Insight

Talking points

Can Manchester City end their wait? Or Italy? Will Spain reassert their European dominance? And can anyone finish ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as top scorer?

Spain ready to rise

Last season was a shock to the system for Spain. Spanish clubs had won nine of the previous ten Champions League and Europa League titles, but turned reluctant onlookers as the Premier League delivered two all-English finals. “Bitter” is how Lionel Messi described the memory of Barcelona’s fate last May, sealed by an astonishing Anfield semi-final comeback. To erase the taste, the Spanish title- holders have recruited Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong. Over in the capital, Eden Hazard heads the new faces brought in to reinvigorate Real Madrid while Atlético have seen even more ins and outs, with Portuguese teenager João Félix spearheading a new era. Spain wants that crown back.

Striking Question

Quiz question: who was the last player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to finish Champions League top scorer? Answer: Kaká, who racked up ten goals for AC Milan in 2006/07. Since then, 12 seasons have gone by with at least one of that pair topping the charts. “We’ve had this battle the last 15 years, which is good – he has pushed me and I’ve pushed him as well,” Ronaldo said. It’s been a privilege to witness, but at 32 and 34 respectively, how much longer is their reign going to last?

Spain ready to rise

Last season was a shock to the system for Spain. Spanish clubs had won nine of the previous ten Champions League and Europa League titles, but turned reluctant onlookers as the Premier League delivered two all-English finals. “Bitter” is how Lionel Messi described the memory of Barcelona’s fate last May, sealed by an astonishing Anfield semi-final comeback. To erase the taste, the Spanish title- holders have recruited Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong. Over in the capital, Eden Hazard heads the new faces brought in to reinvigorate Real Madrid while Atlético have seen even more ins and outs, with Portuguese teenager João Félix spearheading a new era. Spain wants that crown back.

Striking Question

Quiz question: who was the last player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to finish Champions League top scorer? Answer: Kaká, who racked up ten goals for AC Milan in 2006/07. Since then, 12 seasons have gone by with at least one of that pair topping the charts. “We’ve had this battle the last 15 years, which is good – he has pushed me and I’ve pushed him as well,” Ronaldo said. It’s been a privilege to witness, but at 32 and 34 respectively, how much longer is their reign going to last?

Read the full story
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Surprise, surprise

After Tottenham and Ajax gave hope to underdogs everywhere by going so far last term, it will be intriguing to see if anyone emerges from the chasing pack – Dortmund, perhaps? – to push the serial winners and mainstays again. Another question to ponder is whether those clubs who have dominated their domestic leagues in recent seasons – chiefly, Bayern München, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus – can translate that success to the European stage.

Italy's longest wait

It will be ten years next May that Inter won the Champions League – the last time an Italian team lifted the trophy. Not since the 1970s has Serie A gone through such a barren spell. Could this season be different? Juventus have invested in defender Matthijs de Ligt, also bringing in midfield duo Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey; Antonio Conte’s new-look Inter boasts attacking talents in Romelu Lukaku (below) and Alexis Sánchez, as well as the experience and guile of Diego Godín. Napoli, meanwhile, have a coach who knows what it takes to win this competition in Carlo Ancelotti.

Spain ready to rise

Last season was a shock to the system for Spain. Spanish clubs had won nine of the previous ten Champions League and Europa League titles, but turned reluctant onlookers as the Premier League delivered two all-English finals. “Bitter” is how Lionel Messi described the memory of Barcelona’s fate last May, sealed by an astonishing Anfield semi-final comeback. To erase the taste, the Spanish title- holders have recruited Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong. Over in the capital, Eden Hazard heads the new faces brought in to reinvigorate Real Madrid while Atlético have seen even more ins and outs, with Portuguese teenager João Félix spearheading a new era. Spain wants that crown back.

Striking Question

Quiz question: who was the last player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to finish Champions League top scorer? Answer: Kaká, who racked up ten goals for AC Milan in 2006/07. Since then, 12 seasons have gone by with at least one of that pair topping the charts. “We’ve had this battle the last 15 years, which is good – he has pushed me and I’ve pushed him as well,” Ronaldo said. It’s been a privilege to witness, but at 32 and 34 respectively, how much longer is their reign going to last?

