Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Champions League qualifiers

I must openly admit that I was fearing Denmark would for the first time ever have two teams in the CL. Not because I have anything against Denmark with two teams, but it depends on which two teams. And while I think it is great FC Nordsjaelland will play their first CL ever, I am not in favour of FC Copenhagen, so I was delighted when Lille won 2-0 in a hard-fought extra time match.
France will have three teams in the Champions League this season.
Braga defeated Italian Udinese to join FC Porto and Benfica as the three Portuguese sides, while Italy was left with only two sides.
Borussia Monchengladbach was eliminated by Dynamo Kiev to leave only three German sides, Bayern Munich, Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund.
Malaga will also be playing their first Champions League ever, after eliminating Panathinaikos, to complete four Spanish sides. Only Spain and England have four sides represented, but it still remains clear which is the best league in the world: the Premier League is represented by four teams, all qualified directly, three of which are in the top seed: Manchester United, Arsenal and the defending champions of Chelsea. It should be noted that the English champions, Manchester City, are not top seeds!
All in all, there is a great variation of interesting teams from different countries:
  • Spain: Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Malaga, Valencia
  • England: Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea
  • Italy: AC Milan, Juventus
  • France: Lille, Paris St. Germain, Montpellier
  • Germany:  Bayern Munich, Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund
  • Portugal:  Benfica, Braga, FC Porto
  • Ukraine: Dynamo Kiev, Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Russia: Zenit St. Petersburg, Spartak Moscow
  • Greece: Olympiacos
  • Netherlands: Ajax Amsterdam
  • Belgium: Anderlecht
  • Turkey: Galatasaray
  • Scotland: Celtic
  • Belarus: Bate Borisov
  • Croatia: Dynamo Zagreb
  • Romania: CFR Cluj
  • Denmark: FC Nordsjaelland
The draw for the groups is on Friday.

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