Champions League winners can’t be Europe’s best without domestic trophies
It’s like reigning all over the world but you surrender to your local rival at home
Congratulations to Real Madrid for winning their third successive UEFA Champions League title. They are the deserved winner and they’re incomparable in Europe to other teams. They are 13 times UEFA Champions League winner and one who can come closest to them is AC Milan with only 7 titles. But in my opinion, Champions League winners can’t be Europe’s best without domestic trophies.
For me, it doesn’t make sense to call European winners Europe’s best when their performances in domestic tournament can’t back them. It’s like reigning all over the world but you surrender to your local rival at home.
A European winner must back themselves first at home. That’s why domestic season ends before European season. It’s about winning at home and then getting an opportunity to prove themselves in Europe that they are the best.
Take the instance of Real Madrid. They’ll return home with Champions League trophy in Spain, but the whole of Spain won’t be able to accept them as Europe’s best.
Their domestic season is the worst they have in recent times. They finished third on points table in La Liga and they lost Copa Del Rey to Levante at last 16 stage.
They have 17 points gap to La Liga winner Barcelona and they are three points adrift of second place Atletico Madrid. Will people in Spain be able to accept them as European best, if they can’t prove them the best in Spain first?
For me, it’s a complete no-no. Now, it seems we should avoid calling UEFA Champions League winners – Europe’s best. Without domestic trophy backing, it feels like a cheated winner of Europe. We should separate the path of Uefa Champions League winner and Europe’s best.
Europe’s best of the season should be able to handle the domestic season and European competition in the same manner. There shouldn’t be a prioritizing between the domestic trophy and European Cup. They need to create a synergy which can back their European glory.
That’s why we never had the problem to accept the treble winner as Europe’s best. They don’t leave any loopholes for anyone to criticize them. Whether it’s Europe, domestic trophy or League Cup, they own it in a particular season.
Real Madrid experience in the European competition is huge and they benefitted from that. By hook or crook, they’re ruling Europe winning every Champions League trophy. They are not winning beautifully but we have to accept that they’re European winners.
So, a European winner should be a European winner. They must not be called Europe’s best. Otherwise, find a way to create a tournament where only domestic winners will participate and they win the championship at the end winning knockout rounds.
Independent writer Miguel Delany once write, “At the heart of club football’s greatest competition, there is a contradiction. The Champions League – as the old European Cup – was set up to decide Europe’s best team, but it’s not really designed to do so. It is a competition which only ends up with the most rightful winner some of the time, and by coincidence rather than organization.”