Tuesday, June 18, 2024

2023/24 Champions League Recap: A Look At The Top European Moments From This Season

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 4 Jun 2024

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Los Blancos make more European history

Relinquishing their La Liga crown at the end of the 2022/24 campaign thanks to a 10-point deficit to bitter El Clasico rivals Barcelona, Real Madrid faced a major backlash and there were plenty of questions marks over Carlo Ancelotti’s long-term future in the Spanish capital.

However, with the Bernabeu hierarchy making it clear that they had no intention of parting ways with the former AC Milan boss, Los Blancos made more European history this time around.

Sending defending Champions League winners Manchester City packing back in April following a nail-biting penalties victory at the Etihad, Madrid have only further cemented their spot as Europe’s ultimate poster boy.

Securing what was a famous 2-0 victory against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley last weekend, Ancelotti’s superstar squad also got their hands on a record-breaking 15th European trophy.

With the likes of England international Jude Bellingham make an astonishing impact since arriving in Madrid last summer, Los Blancos have also now lifted the Champions League trophy on five separate occasions over the past decade.

Manchester City relinquish their crown

Making real history 12 months ago as they finally got their hands on a maiden piece of European silverware thanks to a 1-0 victory against Italian giants Inter Milan, Manchester City opened up the 2023/24 campaign tipped as a standout contender.

With many billing Pep Guardiola‘s superstar squad as a potential candidate to embark on a major Champions League romp over the next few years, the Sky Blues will look back at this season’s European adventure as a real missed opportunity.

Enjoying yet another group stage romp last year as they won all of their six Group G appearances by an aggregate score of 18-7, it appeared that City were sat firmly in the driving seat when opening 2024.

However, eventually suffering major quarter-final heartbreak at the Etihad as they fell to that infamous penalties defeat against Los Blancos, City flattered to deceive on the European stage this season.

Finishing the 2023/24 campaign with just a fourth consecutive Premier League crown to show for their troubles, City’s quarter-final exit was certainly one of Europe’s ultimate surprises this season.

More Champions League frustration for PSG

Although PSG might have cruised their way to yet another domestic crown this season and not really breaking much of a Ligue 1 sweat, the French giants once again fell short of their main objective.

Since their blockbuster Qatari takeover was confirmed back in 2011, PSG’s ultra-rich owners have made it no secret that Champions League success is at the top of their agenda and anything else would be considered a failure.

With the Qatari’s only continuing to break a string of financial records since their controversial arrival over a decade ago, Luis Enrique’s men are still waiting to get their hands on a maiden piece of European silverware.

Suffering a major semi-final upset last month as they eventually fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund, Enrique has also faced plenty of speculation over his long-term future in Paris.

With it now officially confirmed that attacking icon Kylian Mbappe has secured a bank-breaking move to newly-crowned European champions Real Madrid, it appears that PSG are going back to the drawing board this summer.

England’s elite struggle on the European stage

While Manchester City’s quarter-final exit might have stolen plenty of this season’s Champions League headlines, the Sky Blues were not the only English club that fell drastically short on the grandest of stages.

Although Arsenal might have eventually missed out on the chance to get their hands on a first Premier League crown since 2004, Mikel Arteta’s men have received plenty of plaudits and were pencilled in as a potential European dark horse this year.

However, missing out on what they had billed as a potential opportunity as they suffered a 3-2 aggregate defeat against German giants Bayern Munich, the Gunners also failed to progress past the quarter-finals.

While City and Arsenal might have at least found a route to the knockout stage, both Newcastle and Manchester United suffered their own respective group stage heartbreak.

With both of the Premier League giants eventually finishing rock-bottom of their respective groups, all of England’s elite failed to make any kind of major statement on the biggest stage this season.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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