How Likely are La Liga Sides to Win this Year’s Champions League?
Throughout the history of the European Cup and Champions League, Spain has enjoyed a successful relationship with the competition. Since 1956, Spanish teams have lifted the sought-after trophy on 18 occasions. Of that total, Real Madrid have won the tournament 13 times, six more than AC Milan, who are the second most successful club in cup’s history.
For all of their historical success, Spanish representatives have failed to get over the line in each of the last two European campaigns, with Liverpool and Bayern Munich winning the previous tournaments, respectively. So, let’s take at whether Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, or Sevilla can end the country’s recent drought.
Several Viable Contenders
The 2020-21 Champions League campaign features many potential winners, especially the Spanish clubs. Given their pedigree in the competition, it’s impossible to overlook Zinedine Zidane’s side as potential winners for the 14th time. Throughout the 21st century, Los Blancos have dominated the European stage. In 2019-20, Real Madrid exited the tournament in the last 16 at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Going forward, they’ll be keen to avenge their shortcomings and restore their status as Europe’s elite side.
Furthermore, both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona will also be among the favourites for the competition. At the time of writing, Barcelona haven’t won the Champions League since 2014-15, while Diego Simeone’s outfit have never lifted the trophy, losing three times in the final. Having signed Luis Suarez during the last summer window, Los Rojiblancos have added a world-class striker to their ranks in their pursuit of major honours. Barca, on the other hand, are in a period of transition under Ronald Koeman following the sacking of Quique Setien.
That said, Sevilla are a very intriguing underdog option. The current Europa League winners know how to succeed in Europe, and will be dreaming of going one better this season by clinching the Champions League. Not only that, but Julen Lopetegui’s side are also in the hunt for the Spanish title, being priced at 20/1 in the La Liga betting to win the league come the end of the season, as of October 28th.
Facing Competition from Europe’s Elite
As is always the case, however, numerous clubs outside of Spain will also be targeting European success. The reigning champions, Bayern Munich, will likely be the favourites to retain the honour, particularly after signing Leroy Sane from Manchester City on a five-year deal. Although they sold Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool, the hope is that Joshua Kimmich will fill the void left by the Spaniard.
Speaking of both Liverpool and Manchester City, the Champions League will likely be high on the list of priorities for Jurgen Klopp and Guardiola. The addition of Thiago gives the Premier League champions the control that they perhaps lacked in their two-legged defeat to Atletico in 2019-20, but the loss of Virgil van Dijk will be felt at the heart of the Reds’ defence. City, meanwhile, will also pose a threat following the strengthening of their backline as the club continue their hunt for their first European triumph.
For Guardiola, there’s also something of personal vindication riding on potential Champions League success. The world-renowned Spanish manager hasn’t lifted the trophy since 2010-11 when his Barcelona team defeated Manchester United 3-1.
A Real Opportunity to Spain to Assert their Dominance
With four high-level representatives, there’s no reason that one of the Spanish sides can’t lift the trophy at the end of the season. Their rich history in the competition is a testament to the nation’s winning know-how, while the world-class calibre of player that La Liga possesses is of a high enough quality to beat any given side in football.