Talking points
Insight

Talking points

Can Manchester City end their wait? Or Italy? Will Spain reassert their European dominance? And can anyone finish ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as top scorer?

Spain ready to rise

Last season was a shock to the system for Spain. Spanish clubs had won nine of the previous ten Champions League and Europa League titles, but turned reluctant onlookers as the Premier League delivered two all-English finals. “Bitter” is how Lionel Messi described the memory of Barcelona’s fate last May, sealed by an astonishing Anfield semi-final comeback. To erase the taste, the Spanish title- holders have recruited Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong. Over in the capital, Eden Hazard heads the new faces brought in to reinvigorate Real Madrid while Atlético have seen even more ins and outs, with Portuguese teenager João Félix spearheading a new era. Spain wants that crown back.

Striking Question

Quiz question: who was the last player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to finish Champions League top scorer? Answer: Kaká, who racked up ten goals for AC Milan in 2006/07. Since then, 12 seasons have gone by with at least one of that pair topping the charts. “We’ve had this battle the last 15 years, which is good – he has pushed me and I’ve pushed him as well,” Ronaldo said. It’s been a privilege to witness, but at 32 and 34 respectively, how much longer is their reign going to last?

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

Spain ready to rise

Last season was a shock to the system for Spain. Spanish clubs had won nine of the previous ten Champions League and Europa League titles, but turned reluctant onlookers as the Premier League delivered two all-English finals. “Bitter” is how Lionel Messi described the memory of Barcelona’s fate last May, sealed by an astonishing Anfield semi-final comeback. To erase the taste, the Spanish title- holders have recruited Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong. Over in the capital, Eden Hazard heads the new faces brought in to reinvigorate Real Madrid while Atlético have seen even more ins and outs, with Portuguese teenager João Félix spearheading a new era. Spain wants that crown back.

Striking Question

Quiz question: who was the last player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to finish Champions League top scorer? Answer: Kaká, who racked up ten goals for AC Milan in 2006/07. Since then, 12 seasons have gone by with at least one of that pair topping the charts. “We’ve had this battle the last 15 years, which is good – he has pushed me and I’ve pushed him as well,” Ronaldo said. It’s been a privilege to witness, but at 32 and 34 respectively, how much longer is their reign going to last?

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Surprise, surprise

After Tottenham and Ajax gave hope to underdogs everywhere by going so far last term, it will be intriguing to see if anyone emerges from the chasing pack – Dortmund, perhaps? – to push the serial winners and mainstays again. Another question to ponder is whether those clubs who have dominated their domestic leagues in recent seasons – chiefly, Bayern München, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus – can translate that success to the European stage.

Italy's longest wait

It will be ten years next May that Inter won the Champions League – the last time an Italian team lifted the trophy. Not since the 1970s has Serie A gone through such a barren spell. Could this season be different? Juventus have invested in defender Matthijs de Ligt, also bringing in midfield duo Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey; Antonio Conte’s new-look Inter boasts attacking talents in Romelu Lukaku (below) and Alexis Sánchez, as well as the experience and guile of Diego Godín. Napoli, meanwhile, have a coach who knows what it takes to win this competition in Carlo Ancelotti.

Spain ready to rise

Last season was a shock to the system for Spain. Spanish clubs had won nine of the previous ten Champions League and Europa League titles, but turned reluctant onlookers as the Premier League delivered two all-English finals. “Bitter” is how Lionel Messi described the memory of Barcelona’s fate last May, sealed by an astonishing Anfield semi-final comeback. To erase the taste, the Spanish title- holders have recruited Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong. Over in the capital, Eden Hazard heads the new faces brought in to reinvigorate Real Madrid while Atlético have seen even more ins and outs, with Portuguese teenager João Félix spearheading a new era. Spain wants that crown back.

Striking Question

Quiz question: who was the last player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to finish Champions League top scorer? Answer: Kaká, who racked up ten goals for AC Milan in 2006/07. Since then, 12 seasons have gone by with at least one of that pair topping the charts. “We’ve had this battle the last 15 years, which is good – he has pushed me and I’ve pushed him as well,” Ronaldo said. It’s been a privilege to witness, but at 32 and 34 respectively, how much longer is their reign going to last?

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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