16 of Europe’s Finest

Richard Estrella, Staff Writer

The UEFA Champions League is back and in full swing. With FC Barcelona defending their title, the team is more determined than ever to repeat as champions.

With group stages concluding, only sixteen teams remain. Some teams include Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Paris Saint Germain, and Juventus. All of these teams have won their respective league titles or got high enough in their league to qualify. Not only are these teams the best in their leagues, but they are also the best teams in Europe.

According to a poll conducted in HMSA by Richard Estrella, 62.3% of people believe that FC Barcelona will win the Champions League, 11.5% of people believe that Real Madrid will win, while only 9.8% of people believe that Bayern Munich will win. Reason why most people believe that FC Barcelona will win the League once again is because of their front three: Neymar, Suarez and the Messi. The team managed to dominate El Clasico earlier in the year and led Barcelona to win the treble last season.

Messi, Suarez, and Neymar are a few players to watch on Barcelona’s squad. According to dailymail.co.uk, as of November 30, 2015, the three have scored a grand total of 127 goals. On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo is the player to watch for Real Madrid. Some consider Ronaldo to be the best player in the world right now. His pace makes it easy for him to beat defenders to the ball. Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski pose a threat to defenders and attackers alike. Early on in the season, Lewandowski was dominate, even scoring five goals in nine minutes! Overall he is goal-scoring machine. Manuel Neuer is Bayern’s wall; he is arguably the best goalkeeper right now, having kept clean sheets for nearly all games. Neuer also holds the Bundesliga record for most clean sheets in one season 20 clean sheets out of 32 games, according to bundesliga.com.

As the tournament continues, more teams will be eliminated from contention. Fans are hoping for an El Clasico final, while others are looking for great matchups. Either way, this year’s group of 16 is sure to give soccer fans what they are looking for.

When 61 HMSA students were asked which team would win the UEFA Champions League, these were the results.