The first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 provided a few results that were surprising, and a few totally expected ones. Some teams proved that they were legitimate title contenders, while others slumped to embarrassing losses against worse teams.
Pretty normal Champions League stuff, right?
Right, except this year, Real Madrid isn’t among the “slumped to embarrassing losses against worse teams” category, but rather in the “legitimate title contenders category,” after scraping together a 1-1 draw at Stade Gerland in Lyon—a stadium where Madrid not only hadn’t won in years, but also hadn’t even scored a goal.
So let’s play contender/pretender with these teams—I’ll break down a team heading into the second leg, and then argue that they’re either a “contender” or a “pretender.”
Let’s start off with the team that’s least likely to win the Champions League.