2016 Champions League Final

Known once upon a time as the European Cup, the UEFA Champions League has entered the last legs of its season. Teams compete for bragging rights in one of those most memorable, unforgettable, and exciting seasons in the UEFA’s history. But it hasn’t been without controversy. The UEFA is hoping to usher through a new deal that will silence the threats made by some programs to leave the Champions League and form their own closed European soccer league. If the deal clears, the UEFA will have ensured that “more guaranteed places in the 32-team group stage and bigger shares of billion-dollar prize money will go to teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus from the four highest-ranked national leagues” according to ABC affiliate News 12. The decision could come, according to the Associated Press, as early as Friday, August 26. The decision to change the rules of the Champions League comes after Chelsea, AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Manchester United all failed to qualify for this year’s Champions League playoff play.

Similar to the Premier League, the Champions League is contingent on points: Three points for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for the losing league. Sixteen teams make it to the second round of play, where there’s yet again another draw. Teams with the greatest number of goals make it to the semis and from there, the winners head to the final match. Without the big names in the playoff play this year, the title could go to anyone. The draw for group stages will be made Thursday, August 25 from Monaco, and the matches will begin taking place weeks later in early September.

Odds at this point stack heavy in Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich’s favor. But only time will tell who’ll take home top honors.

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