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Manchester City Looks to Dethrone Real Madrid, the “Kings” of Champions League

Manchester City Looks to Dethrone Real Madrid, the “Kings” of Champions League

Manchester City Looks to Dethrone Real Madrid, the “Kings” of Champions League


Sergio Ramos hoists the UCL trophy after Real Madrid defeated Liverpool in the fifinal by a 3-1 margin.

Staff Writer

April 27, 2023

Sean Ye '25

The UEFA Champions League (UCL) has been the world’s most prestigious club soccer competition since its inception in 1955. As of April 22, only four teams remain in the 2022-23 Champions League. The format included qualifying rounds played by a total of eighty teams and a group stage with thirty- two teams. The top two teams in each group advance to the knockout stages, while the third-placed team enters the UEFA Europa League, a secondary club competition. During the knockout stages, every game except the final includes two matches. 

Real Madrid, the most successful club in the competition, is the defending champion, winning its fourteenth championship in the 2021-22 UCL season. Prestigious teams, such as Paris Saint Germain, Barcelona, and Juventus, with star-studded lineups, have already been knocked out of the competition. Real Madrid, Manchester City of England, as well as Italian teams Inter Milan and AC Milan remain in the competition. 

Boys Varsity Soccer Captain Thomas Navab ’24 believes that Real Madrid will win again. He said, “Real’s team is too balanced, and their tactics are too good [to lose].” However, I think Real Madrid will not win the trophy for a historic fifteenth time. In the semi-finals, Real Madrid will face Manchester City. After the takeover of the club by Sheikh Mansour, the vice president of the United Arab Emirates in 2008, Manchester City went from a club threatened with relegation to one of the richest teams in the world, spending hefty sums on some of the world’s most talented players and coaches. 

Manchester City are led in the striker position by the dominant Erling Haaland, who has scored 11 goals in 492 minutes played, averaging a goal every 45 minutes. Haaland tied the Champions League record by scoring five goals in Manchester City’s 7-0 demolition of RB Leipzig in the Round of 16. In the Quarter-Finals, Manchester City won 4-1, with convincing performances in both games against German team Bayern Munich. Manchester City has been consistent in the Premier League for the past five years. 

This year may be its chance at redemption after losing to Chelsea in the final of the 2020-21 Champions League, and narrowly losing to Real Madrid in the Semi-Finals last year. If Real Madrid were to defeat Manchester City in the semi-finals, they would either face Inter or AC Milan in the final in Istanbul. The two sides are bitter rivals and contest the Derby della Madonnina in their shared stadium, San Siro. Both teams have won the Italian league, Serie A, 19 times. AC Milan and Inter Milan won the prior season. However, both teams are underperforming in 5th and 6th respectively in the Italian Championship this year. In the Champions League, the teams look much stronger. AC Milan defeated Napoli 2-1, with a stellar performance from goalkeeper Mike Maignan, and Inter Milan won against Portuguese side Benfica 5-3. In their previous four meetings, Inter won three times while AC won once. In the Champions League, AC Milan is the second most successful club, with seven titles, while Inter has three crowns after its most recent win in 2010. 

Whoever wins the Champions League this season will have an impact on global soccer for years to come. Further success by Real Madrid would continue the status quo, with Los Blancos dominating the competition heavily in the past decades. A first title by Manchester City would signal the supremacy of the English Premier League, and achieve the goal it has sought since 2008. Meanwhile, a victory by either Milan side would prove that Italian clubs can still compete with English and Spanish sides, whose leagues have received substantial investment in the past years.

Sean Ye is a staff writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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