Leicester City – From Relegation to Champions
The English champions are considered a fairy tale not only for being crowned champions after barely escaping relegation in 14/15 season, but more importantly for how they were able to entertain fans worldwide and pull off an entirely unexpected run of consistent performances with a squad full of unknown names to prove that money's influence in sports is after all limited to what the actual "players" of the game can offer. The underperformance of the EPL's powerhouses does not affect this achievement in anyway. This achievement is only a result of Leicester City's backroom staff, squad and club chairman's hard work throughout the entire season.
Watching Leicester City in the UEFA Champions League next season is an exciting thought for all football fans worldwide!
Atletico Madrid – The European Black Horse
Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone became one of the strongest European teams. In just under 5 years he led them to their first La Liga in 19 years, their second Europa League Cup, their second UEFA Super Cup, and a Champions League runner-up.
Simeone's strategy proved that you can build a winning team out of nothing and create world class players from starlets.
They still have a chance to make history on the 28th of May's UCL Final with the derby of Madrid in Milano.
Liverpool – Klopp's Influence
Simeone is not the only coach on the scene with a talent to win cups & leagues out of thin air. Jurgen Klopp's impact with BVB was honored by their loyal fans when Liverpool visited the Iduna Park Stadium for the 1st leg of the Europa League this season.
After 7 years and 5 cups with BVB, Klopp took over at Liverpool and reached the Final of Europa League, the second biggest competition in Europe, after magical performances specially in the 2nd leg against BVB in April after a comeback from 1-3 to win the game with aggregate in the last minute 4-3!
With a total worth of $3.3B for Manchester United's squad and $1.6B for Chelsea's squad, the latter's worth being more than 50x the EPL champions ($78M), they both proved that no money can secure titles. Both clubs have been involved with more business than sports lately specially with Manchester United being a "stock trading club". Both clubs have changed their managers a few times in the last couple of years and created a job insecurity that makes it extremely hard for any manager that takes charge to do his job properly.
For example, Sir Alex Ferguson built a very strong foundation for the Manchester United football team that stayed competing for over 20 years. Any manager that will take charge now will need at least a couple years to reform the team based on his own managerial structure. Manchester United & Chelsea are 2 of the best teams in England and they already have what it takes to bring back titles to their cabinets. All they need is for fans, squad, and staff to place their trust in the coming manager and give him time to rebuild their beautiful game.
Manchester City – From A Super Run, To No Run
Manchsester City's run this season was one of their best ever. Not only were they a strong contender in the EPL title race and reached the UCL semi-finals (eliminated only with an "own-goal"), they also won the Football League Cup. If it wasn't for Manchester City's management deciding to announce 4 months before the end of the season that Guardiola will take over starting from next season, it could have been a historic season for The Citizens.
They have quality players as well as experienced & skillful managers and they are backed by their amazing fans. Whether it's for the injuries or for the condensed schedule of games between the league, cups, and European leagues, both London teams are missing consistency in their form. Maybe it's time for some backend staff rotation.
Real Madrid – Zidane's Leadership In the Spanish Capital
Real Madrid started their 2015/2016 season in a really good form and they were the leaders in La Liga for the first few months, before their performance dropped completely by the beginning of this year and crashed out of the Copa Del Rey as they broke the Spanish Federation rules.
When Zidane took over a couple of months after terrible performances, he turned around a losing team into a winning team, witnessed by how they shocked Barcelona at the Camp Nou 1-2, even though they were the underdogs with 10 points difference. Not only that, they now also have a chance of becoming the European champions for 11th time in their history, thanks to Zidane's leadership.
They are arguably the best two teams in Europe currently. Both only won their domestic league titles and were knocked out of the UCL by the same opponent, Atletico Madrid. They were both stunned by an attacking and passionate team and not even FCBs' players & managers expected the amazing performances. Those 4 UCL fixtures can be a true lesson to all teams to always give your best and respect your opponents.
Juventus – The Coming European Champions
For 2 years straight, the 5 consecutive years Italian champion has been impressing fans globally with their strong performances in the UCL. Last year they were a runner-up to Barcelona after losing 3-1. This year Bayern Munich barely eliminated them with a comeback from 0-2 to 4-2 in the extra time after probably the most entertaining & intense game of the season.
A fan of them are not, Juventus are one of the few teams that all true football fans love to watch play.
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