The Champions League is back! 62 days after the end of the group stage, the action returns with a high-tension round of 16 round of 16. The four LaLiga representatives (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid and Real Sociedad) will intersect with RB Leipzig, Naples, Inter and PSG.
Spanish football is in the majority in the first of three qualifiers for the Wembley final, on June 1st. Of the 16 survivors who will fight for 'Orejona' in London in the spring, a quarter are from LaLiga. The remainder is completed by three Italian Serie A clubs (Inter, Lazio and Naples), three from the German Bundesliga (Bayern, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig), two from the English Prime Minister (Manchester City and Arsenal), one from the French Ligue 1 (PSG), one from the Portuguese Primeira Liga (Door), one of the Dutch Eredivisie (PSV) and another from the Danish Superliga (Copenhagen).
Everyone wants to pave the way in an attempt to wrest the Champions League from Pep Guardiola's Manchester City. A challenge that starts with eight electric crossings. But how do teams reach the round of 16? How have they changed after the winter market? We analyze at BRAND
Injuries in defense and in goal did not stop Real Madrid from ruling the League and dreaming of the Champions League. Vinicius, Rodrygo, Kroos, Brahim… These are enough arguments to start as favorites against an irregular RB Leipzig team that has a lot of danger up front. FOR Bellinghaminjured, must return.
Dani Olmo (recovered) and Xavi Simons are the perfect shooters for the Sesko-Openda duo to do damage. They complement each other well and score goals. Careful.
Copenhagen was the big revelation of the Champions League group stage. The Danes reached the round of 16, eliminating United… but got another 'coconut' from Manchester.
Guardiola's city wants to repeat 'Orejona'. It is an almost perfect machine that has recovered its two stars. De Bruyne and Haaland. There's also Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Foden… They're scary.
Real Sociedad had a magnificent group stage. Imanol's team reached the round of 16 as first ahead of Inter and crossed into the round of 16 with one of the competition's giants.
PSG with Mbappé, Dembélé, Asensio, Achraf… is a very uncomfortable rival. Luis Enrique has a great team that doesn't always make you fall in love. La Real, with Kubo, Zubimendi, Brais, Oyarzabel… can take them to the limit.
Tuchel's Bayern is not as “perfect” as other previous Bayerns (after losing to Bayer they are five behind the leader), but they are a transatlantic team that can beat anyone. Kane scores the goal and the rest of the team dances to his tune.
Coman's injury, replaced by Bryan Zaragoza, reinforces a team with many casualties in all lines that will have Kimmich, Upamecano, Gnabry convalescing… They face a Lazio with quality (Immobile, Luis Alberto, Pedro…) but which it is far from the Bavarian level.
PSV leads the Eredivisie easily, but is already 'deadly'. Veerman leads a team that wants to surprise Dortmund in the round of 16.
After losing Haaland and Bellingham in the last two years, Borussen remains in the elite of the Champions League. Sancho's return gives them wings. BVB wants the quarterfinals.
The most 'top' qualifier. Inter, European runner-up and great Calcio dominates, faces a solid and always competitive Atlético.
The stars come out of mourning. Lautaro Martínez, Griezmann, Morata, Barella… Inzaghi and Simeone have two solid teams full of quality. Two big games are coming up.
Porto always competes. The 'dragons' return to the round of 16 with classics like Taremi, Pepe… And on the other side of the ring awaits them an Arsenal who, upon their return to the Champions League more than five years later, want to aspire to the ' Orejona'.
Arteta's men are in contention for the Premier League, but they also want to be strong in Europe. With Odegaard, Saka… anything is possible.
Neither Naples nor Barcelona are at their best. Mazzarri's team is outside the Serie A Champions League, but has stars like Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia… who can hurt anyone.
Xavi's men have the Champions League as their main objective. Ter Stegen's return gives them more strength. With Lewandowski, Yamal, Pedri, De Jong… they are giving their all in Europe.