Champions League soccer tournament moves to final 8 teams

The+Champions+League+is+the+biggest+annual+European+soccer+event.

Image via UEFA

The Champions League is the biggest annual European soccer event.

Asmita Pokharel, Staff Writer

The UEFA Champions League round of 16 ended Wednesday, with three unexpected teams making the cut along with the usual expected suspects. 

Atletico Madrid, Benfica, and Villarreal are the surprise quarterfinalists after experiencing robust victories over Manchester United, Ajax, and Juventus, respectively. 

The stage is now down to the final eight teams, who will battle for survival in one of the world’s biggest soccer events. Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Manchester City, and the defending champions Chelsea have made their expected entries to the quarters. 

England and Spain are both bringing three teams into the quarterfinals. The England trio of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea were very much favored and expected to enter the round of eight along with Germany’s Bayern Munich. Spain’s trio of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid or Villarreal, however, were not clear fan favorites. 

The quarterfinal field is set, and the draw for the 2022 Champions League tournament will take place on Friday. After a few days’ break, quarterfinal games will begin and occur in the span of a week in April, and the two finalists will be set by May 4. 

Then the two teams will be given 24 days to set a path for the potential to hoist the trophy. The final is set for May 28 in France at the Stade de France stadium. 

The game was supposed to occur in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the Krestovsky Stadium, and was moved in a hurry after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

“We remain resolute in our solidarity with the football community in Ukraine and stand ready to extend our hand to the Ukrainian people,” UEFA stated.  

While upsets are always possible, some of the teams fans should keep their eyes out for are Liverpool, Villarreal, and potentially Chelsea. 

Liverpool’s defense has been strong this season, with Virgil van Dijk back, so they tick every box for a potential champion. Villarreal’s win over Juventus showed that the team can hang tight in difficult moments and make the most of the chances that come their way.