at the stadiums.
Shifting our viewpoint from the defending champions to the dark horses of this competition, SSC Napoli has been advancing through the ranks like no other team this season. As of April 3rd, Napoli find themselves at the top of the Italian league with 71 points, 16 points ahead of 2nd place Lazio, and are on the road to winning their first scudetto in over 30 years. In the Champions League, it’s no different. Napoli have reached the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time in their history after breezing through Eintracht Frankfurt with an aggregate score of 5 to 0, while also placing first in a very competitive group A. The future is bright, and as they prepare to face off against AC Milan on April 12th, they can start dreaming of leaving an important trace in the competition.