By Emmanuel Ebimoh
It’s time for another round of thrilling, entertaining football in Europe’s most prestigious competition – the UEFA Champions League. The fixtures for the round of 16 matches will kick off tonight as the best teams in Europe slog it out for dominance and glory.
The history of the UCL dates back to 1955 when the inaugural game was played and Real Madrid dominated for the first five seasons. After that era, several other teams have come on the stage to prove their worth in the competition.
So far, Real Madrid of Spain have been the most successful club in the competition with a total of 12 wins, followed by AC Milan of Italy with 7 wins and Barcelona of Spain with 5 wins. Over the years, there have been series of ‘underdogs’ who have taken Europe by surprise and outclassed the ‘big’ names. No doubt, this year we’ll see more heartbreaks and scintillating surprises as the round of 16 matches kick off today.
Tonight, two-times winner of the competition and current champions of the Italian Serie A, Juventus will line up against in-form London team, Tottenham Hotspur. In the other game tonight, runaway leaders of the EPL Manchester City, led by their ever animated coach Pep Guardiola will trade tackles with Swiss champions, FC Basel.
Tomorrow, reigning champions and 12 times winner of the competition, Real Madrid will fight for glory against big rivals, PSG. The two giants with all the best players in the world will contest for supremacy in what should be an all-round entertaining, crunchy encounter. The other game will see Portuguese champions, FC Porto digging it out with English side, Liverpool FC.
Other games in the round of 16 will continue next week as champions of different leagues in Europe battle for a place in the final at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine on 26 May 2018.