The Champions League semifinals will get underway on April 24th. First, the teams will find out their match-ups tomorrow.
The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals did not disappoint. Liverpool conquered Manchester City with two convincing wins while Bayern Munich quietly took care of Sevilla. AS Roma engineered a historic comeback over Barcelona. In Spain, Real Madrid had fate on their side to advance, despite Juventus’ attempt at a second three-goal comeback. In short, the quarterfinals were the most dramatic in Champions League history.
Now we have four left for football’s most coveted club trophy. Liverpool and Roma are the surprising suspects. The Reds came into the competition as a playoff team and are now two games away from the final. Roma fans didn’t feel prepared for life without Francesco Totti. They just got the best Champions League win in club history. Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are back in the spot they should be at every season.
Who comes in as the best team though? Let’s begin with the two-time reigning champions as the fourth team in the rankings.
Champions League Record – 7-1-2
Top Scorer – Cristiano Ronaldo (15 goals)
Last semi-final appearance – 2017 (4-2 over Atletico Madrid)
Last UCL title – 2017 (4-1 win over Juventus)
The champions continue to rely on Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is the only reason Real Madrid are still alive. Zinedine Zidane and the two-time defending champions went through hard times in January by losing any chance of winning La Liga and getting knocked out from the Copa del Ray. They need this title. Without this title, the season is lost for Real Madrid and so is Zidane’s job.
Ronaldo’s three goals in the quarterfinal games against Juventus took them to the next stage of the competition. His bicycle kick in the first leg gave Madrid an edge in a match they were not dominating. The stunner from leg one won’t be the most memorable goal of the two legs in years ahead. It’s the penalty kick. Madrid was outplayed by Juventus all game and they came away advancing.
Based on the performance of the second leg, Real Madrid did not deserve to advance. Juventus were on their way to winning and the official stole the game from them. I am of the side that does not believe it was a penalty. Real Madrid had Ronaldo and luck on their side. They need more than those two things to three-peat.