The UEFA Champions League 2009/2010: The Insanity Edition

Adi-Oula SebastianCorrespondent IIApril 7, 2010

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 07:   Rafael of Manchester United is sent off by Referee Nicola Rizzoli during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Manchester United and Bayern Muenchen at Old Trafford on April 7, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

In case you have missed the 2010 edition of Bayern Munich vs. Manchester United, this picture may or may have not captured the moment when things went from very good into a gruesome nightmare for the Champions League Winners of 2008.

At halftime the scoreline read 3-1, when the final whistle was blown the Bavarians lost 3-2 but progressed to the semi-finals.

Bye Bye Dominance

For the first time in seven years there will be no English side in the semi-finals. Either the top clubs all across Europe have made drastic improvements or the quality of the EPL is on the decline. The verdict is still out since this year's Champions League season seems to be full of surprises.

Wayne Rooney will have to win the World Cup if he is to stand a chance at receiving both the Ballon D'Or or the FIFA World Player of the Year. Because in a World Cup year either a player of the Champions League or the World Cup winners will win both coveted individual prizes. Remember Ronaldinho won the 2006 Champions League but it was Fabio Cannavaro who received the accolades.

Unless another player has a Cannavaro-esque World Cup it is Lionel Messi who is in the drivers seat to collect the goods in 2010.

Another Giant Slayed

Liverpool FC , Real Madrid , AC Milan , Chelsea FC , Arsenal FC , Manchester United—The list reads like the who's who of past winners except the London sides (who were on the tip of joining the exclusive list of winners in 2006 and 2008 respectively).

The biggest surprises were the exits of both Real Madrid whom many tipped to be one of leading contenders after a lavish spending spree in the summer of 2009 and Manchester United.

The Final Four

The remaining title challengers consist of FC Barcelona , Inter Milan, Olympique Lyon, and Bayern Munich. With the toughest match-up being the tie between the Blaugrana and the Nerazzuri. 

The Future Champion

If FC Barcelona can retain their Champions League crown it'll be the verification of their status as one of the best club sides in history.

If one of the others, namely Inter Milan, Olympique Lyon, or Bayern Munich win the 2009/2010 Champions League it'll be one of the biggest surprises in recent memory.

I guess in this year's edition all bets are off.