Champions League action heating up in Europe

Love football? Pay attention to Europe

9/18/13 in Soccer   |   jvardaman   |   3 respect

May 25, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Bayern Munich players from left including Thomas Mueller , David Alaba , Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm celebrate after the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium.  Bayern Munich won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Matthias Hangst/Witters Sport via USA TODAY SportsWhile the greatest reality show on television (MLB's final three weeks) hits its apex, and football finally makes its return to American's TV sets, one of the most prized sporting events in the world began its group stage today, and you should take notice.

The Champions League has been occupying the minds of soccer fans since 1955, and it has become one of the biggest events in not only soccer, but in the world. 32 teams from the most prestigious club leagues in Europe vie for a chance at the title, and all of the best players in the world meet face-to-face for his respective club team.

Usually, the tournament has some solidified favorites. And, usually, those favorites are familiar names like Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and AC Milan. This year, though, there is a much bigger group of teams who could realistically take home the title.

Along with the five regulars already mentioned, teams that are less famous, like Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Paris-Saint Germain are also very much in the mix of championship contenders. Then, you have the other teams that have a lot of credibility, but generally are not mentioned with the likes of those who are runaway favorites. Teams like Manchester United and Arsenal are very much household names, but never factor much into the discussion of favorites until this year.

Then, when you take into account all of the player switching that went on during transfer windows this summer all over Europe, new player matchups make each game very exciting. It will be fascinating to see if Neymar can finally gel with Lionel Messi, making perhaps the best scoring duo in the world. Then, you have the Gareth Bale transfer to Real Madrid to consider, and the additions of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente for Juventus make it possibly the most exciting team in Europe. 

All of these new additions to all of the contenders give an added bonus to the already exciting tournament. It also creates drama to see if the new acquisitions can mold into the already world-class teams they have joined. 

With all of those teams having a very good chance to make it deep into the tournament, the drama that will come is sure to capture the minds of even those who do not call themselves soccer fans. But, I guarantee you, if you are a fan of sports, you will find great pleasure with keeping up with this tournament and watching what unfolds.

Although it will not steal the spotlight away from the MLB late-season stretch or the NFL or college football seasons, the Champions League tournament is something to keep an eye on. You will not regret watching, I promise. Thanks for reading.
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

9/24/13   |   kickfix   |   1 respect

" And, usually, those favorites are familiar names like Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and AC Milan."

Arsenal has never been a favorite. They've never won a single cup title. Liverpool has the most followed by Manchester United. Though Arsenal certainly has a stronger squad now, you won't see Arsenal be winning a Champion's League title any time soon.