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Did Liverpool Become the Great Candidate for the Champions League?

The English team beat Villarreal in game 1 of the semifinal and is positioned as one of the big favorites to lift the cup.

Liverpool F.C players

Photo: TW-LFC

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: ¿Se transformó el Liverpool en el gran candidato de la Champions?

Liverpool has been transformed since the arrival of Jürgen Klopp. The German strategist arrived at Anfield in the 2015-2016 season and quickly managed to impose a clear style of play, based not only on possession but also on the speed and effectiveness of his forwards facing the rival goal.

For this reason, he has achieved different titles. Examples are the Premier League 2019-2020, the League Cup 2021-2022, the UEFA Champions League 2018-2019, the UEFA Super Cup 2019, and the FIFA Club World Cup 2019. All this, of course, not to mention that he has always remained competitive on all fronts.

Well, what is currently happening? Liverpool beat Villarreal 2-0 in the first leg of the semifinals, with goals from Estupiñán (against) and Sadio Mané. In this way, he will have to wait for the return to see if he qualifies for a new Champions League final, with the aim of adding his seventh Champions League.

Liverpool and the Champions

Although it is not ruled out that Villarreal could start an epic comeback, because it is a club that has a lot of potentials, it is clear that Liverpool is already the top candidate in that key. However, what about the others? Well, the contest will be between two candidates: Manchester City and Real Madrid.

Also read: Which Teams Aspire to Win the Women's Champions League this Year?

Let us remember that, for the first leg of the semifinals, City won 4-3 against Real Madrid, at home. Then, the Spaniards will have to define the result at the Santiago Bernabéu, although it is clear that they have a difference against them. For this reason, it is very likely that it will be the England team that will end up reaching the last resort.

This hypothetical situation would leave us with a new English final since both Liverpool and Manchester City would arrive at the Stade de France to define who wins the title. Now, although this hypothetical match would be really competitive, there are several reasons to believe that those led by Klopp will have an advantage.

The most important element seems to be the European experience. Liverpool is the English club with the highest number of international titles. For many years, they had even had significant success on a continental scale, but it was difficult for them to obtain the Premier League, something they achieved for the first time in the 2019-2020 season with Klopp.

In contrast, City does not seem like a team with much history. The natives of Manchester have been promoted since 2008 when an investment group from the United Arab Emirates took full control of the club. However, the team truly became a power after the arrival of Guardiola, from the 2016-2017 season.

The Spaniard created a team with a clear identity, based on possession. In addition, extremely talented players appeared, such as Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish, João Cancelo, Benjamin Mendy, and İlkay Gündoğan, who allowed them to win several titles during some seasons.

As a result, during the last few years, there has been a kind of "hegemony" of City in the Premier League. Without going any further, in the last 5 seasons, City managed to win this tournament 3 times. For this year, everything seems to indicate that they will repeat the title, although Liverpool is on the prowl.

Well, did this project help you win an international title? The answer is negative. The situation is quite comparable to that of PSG, which has generated millionaire investments but frustrates the dream of the Champions League from the round of 16 of this competition.

The closest Guardiola came to lifting this title was last season, when they faced Chelsea and ended up losing. In this case, the London team proved to be up to this trophy, which is why they imposed their entire hierarchy and career in European competitions.

For this reason, City would not be the candidate. In addition, another issue must be taken into account: Liverpool's offensive power. Although City has no problems in terms of scoring goals, it is true that they do not have a very established center forward. Well, at Liverpool this doesn't happen. On the contrary: they have one of the best tridents of the year, with spectacular and sustained performance over time. We refer to Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and the recent Colombian Luis Díaz. In addition, talents such as Diogo Jota, Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino, and Roberto Firmino are added.

So, it will be necessary to see if Liverpool ends up reaching the final stage of the UEFA Champions League. However, if he succeeds, we may be facing the future champion of one of the most prestigious competitions on the planet. And for you, who is the favorite this season?