UEFA has been handling European football quite well since March, at least as far as the competitions it organises are concerned. It has delayed the European Championship to 2021, suspended the Champions and Europa League in their original format, chosen a new system and a new venue to end its flagship competitions and advised European football to finish its domestic leagues for next season.
Lisbon will host an express Champions League that will leave us with an atypical champion. The teams arrive without the inertia of March. Negative inertia in the case of Real Madrid after the 1-2 defeat with Manchester City or the positive one of Atletico de Madrid in their conquest of Anfield. What happens from August 7 will be unpredictable, although the resumption of competitions leaves a picture of obvious injustice especially for French football.
One of the last games before confinement. Real Madrid took the lead, but in the second half the usual gaps appeared. Two goals from City and Ramos being sent off left a lapse in concentration in England. But five months later the situation has improved for the new Spanish League champions.
Real Madrid has played 11 games, won 10 and drawn one with a total of 21 goals scored and six conceded. They will miss Sergio Ramos, but the defensive security of the white team and the recovery of players like Modric or Asensio put them at the competitive level of their opponents.
Manchester City have played their remaining 12 Premier League games. They finished second, 18 points behind Liverpool. Guardiola have won nine games and lost three. The most worrying statistic for Real Madrid is the 36 goals they've scored in the dozen games they've played.
The Catalonian team felt bad in confinement. The waters were already rushing down after the departure of Valverde and the arrival of Setién. The team was not working, Messi was sending messages to the management and the economic debt was reducing its staff to a minimum.
The 1-1 draw in the first leg left everything too open. Barça lost the league in 11 matches. Seven wins, three draws and one defeat. A total of 23 goals for the La Liga runner-up who has seen Real Madrid overtake him in the final stretch of the season.
Napoli has played 14 games in Italy. They have won eight, with three draws and three losses. 21 goals for Callejón and Llorente, who have Genaro Gattuso as the great reference on the bench. Their seventh place in the Calcio left them without playing in Europe, something they managed to fix by winning the Italian Cup. The southerners beat Cristiano's Juventus on penalties.
Simeone's guys came back from lockdown like motorcycles. Physical preparation is one of the strengths of the Argentine coach and the final stretch of the league showed his ability to adapt players to circumstances.
Seven wins and four draws in the 11 league games. Third place does not do justice to a competition they could have fought to the end. They scored 20 goals and distributed them over all the matches played. They will play a single match the quarterfinals against the most affordable rival of the Champions. They say at the Metropolitano that Lisbon owes them one.
Leipzig rejoined in May. The Bundesliga was the first league to return with the remaining nine rounds. The Red Bull team won four games, drew five and lost one. That makes ten because one of the draws was on July 31st in a friendly against Wolfsburg. They finished third in the league and with Timo Werner as one of the top scorers with 28 goals. Who knows if he will return from Lisbon dressed as a mattress.
The most uneven match in the Champions League. The French competition was suspended and sank many clubs. Some will be saved economically thanks to government aid and others will have to save the sporting side through friendlies and training.
Lyon have not played since March 8 when they lost 0-1 to Lille. It has returned to football by playing five friendlies. It has beaten Celtic, Nice, Gent and Antwerp but could not beat Rangers. He also did not do well in the French Cup. He fell on penalties after a goalless draw with PSG. Only nine goals in a lousy pre-season of Champions.
Juventus arrive euphorically at a round of 16 match that must be overcome if they want to go to the finals in Lisbon. A 1-0 win for Lyon could be surpassed by Cristiano Ronaldo's. They have scored 26 goals in 14 games, won six, drawn three and lost five, mostly after winning the Scudetto. The cross was the Italian Cup they lost on penalties to Napoli.
The German club is the top scorer of what remains of the Champions League. They have scored 34 goals after the confinement. They have won all 11 matches they have played and also the friendly against Marseille. The Bundesliga champions finished their competition on July 4th and will not face Chelsea until August 8th at Allianz.
Chelsea are still in no-man's land. They finished the Premier League in fourth position. They started playing a friendly against Reading before the restart. After that, twelve games in which they have won eight and lost four with 24 goals scored. The English have little to do after the 3-0 first leg at Stamford Bridge. Kepa seemed to be the good news for his club and for the European Championship in Spain. The Basque goalkeeper has played a little more than expected, but Lampard is not counting on him next season and Athletic is negotiating his return.
The club most affected by the suspension of the French league is PSG. Their huge investment can only be balanced by playing - or winning - the Champions League, as their championship brings them little money. The Parisian club has played three friendly matches, beaten the three teams that were sightseeing in the capital and, in the process, has also won two cups. It beat Saint Éttiene 1-0 in the French Cup and beat Lyon on penalties in the League Cup. He scored 21 goals after the break with three wins over Le Havre (0-9), Waasland-Beveren (0-7) and Celtic (4-0). Neymar, Mbapeé, Navas and Co may not have had enough of a run, but their quality could put their team into the semi-finals for the first time in their history and two matches away from reigning in Europe.
It begins the most uncertain Champions of the history. The historical ones are not worth nor the statistics. On August 7 and 8 the round of sixteen will be resolved in Turin, Manchester, Barcelona and Munich if the resurgence and governments allow it. The first quarter-final matches will be played on 12 and 13 August in Lisbon. A single match. Like the Champions, always unique.