At the start of June 26th, 2018, soccer fans from around the world prepare for one of the most competitive soccer league games of all time. 36 clubs (soccer teams) came together to claim the title of this annual, year round European event known as The Champions League. Very prestigious clubs such as FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid, AFC Ajax, Juventus, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool FC, and Bayern München compete(d) this year. As of right now, the tournament is in the Semi Finals and the four teams that are going head to head are FC Barcelona versus Liverpool FC, and AFC Ajax versus Tottenham Hotspur.
During the semifinals, which took place the first week of May 2019, Liverpool defeated FC Barcelona for a 4-0 lead towards the finals. Tottenham has also advanced towards the finals with a 3-2 victory against Ajax. The top goal scorers so far in this years Champions League are: Lionel Messi, striker for Barcelona, first place with 12 goals, Dusan Tadic, striker for Ajax, second place with nine goals, and Robert Lewandowski, striker for Bayern München, third place with eight goals.
Kevin Quituisaca, a junior at Southern Connecticut State University, and a huge soccer fan, says he has been watching the Champions League for four years now. He says he grew in an interest for these games when his father mentioned it to him. When asked if he watches all games, he said, “I try to follow up the best I can but I mostly just watch my favorite team which is Manchester United.” Sadly for Kevin, Manchester United was eliminated in the quarter finals. Based on the performances of the remaining teams, Kevin believes FC Barcelona might bring the trophy home this year. This would be a big deal for Barcelona because they are a Spanish club competing in a European League. Kevin believes it’s very impressive for Barcelona to be this ahead of the game. He states, “the European clubs should step up their game because they’re being overthrown by a Spanish club.”
David Vallejo, a senior at Hill Regional Career High School, says he has been watching the Champions League since he was in the sixth grade. He says he prioritizes watching his favorite team play, which is Real Madrid, but comes back during the finals to see who wins the final game. Based on the performances of the remaining teams, David states, “Liverpool is a Champions League favorite, but Spurs’ [Tottenham Hotspur] coach, Poch, is very smart. So who knows what he can do for Spurs.”
The final match will take place June 1, 2019 at 3:00pm eastern. Who will win the finals? Will Liverpool, a fifth time Champion League winner win? Or will Tottenham bring home the trophy for the first time and make history this year? Stay tuned!