The UEFA Champions League is the main soccer tournament for the European leading clubs. Every year the teams from all the significant leagues compete against each and every other, firstly in a group stage, followed by a series of straight knock out rounds culminating with the final match held in a different European city each year. The existing holders of the competitors are AC Milan, who beat Liverpool 2-1 in the 2007 final held in Athens, Greece.
Origins of the Competitors
Established in 1992, the UEFA Champions League evolved from the now defunct European Cup. Initially only the previous champions of each European league have been eligible to enter the competitors. To satisfy the increasing stress from Europe’s top clubs for a European league, UEFA decided to set up a tournament that will allow not only the champions but also the other prime three or 4 clubs in each and every league to compete.
This revamped tournament started in 1992 under the title ‘UEFA Champions League’. The winners of the tournament play off in an annual exhibition match against the champions of the South American equivalent of the Champions League, the Copa Libertadores.
Organization of the Tournament
Each and every year, thirty-two teams are capable to enter the tournament at the group stage. There are sixteen teams that qualify automatically by either winning their league or finishing as the runner-up. The remaining teams are the winners from a pre-qualifying round held in August every year. The number of clubs from each nation is dependent on the number of points they have accumulated over a five year period. This is calculated via a combination of every single country’s club benefits in preceding tournaments and the results of their respective national teams in the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championships.
The group stage of the Champions League begins every year in September and runs until December. Teams are drawn in groups of four and play every single other twice residence and away. The best performing teams from preceding years (i.e. the seeded teams) are drawn so that they can not meet every single other in the group stage. Following these games have been completed, the top two teams qualify for the first of 3 knock out stages.
These rounds are played over two games, home and away and the team with the most ambitions all round qualifies for the subsequent stage. The final is held in May possibly and is decided over 1 game. If there is no winner following ninety minutes, then an additional period of 30 minutes and then if essential a penalty shoot-out requires location to decide the winner.
There have been many great and fascinating matches in the Champions League more than the years, but the one that a lot of recall from recent history is the 2005 Final among AC Milan and Liverpool. The game was held in Istanbul, Turkey and the Italians came into the game as favorites. This expectation seemed to hold accurate when at the half time stage Milan led by three ambitions. Nevertheless, in an remarkable eight minute period early in the second half, Liverpool scored three instances, which includes a penalty to generate an amazing recovery. In additional time there was further drama when Milan top striker, Andrei Shevchenko missed an simple chance to score the winner for Milan. Finally, following this drama, Liverpool won the Champions League in a penalty shoot out.