Whenever one mentions the UEFA Champions League, there are many teams which come to mind. However, there is this one team that comes into the minds of almost every football fan and that team is no other than the undisputed king of UCL and football, Real Madrid. Real Madrid has won the competition a record 13 times, at least 6 more than any other team in the competition. They won it 5 consecutive times when the competition was first introduced as the European Cup from its inaugural ceremony to the 5th. They also won it three competitive times when the competition was renamed to the UEFA Champions League which remains a record.
However, things have not really went well for the kings of the competition since Cristiano Ronaldo left. They were eliminated from the round of 16 in the UCL two seasons ago by a young Ajax team and was eliminated yet again in the round of 16 last season by Manchester City. They were drawn into Group B with Inter Milan, Borussia Mochengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk. Many expected Real Madrid and Inter to qualify easily but the underdogs in the group has really surprised everyone. The group started with Shakhtar surprising Real Madrid at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano with a 3-0 thrashing at 2nd half. Real Madrid pulled two back and had a 3rd goal disallowed at the end. They lost 3-2 whilst Inter drew with Mochengladbach. Madrid drew 2-2 with Mochengladbach the next whilst Inter were held to a draw yet again against Shakhtar Donetsk. Real Madrid kept their hopes of qualifying with a back to back 3-2 and 2-0 wins against Inter Milan whilst Mochengladbach thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 and 4-0 in their two consecutive encounters.
Just yesterday, a win would have booked Madrid’s place in the knockout stages but they lost 2-0 to Shakhtar, meaning the Ukrainian giants have done the double over Real Madrid. Inter Milan controversially beat Mochengladbach 3-2, meaning qualifications to Europa League, knockout stages and 4th place will all be decided next week. Real Madrid could see themselves drop to the Europa League depending on the outcome of their match against Mochengladbach and that of Inter Milan vs Shakhtar Donetsk. Mochengladbach leads the group with 8 points, Shakhtar with 7 points sit 2nd with an advantage Head to Head record against Real Madrid who also has 7 points and now sits 3rd. Inter Milan are last in the group with 5 points. Real Madrid relegates to the Europa League straight for the first time if they lose to Borussia Mochengladbach with Shakhtar winning, and will finish bottom of the group if in the course of their loss, Inter Milan wins. If they mange to get a draw and Shakhtar loses, they qualify. If Shakhtar manages to win in the process of Real Madrid drawing, then Real Madrid will be eliminated into the Europa League. A win will be enough for Real Madrid to qualify to the knockout stages. It will be exciting to see how the table will turn around many times whenever the ball is put in the back of the net in any of the matches.
Don’t ever introduce any European Super League please. This can only happen in the UEFA Champions League and it is the league we live to watch. Die Besten! Les grandes equipes! The Champions!!!!