The Champions League was thrown into turmoil earlier this month as Real Madrid passed Chelsea in rankings on April 12th despite a 3-2 loss. Having won their previous matchup 3-2 the aggregate score shifted in favor of Real Madrid settling at 5-4.
The matchup between the Spanish powerhouse and the English titan creates an intensity that radiates throughout both nations. Even youth soccer players compete harder in their own games and soccer practices during the months of the Champions League tournament. During this time, competitions on Playform like dribbling master, tapping champion, and more attract fierce competition amongst British and Spanish children.
In the recent match, Chelsea played dominantly, and looked to be headed toward an aggregate victory as their goals piled on. The Blues took an early lead with a goal in the fifteenth minute by Mason Mount, and added two more in the second half.
In what was headed for a blowout route, Real Madrid came storming back with two late goals, the second of which coming in extra time from Karim Benzema.
These goals struck a particular chord in the youth soccer communities of England and Spain as they displayed great fundamental soccer passing. Youth players can train hard with youth soccer drills to attempt plays like these on the Playform app. They can also train together across borders with the global leaderboard.
Benzema put his head squarely on a perfect cross, sending his club through to the semifinals. There they’ll face a Man City team who managed to advance with a mere 1-0 aggregate victory over Atletico Madrid.
Meanwhile, the future for Chelsea remains in question, as the 3-2 win was not enough to gain the edge of Benzema and Real Madrid. The end of their run towards the UEFA Champions League Cup highlights the uncertainty faced by the upcoming change in ownership.
After Russian oligarch Roman Abromovich agreed to sell the team amid war in Ukraine, and promised to share all sales profits to benefit victims of the war, the mystery around the future owners has garnered a lot of attention. Sales of clubs as successful as Chelsea are rare, and as such all eyes are on the Blues.
Among those in position to make ownership bids are Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams in partnership with Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment holding, Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly, and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca.
While this saga will continue to play out during Chelsea’s offseason, the Champions League tournament will continue to heat up. Opposite from Man City and Real Madrid in the bracket are Villareal and Liverpool. The quarter finals will begin April 26th and 27th with the championship match set for May 28th.