UEFA Champions League

The UEFA Champions League has been around since 1955, for the top soccer clubs in Europe. Each year – the final match of the league sees over 100 million viewers watch on television. This matches with only the NFL Super Bowl, as far as sports viewers are concerned. The league will crown a champion this season; sometime in May. They use several stages within the league, starting with three qualifying rounds, which began in the middle of June. Following that they move to a playoff, which there are two legs; played in August. Next, is the group stage. They use six rounds for this; in which run from September through December. After the new year, they move to knockout phase, which runs from middle February through late April. Finally comes the finals, which take place this year on May 22nd, 2010.

During the 2010 season, they are currently at 8 groups. FC Girondis de Bordeaux, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea FC, ACF Florentina, FC Barcelona, Sevilla FC and Arsenal FC are the current leaders in each group.

The next matches played within the UEFA Champions League two games are scheduled during April 27th-28th. Lyon will take on Bayern and Barcelona will battle against Internazionale.

Some of the best players in the UEFA Champions League include: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Marouane Chamakh (Bordeaux) and Michael Owen (Manchester United).

Barcelona won the Champions League during the 2009 season, and look to repeat this season. Real Madrid has the most titles; with nine. Milan comes in second in championships, with seven. Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Ajax and Manchester United come in following the top two. The country of Spain has won the most titles; with 12, followed by 11 from Italy and England. Greece, Belgium and Sweden do not have a title, but have one runner-up a piece.

The UEFA Champions League pays each team that qualifies. They also will pay additional prize money to the teams that advance to the group stage. A win is worth more, and even a draw is worth money. The UEFA Champions League is sponsored by several corporations, which is different than other organizations, such as the premier league, which has just one. The current sponsors of the UEFA Champions League are: Ford, Heineken, MasterCard and UniCredit.