Why European Football is the Best in the World

Its simple, European football is the best in world. Think of all the best players to play modern day football. Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo, Neymar, Ronaldinho, Maldini, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And the list is endless… 

Whilst many of the players started in the roots of South America. Such as Messi at Newell’s Old Boys, all of these men had dreams to come and play in Europe.

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The Competitions 

UEFA Champions League

The Champions League is a competition that involves all of the best teams from all of the best leagues in the world. As they battle to win the most valued prize in European football. The excitement of the Champions league knockout stages is unrivalled. Two legs, 180 minutes and the rest, with games going to extra time and then sometimes penalties. In the knockout stages, there have been some of the greatest comebacks of all time.

The Greatest Comebacks

In 2017, Paris Saint-German beat Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of the round of 16 tie. With the tie looking dead and buried with Barcelona not scoring a single away goal. There was not a single expectation of them coming back and winning the tie. However, Barcelona quickly grew into the second leg and went 3-0 up. There was a rare chance for PSG striker Cavani and out of absolutely nothing. PSG had an away goal and now because of that Barcelona needed another 3 goals.

The clock started to tick away and in the 88th minute the score remained the same. Until Neymar curled in a beautiful free-kick. But then a penalty was conceded by PSG. And Neymar converted meaning Barcelona had just stoppage time to find one more goal. With 20 seconds left in the game the goalkeeper was in the opposition box and as Neymar crossed a ball into the box.Time stood still until remarkably, the ball was put into the back of the net, the greatest comeback of all time. 

These kind of comebacks, although not always as good as this, happen all the time such as Ajax 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur after Spurs were 3-0 down with half an hour to go, Lucas Moura scored in the 95th minute to win the game. Real Madrid up until 2019 have dominated European football, winning the competition in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 with a quite remarkable final against Liverpool in Ukraine. Karim Benzema tackled Liverpool Keeper and the ball went straight in making it one nil to Madrid. Sadio Mane fairly quickly after replied and so it was 1-1, but just 10 minutes later, Gareth Bale a bicycle kick, later on adding another to make it 3-1. 

UEFA Europa League

The level down from this is the Europa League, a lower level of the Champions League. However it still does not disappoint. Teams who finish 3rd in the group stages of the champions league drop into the last 32 of the Europa League adding extra quality. And this also brings memorable knockout ties. In 2010, Juventus comfortably beat Fulham 3-1 at home in the round of 16, but of course there is a second leg.

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Shortly into the second leg, Trezeguet put Juventus ahead on the night making it 4-1 on aggregate. And Fulham were into despair. Quickly though, Bobby Zamora replied making the deficit just two and after Fabio Cannavaro was sent off. Hope was restored and just before half time Zoltan Gera scored and he did the same just after the restart, it as 4-4. With the game on a knife edge, something special needed to be crafted and oh boy it was. Clint Dempsey provided the magic needed as he chipped the Juventus goalkeeper by surprise from the edge of the box turning Craven Cottage into delirium. 

UEFA European Championship

The Euro’s, also known as the UEFA European Championship. It was founded in 1958 and is a competition containing the best National teams in Europe. Therefore excluding the likes of Argentina and Brazil. To get into the competition, you need to go through a qualifying stage. Which contains ten groups each having 5 or 6 teams with different ability. 

Group Stages

The top two teams in each group qualify for the UEFA European Championship. With some 3rd place teams, who are on the highest points total go into a play off. Where they play a semi-final and then a final. At the minute, the tournament contains 24 teams, every four years when its played, however this has differed over time. The 24 teams are split up into six groups each containing 4 teams. Where each team plays each other once and the top two teams then qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament. And the four best 3rd place teams also qualify. 

Knockout Stages

The knockout stages start with a round of 16 and in each of the rounds. Each game is a single tie with the winner progressing to the next. So, then a quarter final is played, then a semi final and then a final. It always provides an exciting few week that the majority of the population of European countries get behind and it always causes upsets. In 2016, Wales went on an incredible run. A team that was not even expected to reach the knockout stages beat Northern Island in the round of 16. Before remarkably beating Belgium in the quarters, a team who were one of the favourites to win the competition. They did, unfortunately, fall to the eventual champions, Portugal, in the semis after losing 2-0. 

One of the most unexpected performances in the UEFA European Championship were by Greece who went into the competition with a 150/1 shot to win the tournament. They started off their campaign with a 2-1 win over Portugal, and then overcame France in the quarter finals, Czech Republic in the semis, before once again meeting Portugal, but this time in the final. They managed to squeeze past Portugal with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal by Angelos Charisteas, the latest addition to the Greek gods as he caused the greatest sporting shock of all time. The past winners of this competition are Portugal (2016), Spain (2012), Spain (2008), Greece (2004) and France (2000). The quality of the European national teams is backed up by the glorious winners of the recent World Cups with France winning it in 2018, Germany in 2014, Spain in 2010 and Italy in 2006. 

The Domestic Leagues

Another reason why European football is so good is because of the domestic leagues in each of the European Countries.

The Premier League

First up the Premier League in England, sometimes called the best league in the world with players on ridiculously high salaries and with the highest quality possible all over the pitch. There is a title fight each season, with Manchester City and Liverpool both dominating the league in the last few years. In the 2018/19 season Manchester City beat Liverpool to the title on the final game of the season after they beat Brighton. Despite finishing on 97 points and only losing one game all season, Manchester City finished on 98 points, just pipping Liverpool to the title. Not only is there a title fight each season, but there is a fight to finish in the top four places of the league as this guarantees your team Champions League football for the following season. 

Last season 2 of three teams could still finish in the top four on the final day between Manchester United, Chelsea and Leicester City. Chelsea beat Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United beat Leicester in good style to finish in the top 4. Each season, the bottom three teams get relegated to the league below and the relegation battle often goes down to the final day. 

La Liga

In Spain, they have the La Liga, which is their main domestic division. Barcelona and Real Madrid have always and still dominate this division having a huge rivalry called the El Clasico which is played twice a season in the league. Barcelona have won the title 26 times which is 8 less than Real Madrid’s 34. The biggest prize possession of the La Liga and why people have chosen to watch this league is because of the past rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who are the two best players in all time football. Unfortunately, these pair are not able to come up against each other anymore as Ronaldo has moved to Serie A in Italy. 

Other Leagues

There are also 3 huge other leagues in European football but have had less excitement in recent years as Juventus have easily dominated the Italian league (recently beaten out by the mighty charging Inter Milan) , Bayern Munich have dominated the German league and PSG have demolished the French league. 

Conclusion

One thing that has been apparent in European football is that every game counts. This is because in leagues each position has higher prize money meaning that finishing 11th or 10th in the Premier League has a huge financial difference by a few million pounds. Therefore, you will rarely get a boring game when watching European football. 

Here are Some of our Favourite Football (Soccer) Cleats

Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the cleats worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current cleats, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out in these cleats? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc. Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific cleats.

What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?

Elite

Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.

Pro

On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.

Academy

Want something to start with? Have a look at our pick.

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