Are you excited? Because we sure as hell are.
Having been worried that the 2019/20 Champions League season wouldn’t play out at all, we’ve now been blessed with the news that it’s coming back.
But it’s not just coming back.
What we’ve got lying in wait for us is something unique and enticing, but above all, bloody fantastic.
Euro 2020 being postponed by 12 months was tough to take. Sure, it had to happen for obvious reasons – and we’re glad it did – but no European involvement in tournament football is a loss we already have to deal with every two years.
Our need for knockout football will now be supplemented, though, as all the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the competition will be played out in a one-off fixture. How cool is that?
Don’t get me wrong, home and away legs in the Champions League are wonderful. Getting to see two titans of the sport battle it out over two matches means, quite simply, we get to watch more football.
But now, newer tactical arrangements will need to be made, and previously, there were claims by many that whoever had the first leg at home (or away, depending on your view) would have a perceived advantage. That’s gone now.
It’s a level playing field.
One of the issues that arises from two legs can be the matter of ties being over and done with halfway through. If a side bottles it completely – or gets torn to shreds – in the first clash, oftentimes it results in a fairly dire second tie where one side sits back and the other loses all hope.
We can kiss that goodbye.
Trailing towards the end of a match but unwilling to go gung-ho for fear of conceding again, knowing that there is still another match to come to turn things around?
Not this time.
Trying to hold out for a 0-0 draw away from home, or even grab a solitary away goal to take back to your own ground?
Having to endure that anxious two-week wait for the next clash having just seen a cracking tie that is still anyone’s left to play for?
That wait is over for one year.
We’re going to see the Bayern Munich‘s and Barcelona‘s of this world go head-to-head in what will feel like a final, but, IT ISN’T. No, instead it’s going to be like we’re having six finals before the actual final even takes place.
If that isn’t a prospect that gets your mouth watering then I don’t know what will.
What could be great, too, is that we can pretend it is the Euros. If we’ve got a semi-final stage with four sides from four different countries, it practically will be. Even the mere thought of it gets the heart pumping.
Knockout international football is something we all love, so with the news of the Champions League following a similar system, our deepest desires for swashbuckling head-to-head football between the best sides in Europe can be wholly satisfied.
We can’t wait.