After prevailing the 1970 World Cup, Brazil were gifted the Jules Rimet Trophy to keep. As three-time champs, FIFA decided that the far-famed footballing commonwealth had earned the right to spectacle the golden hardware in their trophy locker forever. By that token, UEFA should probably think about handing Spain the Champions League trophy. After all, they have obliged the tournament their own during the past 5 year.

Indeed, it’s that long since a society to areas outside Spain was crowned European endorses, with Bayern Munich the last team to break the Barcelona-Real Madrid duopoly back in 2013.

But the continental dynamic might be about to shift.

On the basis of what we have experienced so far this season, the duopoly could very well be broken.

Defending Champions League winners Real Madrid aren’t such forces they were last season, or the season before that, or the season before that. The depart of Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer has identified the capital city guild penetrate a transitional period that has so far exclusively evidenced them walk from advantage to mediocrity.

Some argued that Real Madrid were, as the government had be done in order to previous seasons, meeting their use at just the right time, stringing together a feed that ascertained them win nine from 11 following the winter breach. Nonetheless, that word wasn’t sustainable and Santiago Solari’s side have since suffered damaging residence routs to Girona and Barcelona in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi final second leg.

Barcelona, despite that unequivocal triumph at the Santiago Bernabeu, aren’t in enormous appearance themselves. Before last week’s win over Sevilla and the midweek win over Real Madrid, Ernesto Valverde’s side had claimed really one win from their previous five games.

Their actions are getting more and more laboured with every tos week.

They suffered the same thing last-place season. Valverde was criticised for not rotating his squad, with numerous deeming the Champions League fourth final crumble to Roma as a consequence of that. By the time Barcelona got to the crunch, foreman down the final elongate of the campaign, they looked tired and weary.

Valverde dedicated to change his access this season, and he has employed fleshes like Arturo Vidal, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Carles Alena and Clement Lenglet to ease the burden on some of his more confirm musicians, but this hasn’t fairly. Barca, in recent weeks, have again ogled tired weary.

Both Barcelona and Real Madrid were entrust favourable chooses in the last 16 of this Champions League, and it’s likely that the pair will progress to the one-quarter finals. Nonetheless, “theres been” signeds of weakness in their recitals in the competition this season. They are not the supremacy duet they have been in recent years.

The best placed Spanish place to finish atop the continental batch is likely to be Atletico Madrid, who come in pole position to move past one of the tournament favourites Juventus following a persuasion last 16 first leg acquire. Of route, Diego Simeone have come close to acquiring the Champions League before, losing two finals in three years between 2014 and 2016,

But even taking into account Atleti’s status as Champions League challengers, the race has rarely been as open as it is this season. The arguing could be made that not since the 2003/04 season, when Jose Mourinho’s Porto beat Monaco in the final, has Europe’s premier club competition boasted such a wide battleground of potential winners.

Of course, this wide province continued to be result in a Spanish champion of this season’s Champions League. Exclusively Manchester City and possibly Paris Saint-Germain look stronger than Barca and Real, but their grip on European football isn’t as close-fisted as it has been in recent years. A changing of the ward might be about to occur.

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