Which one of these European superpowers will lift the European Cup next May?
Fanatix takes a look at five hopefuls for next season’s Champions League…
After spending almost £100m this summer, PSG’s owners will demand a genuine Champions League challenge this season. The Parisian club were unlucky last term to lose to Barcelona in the last 16, and the additions of Cavani and Marquinhos should help the team to do even better. Whether or not Laurent Blanc can successfully pair Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the same team will be crucial to their European hopes.
The early favourites for the the European Cup, Bayern have invested well this summer to strengthen what was already a formidable side. Thiago and Mario Gotze join the Champions League holders, who will of course be managed by the brilliant Pep Guardiola. If Bayern adapt quickly to the Spaniard’s tika-taka style (they’re already pretty close) they will be the team to beat in Europe next year.
The Catalan club were humiliated last season in the semi-finals by Bayern Munich – losing 7-0 on aggregate. Barcelona will hope the addition of Neymar, plus the probable acquisition of a world class centre-back will help the likes of Messi and Iniesta win yet another Champions League title.
Real Madrid will continue their quest to win their first Champions League since 2002 this season. New manager Carlo Ancelotti won the title with AC Milan in 2007, and he will be hoping he can maximise Cristiano Ronaldo’s wonderful ability. The Italian’s tenure at Madrid will be judged by his success in Europe’s premier competition, although he also faces a huge struggle to wrestle the league title back off Barcelona.
Jose Mourinho will be praying he can do what he failed to during his first stint as Chelsea boss – and win the Champions League. Roman Abramovich will be less desperate to secure the trophy after the triumph in 2011, but a European triumph will be top of the Portuguese manager’s list of priorities. Chelsea will no doubt boast a formidable defence under Mourinho, who has already won the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan.