UEFA Champions League 2012: Most Impressive Teams from Week 1
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The UEFA Champions League brings together the very best teams in Europe and lasts nine months. For these reasons, the tournament requires skill both in individual games as well as in the long run. Teams must rise to every challenge to hope for the title.
The first week of the tournament doesn't make or break anyone, but it certainly provides valuable insight into the form and potential of the various squads involved. These are the clubs that stepped up first.
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For their first Champions League appearance in eight years, PSG came out and simply did everything a coach and a fan could ask for. Paris had started the season off slowly, specifically in Ligue 1, but has since found their stride.
Facing Dynamo Kiev at home, Paris was expected to face a heavy test, but ultimately dominated the showdown 4-1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his sixth goal in five games, and new recruit Thiago Silva did everything in his debut including scoring.
Paris is still a team with much to learn and little experience, but the talent on this squad is undeniable. Opponents must beware of the now explosive French team.
There aren't many teams that faced a tougher challenge in the first week than Juventus Turin. The Italian champions went into Stamford Bridge to face the defending champions Chelsea. Worse yet, Juventus found themselves trailing by two goals only 33 minutes in.
However, Juventus showed incredible resilience both immediately and over the span of the match. Arturo Vidal tightened the gap barely five minutes later before Fabio Quagliarella evened it up with just 10 minutes to go.
With the astounding Andrea Pirlo leading the team and that sort of mental strength, it won't be easy to get past Juventus.
Who will win the Champions League?
As odd as it may sound, Real Madrid is actually on this list because they almost lost. Down a goal to Manchester City in the final minutes of the game, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored to give their side the win.
The win is impressive in and of itself since it was over the Premier League champion, but what makes it significant is what it means for the rest of the competition.
As Chelsea showed last year, a team needs both skill and a bit of magic to lift this trophy. Real Madrid clearly have the talent, and their first game showed they may just have enough magic too.
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