Every year there is one soccer tournament in Europe that captures the attention of soccer fans worldwide. It’s the UEFA Champions League, or also known as the UCL. The UCL is a tournament that typically lasts up to 11 months. With opening rounds starting in June 2015 and the final being played on May 28th, 2016.
Soccer fans have a special admiration for the tournament, most likely because the UCL consists of the best teams from each respective league in Europe. Only the top 3 teams from the best leagues in Europe get to qualify for Champions League. So straight out of the gate in the opening rounds, the competition is second to none.
“It brings out the best competition in the world, and puts them all on the same stage. It lets you see stars match up against other stars that you usually wouldn’t see play each other since they’re from different countries and leagues,” said junior soccer player Daniel Geary.
UEFA stands for the Union of European Football Associations. UEFA is a very generous association, in fact, for winning the UCL final, UEFA will reward that team with a whopping 15 million euros. For being the runner up UEFA will reward you with 10.5 million euros.
The UCL’s popularity is second to none as well, as last years final was watched on tv by over 2.2 million people just in the United States, which is the second best ever in terms of the UCL, falling short of the 2011 final between Barcelona and Manchester United, which was viewed by 2.6 million.
A couple South students who follow the UCL have their own opinions as to who will win the title this year.
“I think PSG will win this year, they’ve been hot all tournament, and they’re always overlooked because of favorites like Barcelona and Real Madrid,” remarks Geary.
“I’ve got Bayern Munich winning it all this year, I think their star power is too much to handle for the other teams,” said junior soccer player Tyler Pisoni.
As this years Champions League tournament is coming to a close, there’s just 8 teams left. Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, Wolfsburg, Manchester City, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Benfica all look to make their mark on this year’s trophy, and walk away with the 15 million euros as a cherry on the top.