JCHS's Finest News Source

The Caldron

The Caldron

The Caldron

Champions League Contenders

Photo courtesy of Arsenal.


The UEFA Champions League knockout stage is around the corner, and with that comes fierce competition for the highest accolade in club soccer. The competition started in 1955, with Spanish side Real Madrid winning the first edition.  According to Statista, since then only 23 teams have won the European Cup. In this time Real Madrid has won the most times (14), with AC Milan a distant 2nd (7), and Bayern Munich and Liverpool coming in 3rd with 6 titles (Statista). The most recent final was a close matchup between English Man City and the Italian Inter-Milan. Man City won this match on a 68th-minute goal from Rodri. This year Man City is among the contenders for the Champions League title again, but they will face stiff competition. The question is who will come out of Wembley Stadium victorious in June.

(These rankings were made with assistance from Goal.com and sophomore Richie Musser) 


The Longshots: FC Copenhagen, PSV, RB Leipzig, Real Sociedad, Porto

These squads will need an incredibly strong performance to even win a leg in their round of 16 matches, much less win the entire competition. These teams are just outmatched in talent, which is often hard to overcome. Of all these teams, the one with the best chance of advancing is Porto. This is due to how they are playing against a strong but inexperienced Arsenal side. Arsenal has shown they are a hot and cold team who lack composure at times. A Pepe-led Porto team could advance if they create enough looks and have an exceptional first leg.


The Dark Horses: Dortmund, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Inter

These teams could secure the trophy if they get hot and go on a run. Dortmund seems the least likely of these teams as they have been struggling in their domestic league. Arsenal has the talent for a trophy push, but they lack the experience needed to make a serious threat to the top teams. Atlético Madrid has the potential to win it all; however, they have been unconvincing in their domestic league as well. That being said, it is always hard to bet against their manager Diego Simone. Inter made it to the final last season. However, after the sale of two top players and the club being on the verge of bankruptcy, it is hard to see the club winning it all.


Solid Chance to Make the Final: Bayern Munich, PSG, Napoli, Barcelona

These teams are all likely to make it to the semi-finals and have a very real chance of winning the UCL. Even though Bayern Munich are in danger of not winning the Bundesliga for the first time in 12 years, they are still an incredibly talented team. PSG is still searching for their first UCL title even after having Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, and Kylian Mbappe together in the same dressing room. However, the squad is strong right now, and this is their last opportunity for silverware with Mbappe leaving in the summer. Napoli is in a similar position with superstar Victor Oshiman likely leaving in the summer as they look to make a push for a title. Barcelona has recently struggled, but the talent is still there. Although manager Xavi is going to be gone next year, they will look to ride Robert Lewandoski and others for their first Champions League title since Messi was on the team.


Top Dogs: Real Madrid, Manchester City

The conversation will always start and end with these two clubs. Real Madrid is arguably the most talented team in the world, with the likes of Vinicius Jr, Jude Bellingham, and Rodrygo all producing so well at a young age. The team will have to answer many questions this summer about the future of the manager and players, but for now, they seem like clear contenders for the title. Man City is the defending champion, and they have retained a very similar roster from the previous season. With plenty of depth, City will look to use Erling Haaland to the best he can be, with Kevin De Bruyne distributing. With an elite backline to defend like City has, it would be extremely difficult for any team to win against this team.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Caldron

Your donation will support the student journalists of James Caldwell High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Caldron

Comments (0)

All The Caldron Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *