Few trusted that there would be three Spanish teams in the Champions League quarter draw today in Nyon (12:00, Movistar Champions League). The sweet moment of the Premier and the problems that some of the representatives of LaLiga have gone through this season presaged a dark future in the competition. But Spain is Spain, especially when European nights get serious.
Real Madrid, Atlético and Villarreal will appear, therefore, in the quarter pot. It is a plenary session with respect to the round of 16, although two representatives have already fallen before: Barça and Sevilla. In any case, not even the Premier surpasses the Spanish in number of clubs at this point. The English keep the first three of their league tournament, City, Liverpool and Chelsea, without a doubt, the coconuts, together with Bayern, of a draw in which the Cinderella is Benfica.
For the first time in all the Champions the draw will be pure and will be able to face teams from the same country. There will also be no seeding, that is, the order of the matches will be the same as the draw of the balls. Avoiding each other would be good news for the Spanish, although Madrid is more feared for Atlético and Villarreal than vice versa.
The three English and Bayern would be a great threat. The Premier clubs are very different from each other. City maintain their dominating style of play, full of talent and possessionalthough he lacks a decisive nine and, above all, he suffers when counterattacked. This endemic evil has already condemned Guardiola in Europe repeatedly. He is, on the contrary, the great weapon of the Liverpool, capable of hitting with spaces like City with the ball.
A middle ground is Chelsea, the defending champions, who base everything on their defensive strength. It fits little and suffers less. Although this course is not so good due to the institutional problems that lie in wait for him, against Atlético and Madrid last season he already showed what he is capable of. Like Bayern, for many the Whites’ great historical rival in Europe, at least on a character level. With Lewandowski at the controls and Nagelsmann on the bench, the German roller returns to the fray on his way to the title.
What is certain is that Benfica is everyone’s desired rival. They knocked Barça out in the group stage and deservedly eliminated Ajax in Amsterdam in the round of 16, but their season is proving to be problematic. Jorge Jesus had to leave with the team far from the first two in Portugal and Veríssimo arrived, whose work in Europe is being commendable. Even so, the next stop seems too demanding for the Portuguese.
In addition to the quarterfinals, the semifinals will be drawn. In other words, any team will be able to know what their route to the final is. Paris, after snatching the UEFA final from Saint Petersburg, awaits the two best in Europe on May 28. Madrid, Atleti and Villarreal dream, Spanish football is very much alive.