It’s been five long years since Chelsea faced Manchester United at the Allianz Arena to contest the Champions League final.
With English sides competing in 6 of the previous 7 Champions League finals (including one further all English encounter) the Premier League was flexing its muscles and showing the European super-powers how it’s done.
Since that encounter in Germany England’s top tier has not provided a single finalist. What exactly has gone wrong since, and could we be finally seeing a return to power for English footballs top guns?
There is no doubt that Spanish football has been at Europe’s pinnacle in recent years. In addition to back to back World Cup and European Championship victories, La Liga sides have also dominated the Champions League.
A plethora of quality homegrown talent coupled with some expensive imports have seen Spain’s big three provide 6 of the last 8 finalists, with one of Real or Barca having won each of the last 4 finals. Both clubs will be widely tipped for this years competition but could the Premier League teams finally be returning from the wilderness.
We have recently seen an influx of ‘super coaches’ to the UK. With Klopp, Guardiola, Mourinho, Conte and Pochettino all plying their trade in the Premier League expectations have been raised and cash splashed.
These acquisitions seem to be paying dividends with 4 sides already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages, and Liverpool all but assured of their place.
Could 2017 be the year that one of these sides makes a reals statement and announces the Premier League’s return to the big time..?
Written by Will Trattles
Follow Will on Twitter @WillTratts
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