Anticipating the Champions League Final


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Hundreds of millions of fans from around the globe will be watching when Liverpool and Tottenham take to the field in June.

Rishab Verma, Photo Manager

Tottenham Football Club (F.C.) won their game and semi-final against Ajax on Wednesday, ultimately setting up this year’s stage for the Champions League Final. Millions of fans will be watching the event once it goes live on June 1.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League is one of the most prestigious soccer competitions in the world. The teams that compete in it are from all over Europe and are commonly regarded as some of the highest performing clubs in the sport. The main contributors are England, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany, but smaller teams can compete in a playoff-like system to qualify further.

Merely qualifying and competing is a testament to the greatness of a team. It is Tottenham Hotspur F.C.’s first time competing in the final, indicating how difficult it can be to be competitive in the league.

Shayan Pasha, a senior who is a huge fan of the sport, has been following the cup long enough to understand its value. “Most players say they’d trade all of their world cups for one champions league cup,” he said. “It’s the best competition in world, because one team can win 3-0 in the first leg, but in the second leg the other team can make a comeback in seconds.”

To advance to the final match, Tottenham had to pull off such a comeback against Ajax, who won the first leg. Tottenham scored the winning goal just as stoppage time expired in the second leg of the round. Although the semi-final was tied at three goals a piece, Tottenham earned the win due to their three away goals compared to Ajax’s one.

The team they will be competing against is Liverpool F.C., who completed a comeback of their own in order to advance to the final round of the tournament. Down three goals to Barcelona in the first leg of the semi-final, Liverpool earned a 4-0 victory in the second leg to advance.

Upsets and series’ changing direction like these are what captivate fans around the world. Soccer, or football, is the most popular sport around the globe by measure of the number of fans. In the United States, American football and basketball tend to find more success, but even here, the sport has its dedicated fanbase.

At PV, the sport holds special value for some students. Will Mercer, a senior, has enjoyed the sport for most of his life. “I follow soccer because it’s been a part of my life for a long time, both as a player and a fan. The mix of team play over a long period of time, along with complex tactics and one-on-one situations has always intrigued me,” he said.

For Pasha, soccer is special because “the atmosphere is different than any other sport. A goal can happen at any time, but one mistake can cost everything.”

Whether it is Liverpool or Tottenham that comes out on top in June, the finals are sure to be a spectacle. Liverpool is a tried-and-tested team, having competed in eight finals and won five, whereas Tottenham will be going in with a fresh slate. Millions around the world will gather when the two teams square off for the first leg in Spain.