We are the Champions (League)

2020/21 Season Stats & More


Lizzy Crawford

The Champions League – a tournament in which teams and players alike dream of qualifying for, and possibly winning. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the season, football fans across the world suit up in their team’s jersey and tune in to watch a vital match. Shouting at both the refs and the usage of VAR, fans experience nail-biting pressure to see the fate of their favorite team. What is this exciting event all about?

What is the Champions League and how does it work?

Champions league is one of the most well known football -football as in soccer – tournaments. This tournament is run by the Union of European Football Associations, otherwise known as UEFA. It is a tournament that takes 32 of the best football teams in Europe and makes them compete for a prestigious title. The 32 teams are derived from the top few teams from each league. It consists of eight groups A-H each with four teams, and the top two teams of each group move on to the next stage. Premier League elaborates on this and further explains the other stages, “The group stage involves eight groups of four teams, with each club playing everyone else in that group home and away. The top two sides in each group move on to the round of 16 and the start of the knockout phase, while the third-placed team drops into the UEFA Europa League. The round of 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals are played over two legs, home and away, while the final is hosted by a stadium which is selected almost two years in advance.” In 2019, UEFA announced that the 2021 final will happen at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. Being a very competitive tournament, the Champions League gets many views every year, last year having 480 million views for the final between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Statistics show that this event gets more attraction than the Superbowl. 

What teams are competing this year?

Here are the groups and teams for the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League:

Group A: FC Bayern Munich, Club Atlético Madrid, FC Lokomotiv Moskva, & FC Salzburg

Group B: VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, FC Shakhtar Donetsk, Real Madrid CF, & FC Internazionale Milano

Group C: Manchester City FC, FC Porto, Olympiacos FC, & Olympique de Marseille

Group D: Liverpool FC, AFC Ajax, Atalanta BC, & FC Midtjylland

Group E: Chelsea FC, Sevilla FC, FC Krasnodar, & Stade Rennais FC

Group F: Borussia Dortmund, SS Lazio, Club Brugge, & FC Zenit

Group G: FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Dynamo Kyiv, & Ferencvarosi TC

Group H: Manchester United FC, RB Leipzig, Paris Saint-Germain, & İstanbul Başakşehir

What is the status of the teams in each group?

As of now, the top teams of each group are Bayern, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Dortmund, Barcelona, and Manchester United. Out of those top teams, Barcelona, Bayern, Liverpool, and Manchester City are all tied for the most points all with nine. Although these teams seem like they are the ones doing the best, it is all relative because each group is different. Thus, it is difficult to determine an absolute “top” team right now. According to multiple sources including NBC Sports, Bayern Munich and Manchester City are the favorites this season. 

A few specific players have carried their teams to the point they are at right now: Marcus Rashford, Erling Haaland, and Alassane Plea. Rashford scored an outstanding hat trick for Manchester United after coming onto the pitch in the 63rd minute, something immensely difficult to do. Dortmund’s Haaland’s astonishing appearances have broken Champions League records when scoring 14 goals in 11 games. Borussia Mönchengladbach has a very skilled player named Alassane Plea who scored a hat track in a game against Shakhtar. These players leave the possibility of United, Dortmund, and Mönchengladbach making it further than expected with their above and beyond performances. 

What is different this season with coronavirus?

The global pandemic has served as a challenge for all professional sports as fans are unable to watch while physically at the game. UEFA has allowed for a 30% stadium occupancy for a small number of fans to be able watch in person, but it is up to the team to decide if they want fans and most have decided to stick with empty stands. If a player has Covid, they have to go through the two week quarantine process. Teams will continue to play as long as they have at least 13 healthy players. The Champions League season has also been pushed back a few months from when it is normally scheduled. Nonetheless, Champions League still is getting many viewers. 

Although the circumstances of the pandemic are serious and somber, people from around the world are still able to find unity in watching the Champions League as soccer serves as a thrilling escape from the harshness of reality. Make sure to keep watching every week to see what the outcome of each game is. May the best team win!