An English team has not won the Champions League since Chelsea unexpectedly lifted the iconic trophy in the 2011/12 season. Despite this 5 year gap which has seen the Spanish sides take over in terms of European dominance, this year the English teams look set to mount something of a charge on the European Cup. With all 5 English sides having qualified for the last 16, this year could be the year when the English side’s fortunes finally change.
I was having a fierce debate with my buddy and fellow football fan Reddy Kancharla about whether or not this will be the year that the English clubs stamp their dominance on the European competition, and here is why I think that they will.
Of all of the English clubs that could win this competition, Manchester City are the overwhelming favorites having absolutely blown the Premier League away this year. As well as the fact that Manchester City have been playing so well in the league, they have a group of players and a manager in Pep Guardiola, that know exactly what it takes to win a competition of this type. With a relatively trouble-free tie against FC Basel in the last 16, Man City have every chance of lifting the trophy.
The Premier League is the most competitive in Europe, and possibly the world, it is this that has attracted some of the world’s best players over the years. Real Madrid and Barcelona have dominated in Spain because of the lack of real competition which has given them confidence and the fitness levels, to be able to compete so well in Europe. The key to the success of the English teams, is that they are filled with far more players who play for passion, rather than money. You only need to lack at the lackluster performance of Real Madrid this season, to see that their European challenge may falter, offering the perfect chance for a English team to swoop in.
This is the first time in over 6 years that all of the English teams have gone on to survive the group stages, and this year there is the addition of a 5th team in Manchester United, having won the Europa League last year. With so many teams involved at this stage of the tournament, especially given the fact that these English teams are stronger on paper than the majority of clubs in the competition, the probability of an English team winning is very high.
In Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino, the English league not only boasts some of the best managers in the world, but also managers who have been there, seen it and know what it takes to win. With these managers at the helm, English clubs have a wonderful opportunity to change the course of European dominance, and grab that trophy this year.