World News – UA – Bayern start Champions League defense by punishing European fall


European football is in shock with largely empty stadiums and dwindling revenues, but it’s business as usual on the pitch for the continent’s biggest clubs week as the Champions League group stage begins and Bayern Munich begin their trophy defense

Hansi Flick’s conquering side have a glamorous connection to getting things done, at home against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid on Wednesday

It will be a fascinating competition, and as Bayern’s Thomas Mueller admitted after the draw, « the pressure is on you right away when you are starting »

Before that, on Tuesday, Paris Saint-Germain return to the competition after losing to Bayern in last season’s final as they faced Manchester United

These are arguably the two most defining games of the week and they would be tingling opportunities under the lights before a packed house, as would Liverpool’s trip to play Ajax in Amsterdam

But these games will be held behind closed doors After all, as UEFA allows clubs to open stadiums up to 30% capacity, it all depends on the green light from local authorities

The few people who witnessed Bayern’s final victory over PSG behind closed doors in Lisbon just two months ago can attest to how surreal the occasion was, and yet the quality of the football was not in question

And so there will be a show on the pitch if not in the stands, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo facing each other when Barcelona and Juventus face off in Group G

Last season, long before Barcelona’s 8-2 humiliation debacle against Bayern in Lisbon, Messi blurted out that « as we are right now, I don’t think that’s enough to win the Champions League « 

They may still be far from good enough, but they and the continent’s other super clubs aim to stave off the Premier League’s four-pronged attack once again

Despite all of Barcelona’s current problems, they, Bayern and Real Madrid have won eight of the last 10 Champions Leagues between them, and 10 of the last 15

It is surely only a matter of time before PSG and Manchester City get their hands on the silverware they crave more than anything, but if there is a surprise winner it may be. -be the year

The biggest clubs have the strongest teams, but they’re already complaining about the grueling schedule of a season that’s more condensed than ever before – the six rounds of group matches run over eight weeks until early December

Last season’s competition ended almost three months behind with a series of behind closed doors knockout matches in Lisbon from the quarter-finals

UEFA has no plans to repeat this format, insisting this season « will be played in its entirety, in its existing format with the final in Istanbul »

The Turkish city was supposed to host last season’s finale before the pandemic forced a change of plan It remains to be seen whether fans can flock to the shores of the Bosporus from abroad on May 29 of the year next

It’s still a long way off, but UEFA has adapted its rules and regulations in an attempt to limit potential disruption caused by the pandemic, including insisting that matches continue as long as each team has at least 13 players in play. form, including a goalkeeper

The use of neutral venues is a possibility in the face of possible travel restrictions, as European football’s governing body has ruled that, even if there are postponements, the group stage will not continue not beyond January 28

UEFA has not made public the amount of its prizes, but a reduction compared to last season seems inevitable due to the economic downturn

Then the pot amounted to a fraction of over two billion euros ($ 2.3 billion) for the Champions League and the Super Cup

Bayern were able to pocket nearly € 87million for their winning round To that they could add another € 35million from their coefficient rankings, with more and more broadcasters

These are the riches for which the biggest clubs come, and Bayern will stop again

Champions League

World news – UA – Bayern start Champions League defense by punishing European autumn


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