This year’s UEFA champion’s league season has gone more differently than many hoped, but that’s not for lack of great soccer. As Europe’s top club football competition, the UCL features the most prominent teams from domestic leagues across the tournament. Heading into the season, Barcelona, Juve, Bayern, Real Madrid, PSG, and Real Madrid were favorites to win the competition. However, only one of those six made it to the final as Madrid and PSG bowed out in the semifinal stage.
While this is Manchester City’s debut champions league final, their opponent Chelsea is making its third appearance. One of the most striking things about this year’s final is that both teams were parties to the now-canceled Super League arrangement. Another fascinating thing is that both teams are from the same country, making it only the third such game. Should Manchester win both the EPL and Champions League titles, then UEFA will give an extra berth to English clubs ahead of next season.
Road To The Final
Both teams gave outstanding performances in their runs to the final, dispatching touch teams like Dortmund, PSG, Real Madrid, and Porto with convenience. The last time both teams faced each other was in the FA Cup final, with Chelsea winning on that occasion. The teams will face off once more in the Premier League before battling it out for the European title. Unlike City, Chelsea has lifted the trophy once before, beating Bayern to the title in 2012. On the other Pep Guardiola has two UCL winning medals to his name while Tuchel is looking for his first.
It is also only the third time in history where two English sides will be facing off in the UCL finals. Chelsea was also involved in the first match back in 2008. On that occasion, the Blues were on the losing side, falling in the shootout stages to Manchester United. They, however, redeemed themselves in 2012 when they defeated Bayern. The second all-English UCL final took place in 2019 when Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur to win the title.
Travel Restrictions and Health Concerns
The all-English nature of the final tie has also caused some back and forth about the hosting venue. This is because Turkey is in lockdown, and the UK has placed Turkey in the ”red zone” of countries to avoid visiting because of their Covid-19 challenges. At the moment, Turkey has the highest number of symptomatic Covid-19 cases across Europe. The UK government has now offered to host the match, with Aston Villa’s Villa Park being touted as a plausible venue. The goal of this offer is to prevent thousands of fans from traveling to Istanbul. According to the Transport Minister, “I’m afraid we have to put Turkey on the red list. This will have several ramifications. First of all, it does mean with regards to the Champions League, fans should not travel to Turkey. The FA are in discussions with UEFA on this. We are very open to hosting the final, but it is ultimately a decision for UEFA.” The UK advises its residents and citizens to refrain from visiting countries it has placed in the red zone and requires those who have to quarantine for 10-days at a Government approved hotel.
On the other hand, UEFA says it remains committed to having this year’s final played at the Ataturk Olympic stadium. The European body remains convinced that Turkey’s imposed lockdown, which ends on May 17, will have no adverse impact on the match schedule. The primary reason for the uproar about the match venue is because UEFA plans to let a few thousand fans into the match venue. This is of significant concern to the United Kingdom government because it is all-English final; meaning most of the proposed 8,000 fans will be English travelers.
As the UK and the rest of the world continue to battle the deadly virus, the government wants to prevent unnecessary traveling and has offered to host the game at Villa Park or any other neutral venue chosen by UEFA. Though UEFA has refused to shift ground, talks are bound to continue as the health and safety concerns expressed by the UK Government are cogent. UEFA’s reluctance is based on numerous changes that a venue change will occasion and, as well as its commercial implications. This may all change by May 17 when Turkey’s Covid-19 situation is re-assessed.
In conclusion, while we await UEFA’s final decision on the venue, one unchangeable thing is the passion of the game. Soccer fans across the globe will be looking forward to a display of skills, tactics, and desire in the final. Hungarian bettors will also be on their toes while staking on rabona sportsbooks for a chance to win off its big odds. To stay in the loop about the latest happenings in the soccer world, visit and subscribe to the Mightytips website.