Widely recognized as the most distinguished club competition on the planet, the UEFA Champions League that was initially introduced in 1992 replacing the European Cup, which had run since 1955, is still the most anticipated and beloved sports event in the world.
Since 1992, thirteen teams from five different countries have managed to lift the famous trophy, with Real Madrid and Barcelona emerging as two most dominant sides, winning twelve titles combined.
With Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City frantically trying to wrap up their first ever Champions League title, Los Merengues and the Blaugrana will have to be at the top of their game if they want to get to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. The Ligue 1 champions, as well as, the Premier League outfit, both crave for the European success after years of massive investments, but when it comes to the Champions League football, it’s almost always about Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The eternal contest between two Spanish superpowers
By far the most successful European club, and the only team to win three successive Champions League titles in today’s format, Real Madrid, will be looking to engrave its name in the history by winning the prestigious trophy for the fourth consecutive season.
In the opening match of the campaign, AS Roma got devastated by the rampant Real attack, which netted three times, only thanks to an outstanding performance by the Giallorossi goalkeeper Robin Olsen. However, after the departures of Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo, Los Blancos are severely weakened, and there are numerous notable clubs that would like to see the Spanish heavyweights going down.
The Catalan giants, Barcelona, are the first team standing in the line, looking to overthrow the arch-rivals.
Led by the likes of Leo Messi and Ousmane Dembele, the Blaugrana have demolished the Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven in the opening match of the campaign by four goals to nil. The Argentinean hotshot has also become the first player in history to bag eight hat-tricks in the Champions League, thus breaking a tie with Cristiano Ronaldo, whose international debut with Juventus ended already in the first half.
A battle for UEFA Champions League top goalscorer
The former Manchester United superstar still leads 120–103 in terms of Champions League goals, although it’s yet to be seen whether he’d be able to replicate a desirable performance in the black and white shirt.
A personal battle between the two most influential football figures is likely to continue even this year; despite the fact Ronaldo isn’t Real Madrid player anymore. And this particular duel might be the one to decide the top goalscorer of the competition, for the twelfth straight season.
Although Messi already notched a hat-trick, while Ronaldo won’t be able to open his scoring account for at least one more game, it’s still uncertain who is going to win the flattering award at the end of the race. If you think the Portuguese forward could end up as the top goalscorer for the fourth time in a row, get your best free bets by fancying your chances with Cristiano to demonstrate his class once again. Bookies can check the latest betting offers like deposit £10 and get £30 by William Hill or £20 risk-free bet by Paddy power there.
Also, be aware of the presence of Kylian Mbappe, the highly-rated Paris Saint-Germain forward, who already scored his first international goal this year. This young promising player has odds backing him up as well, at 9/4with 10bet to be the top goalscorer. The 19-year-old Frenchman could be the only player to challenge Messi and Ronaldo, with all due respect to Neymar Junior and Mo Salah. The Rosario native is the favourite to become the top scorer and has odds of 2/1(3.00), while the Portugal captain is coming at 11/2 (6.50), according to Paddy Power.
Messi will have the opportunity to score his first goal against Tottenham Hotspur, with the game scheduled to take place at the Wembley Stadium. But, Harry Kane will be the man to spearhead the Spurs attack, which is why Barcelona will find it very difficult to keep a clean sheet. Bet365 offers 1/2 (1.50) for both teams to score in this encounter, which seems to be a reasonable bet, considering they’ve netted two goals apiece in the summer friendly.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo will be on the sidelines against Young Boys, as Juventus prepare to host the Swiss champions at the Allianz Stadium. With the likes of Douglas Costa, Mandzukic, and Paolo Dybala, the Bianconeri are likely to crash the visitors, who already conceded three goals against Manchester United, and Bet365 offers 83/100 (1.83) to see the host scoring at least three times.
The former AC Milan talisman Ricardo Kaká was the last player to get the most prestigious award Ballon d’Or back in 2007 before the Martians stepped up to establish the greatest dominance football has ever seen. That shocking fact only proves how difficult is for other world-class players to reach the level of these two living legends.
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