Lisbon prepares to host reconfigured Champions League endgame

Neymar is expected to be one of the stars of the reconfigured Champions League tournament in Lisbon.
Neymar is expected to be one of the stars of the reconfigured Champions League tournament in Lisbon. AFP/Archives

Portugal’s capital is playing host to a one-off UEFA Champions League tournament, which, during a 13-day window, will see Europe’s best eight teams vie for the continent’s most prestigious prize. 


Paris Saint-Germain face the Italian outfit Atalanta in their quarter-final encounter, with the winners up against RB Leipzig of Germany or Spain’s Atletico Madrid in the semis. 

After stunning Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in the last-16, Olympique Lyonnais meet Manchester City, with the victors facing the team that comes out of arguably the pick of the last eight clashes - Barcelona against Bayern Munich. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed nearly 800,000 lives worldwide, it is the first time that the competition is being staged as a tournament in a single location. 

No supporters and only a handful of club officials and journalists are allowed to attend the seven matches taking place at the two stadiums in Lisbon - Estádio da Luz, the home of Benfica and Sporting CP’s José Alvalade Stadium. 

PSG has long craved Champions League glory and with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City desperate for a maiden success, the two big-spenders are among six teams in this season’s last-eight that have never won the competition. Only Barcelona and Bayern have claimed the crown.

City missed out on the Premier League in 2019/20, finishing 18 points behind the 2019 European champions, Liverpool.

PSG meanwhile, were declared Ligue 1 winners as part of an early termination to this term’s campaign, owing to the coronavirus. 

With PSG sweeping all the available trophies domestically – they have claimed 25 of France's last 36 domestic trophies – Lyon have, by contrast crept into Lisbon’s quarters.

Rudi Garcia’s side only managed eight points in the group stage, and were seventh in Ligue 1 when the Ligue de Football Professionnel terminated the season in April.

Nevertheless, after their pyrotechnics in Turin, Manchester City's stars will be on their guard not to underestimate their opponents, a sentiment that has to be true for PSG, too.

While Thomas Tuchel’s men have played only two competitive games since early March, Atalanta played a dozen games to conclude the 2019/20 season in Serie A in their place and qualification for the 2020/21 Champions League. 


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