By: Lawal Damilare
Many things are interesting in Europe, but only a few come close to the UEFA Champions League. The Champions League is back and Europe’s elite will once again compete head to head to win arguably the biggest prize in club football.
English kings Manchester City claimed the trophy for the first time last year after beating Inter Milan in the final of the competition, and they would be looking to replicate that achievement this season.
However, they will not have it so easy as there will be stiff competition for Europe’s other big boys. With their rich history, Real Madrid are also serious candidates for the trophy, as they have won it 14 times and would be looking to make it 15.
They lost their talismanic striker Karim Benzema to the Saudi Arabian league during the summer, but Jude Bellingham, who joined from Borussia Dortmund has lit up the Bernabeu as the youngster has come up clutch on many occasions already.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich have sharpened their attack with the inclusion of England Captain Harry Kane. Barcelona may not be completely written off either, they looked rejuvenated last year under Xavi and the likes of Arsenal coming back under Arterta might be amongst the few surprises. PSG may not be at their best,but with Luis Enrique as coach, they could churn out some impressive displays.
The competition kicks off on Tuesday, September 19, with some gigantic group-stage encounters. PSG and Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan versus New boys Newcastle United are two of the sumptuous fixtures set for Tuesday. Then Manchester United travel to Gernan Lords Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
One thing is sure- that fans would get full value for the time they spend on their screens because of the quality of the teams.
What Do Uites Have To Say?
The University of Ibadan has some of the loudest and most passionate football fans in Nigeria. One thing can be sure- all the viewing centres across Independence Hall from Zik Hall, Kuti Hall, Bello Hall, Tedder Hall, to Mellanby- would be filled to the brim with football fans.
The UI community hosts a diverse set of fans who have diverse opinion on who would win the Champions League. For instance, Ore Ayoleke a 300 lvl student, and staunch Man Ujited fan, thinks Manchester United would win the Champions League, in his words, “ I think Man U would win the Champions League, we are yet to see a brilliant connection between Bruno Fernandez and Rasmus Hojlund, they would make magic “
Meanwhile, Ayomide Afolayan, a 400 lvl student and a Liverpool fan thinks Man City would win the competition and retain their title, “ Manchester City are the better team, and they have better players, so they would win it “
On the other hand, Mujeeb a 300 lvl Student of WPE thinks Madrid are favorite to win this year’s Champions League.
“Madrid has the highest midfield quality and if they could get a striker in the opening window they would stand a high chance of winning the Champions League,” he told Indy Press.
Also, Ayodeji another student thinks it’s between Madrid or Mancity, “ They have better players than everybody and they have the experience, I think they own this year’s trophy and it would be tough to decide between them “
Robert Armstrong, a 200 lvl student Agric Engineering said the Bavarians are at the top of his pecking order. “Bayern Munich are the favourites for me, and they are in their infant stages with the new coach, this is not the first time we’ve seen Tuchel do well with his team. I think they can pull up enough surprises”
There have been four months since the last Champions League game was played. Fans of the different participating clubs would would look to cheer their teams to the final in Wembley next year.