The Champions League final offers the most prizes in European football, but today’s finalists, Chelsea and Manchester City, have almost no experience of the sport that awards it.
Chelsea Have participated in the finals only twice. In 2008, it lost all previous Premier League finals to Manchester United on penalties in Moscow. Four years later, it eventually won the trophy by defeating Bayern Munich in a shootout.
It is Manchester City’s first trip to the finals, and comes after an extremely disappointing end in recent years, including the quarterfinal exit against Lyon (2020), Tottenham (2019) and Liverpool (2018). Until last year, even club players were openly wondering if they and their coaches would ever be able to capture the trophy.
Nevertheless, as a Premier League champion, and with a world-class player (and a world-class backup) at almost every location on the field, Citi is a betting favorite.
Here are the basics:
what time is the game? Kickoff set for 3 pm Eastern in Porto’s Estadio do Drago.
How can i see The game will be broadcast in the United States on CBS Sports and the Paramount + streaming app. If you like commentary in Spanish, go to the Univision or TUDN app. Check if you are anywhere else in the world This comprehensive list of local broadcast partners From UEFA’s website.
Is VAR in use in the Champions League? Yes. So control yourself and warm up your hot take. This may be a factor at some point.
When will I know if Christian Pulisic is starting? (This question is for most American readers.) The team’s lineup should be finished about an hour before kickoff.
The chairman of the governing body of European football confirmed reports this week by The Times that the organization was considering adding the semi-finals and finals of the Champions League to a week-long football festival instead.
“Personally, I would like to see this happen,” President Alexander Seferin told French sports daily L’Equipe ahead of the final in Portugal on Saturday. “It can be very good. And effective in terms of revenue if it is done well.”
And while he expressed support for the idea, Seferin also said that there was still time to discuss it with clubs, partners and broadcasters.
“There is no urgency,” he said. “We can fix it in a year’s time.” The Times reported that the changes could not happen until at least 2024.
Last summer the Champions League knockout stages were arranged in a hurry, with the fingers thrown together just before the outbreak of the epidemic in Europe. Schedules were changed. Found a new host (Lisbon). A bubble was created.
But something astonishing happened: everyone fell in love with it. The single-game quarter-finals and semi-finals – rather than the usual domestic and distant ties – were a high-stakes hit, attracting drama and audiences.
The changes proved so popular with the Champions League organizers, in fact, that they are seriously considering inclusion Some of them permanently As part of a “Champions Week” concept in which two winners-take-all semi-finals and finals will be played in one city, and will complement the schedule of music, games and other events.
“Sponsors would love it,” said Tim Crowe, a consultant advising many major companies involved in events such as the World Cup and the Olympics. “The Super Bowl model is like this, when it’s not about the game, it’s about the week.”
The short answer to that question above is: Yes. The reasons are more complex and, like many things these days, are all related to coronaviruses.
The Champions League final is in Portugal for the second year in a row. This time, like last year, it was a late solution, and each time it required the consent of the authorities in Turkey, which has now lost its chance to host for two consecutive years.
The decision to move the final from Istanbul earlier this month, which recently re-entered the virus-related lockdown, came after discussions between European football leaders and British government officials, who Trying to get the game to london, Broken down on differences regarding quarantine and testing, among other issues.
When those negotiations failed, the Football Federation of Portugal raised their hands and offered to be a safe harbor again. From my colleague Tariq Panja earlier this month:
The discussion about a move was quickly completed. After City and Chelsea confirmed the All-English final, and as soon as talk of a change of venue was made, Portuguese Football Federation Chief Executive Officer Tiago Creveiro reached out to UEFA. Football body officials were upset with the sudden announcement that day that travelers from Britain faced severe restrictions for any trip to Turkey. This created a crisis that was beyond questions about fan reach.
Players from both sides faced the possibility of being isolated for 10 days upon their return to the UK, raising doubts over their participation in the European Championships, a national team competition organized by UEFA in size and importance for the FIFA World Cup Is in second place. .
With Portugal on the UK green list – and thus subject to much less stringent travel rules – Cravero offered to hold the final on short notice. Porto was chosen because he did not have the opportunity to stage Champions League games last year when the event was limited in its Lisbon bubble.