The Premier League takes centre stage on European stage as two of the elite English sides meet in the Champions League finals. We were just a whisker away from getting another all-English final in the Europa League as well.
Chelsea meet Manchester City in the Champions League finals in Porto on the 29th of this month. Manchester United meet Villareal who knocked out Arsenal marginally in Gdansk for the Europa League finals. Regardless of what happens in Porto, another Champions League title will arrive in England. Europa League title may also follow as United enters the game as overwhelming favorites against Villareal.
Spain has been the dominating force in the past decade as they swept most of the European titles. The power centre is shifting in world football since the late stages of the past decade. It’s moving west towards the United Kingdom. 2019 saw an all-English final in both the Champions League and Europa League as Liverpool and Chelsea emerged victoriously in those competitions respectively.
Let us take a look at how the European powerhouse is shifting to the British Isles. The Premier League teams are going for European glory and begin an era of greatness.
A RICH HISTORY
English teams had a rich history in European competitions. Manchester United won the European Cup for the first time in 1968. It was followed by an era of English dominance from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s.
Liverpool were one of THREE English teams to win the European Cup in the 1980s. Nottingham Forest won it in 1980 (and ‘79), Liverpool won it in 1981 and 1984 (and ‘77, ‘78, ‘05, ‘19) and Aston Villa won it in 1982! #liverpoolfc #LFCchampions pic.twitter.com/oju7g6xJR1
— King of Quiz (@kingofquizTW) June 26, 2020
Liverpool won the Cup back to back in 1977 and 1978. Giants of the yesteryear Nottingham Forest won it successively in 1979 and 1980. Liverpool added two more titles to their name in 1981 and 1984. Aston Villa, the midlands club from England tasted European glory in 1982 as the era of English dominance continued.
Liverpool lost in the finals of the 1985 edition to Juventus. The game saw hooliganism from Liverpool’s fans resulting in UEFA banning British clubs from the competition for 5 years.
Following that ban, the English sides kept on winning European competitions every now and then. United’s triumph in 1999 and Liverpool’s miracle of Istanbul in 2005 were notable ones.
ALL ENGLISH AFFAIRS
The Premier League was growing in stature over the years. A breakout league that was formed in 1992, changed the landscapes of English Football. The Football Association(FA) after being reluctant initially, recognized the Premier League as the top flight of England.
Manchester United players celebrate with the Champions League trophy, 1999. pic.twitter.com/972YGobd6z
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) February 13, 2021
This new Premier League was a cash-rich one and it pumped the game with money. Broadcasting rights and TV money were the main sources of income and clubs enjoyed this new financial freedom. Clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea used this money to improve their squads. A plethora of superstars from abroad were signed and the league’s quality was getting better.
Manchester United under Sir Alexander Ferguson won the European cup in 1999 to flex their muscle and let the world know of Premier League’s dominance.
The year 2008 saw an all-English final in the Champions League as Chelsea met Manchester United. The red-devils defeated the Londoners on penalties to emerge victoriously. Just two years ago another all-English final unfolded as Liverpool won their 6th UCL and Chelsea bagged their 2nd Europa League.
THE WORLD’S BEST
Today the Premier League is home to one of the best coaches and players in the world. Top coaches like Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Carlo Ancelotti are managing the English teams. Few of the best players in the world like Kevin de Bruyne, Virgil van Dijk and Bruno Fernandes ply their trade here. In terms of quality, the league is one of the best if not the best in the world.
A huge factor that brings so much appeal to the Premier League amongst European leagues is the global brand of the clubs. Each club has a unique and diverse fanbase around the world. Players from across the world play in the Premier League. Along with them, they bring the entire fanbase from their countries. Countries like China, the USA and Australia are ardent lovers of the Premier League and contribute towards the league immensely. Apart from the global fans, all the Premier League clubs have loving fanbases locally. The fans would love to fight for their club with all they have.
Submit your fan photos for the chance to win an adidas prize 🎁👀
Let's see your best United in the USA fan images! Enter now 👇#ILOVEUNITED x @adidasfootball
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 19, 2021
Premier League also has the biggest riches amongst all the other European leagues. Many clubs are owned by billionaire investors who are willing to spend fortunes towards their club’s growth. The financial pull attracts many top players and managers along with the game factor.
THE GLOBAL BRAND GROWS
England is becoming an attractive destination for top talents across the world. World beaters like Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Jadon Sancho are all rumored to be targeted by the Premier League clubs. These players will be jumping at the chance of working with elite managers and gladly join the premier league. This will only increase the fame of the league.
Even in a pandemic riddled season, the clubs are getting revenues from the broadcasting rights. The vision of the authorities ensured that no club would suffer financially due to the pandemic. What’s more, is the broadcasting rights are distributed evenly throughout the top flight. Merit-based revenue is also fair in number and helps all the clubs to compete evenly.
Unlike few other leagues in the world, the PL’s mid-table clubs have better financial resources to sign world-class players. This makes the league highly competitive and provides the perfect challenge for the teams contesting in European competitions to better themselves.
Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs are the flagbearers for the Premier League in Europe. While European top dogs like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid tire with aging squads, European dominance is up for the taking for the British clubs.
Liverpool have beaten the European powerhouses like PSG, Bayern Munich and Barcelona during their title-winning campaign in 2019.
Manchester City 🆚 Chelsea 🔜
All you need to know about the 2021 #UCLfinal 👇#UCL
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 5, 2021
This season, Manchester City and Chelsea are doing the same. City have done incredibly done well to reach a first Champions League final in their history. They defeated Paris Saint-Germain by a whopping margin of 4-1 over two legs in the semis. Chelsea have beaten the European kings Real Madrid 3-1 on aggregate after two legs of wonderful football in their semis.
Come the end of this month, the English clubs could add up to 2 European titles to their name. This season could possibly start another era of Premier League domination in Europe as English clubs rise to the top of the continent.