In the world of club soccer, there’s no higher honor than to take part in the UEFA Champions League: a vast tournament pitting the top teams from Europe’s best leagues against each other through a group stage, and then a subsequent play off bracket. 

“Inter Milan getting this far is the biggest surprise thus far with a good chance at the final,” senior Charlie Stockstill said. “I think Manchester City will win because they have the best squad and manager.”

So far, the 2023 Champions League playoff bracket has been a viewers delight, with high scoring games as well as the early departure of a few fan favorites. In the first round of playoffs, the round of 16, PSG, with the likes of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, were knocked out 3-0 by the German club Bayern Munich. Furthermore, premier league club Liverpool were thrashed 6-2 by championship favorites Real Madrid. 

In the quarter finals and the semi finals, the most impressive win was Manchester City’s 4-1 triumph over Bayern. A performance that put them in a promising position for the trophy. Also notable was Real Madrid’s 4-0 shutout over premier league side Chelsea. Real Madrid’s star Karim Benzema paired with youngster Rodrygo Silva de Goes proved too much to handle. 

“I was disappointed to find out Messi was knocked out already,” senior Michael Laudadio said. “Kevin de Bruyne will lead Man City to the Champions League trophy.”

Currently, the championship has made it to the semi-finals, where Real Madrid and Manchester City are tied 1-1, and Inter Milan is up 2-0 over AC Milan. The City, Madrid game, if anything like the first of the series, will be a match worth watching, as neither team holds a clear advantage over the other. 

“Manchester City is definitely going to win because their striker Haaland is unstoppable,” senior RJ Hosay said. “Real Madrid also has not been very good since 2015. Ronaldo was their only player and he’s gone now.” 

The final match will be a single fixture, played between