The Champions League is back! The best of European soccer go head to head, with Barcelona taking on Portugal’s Sporting CP on Sept. 27. This match kicks off at 2:45 PM ET and it’s going to be good.
There’s nothing quite like the UEFA Champions League. Where else can you see Lionel Messi, 30, and FC Barcelona take on one of the “Três Grandes” clubs from neighboring Portugal? The Blaugrana packs its bag and heads to Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon to meet Sporting CP. Even though the Champions League has just kicked off, a single loss could doom a team’s chances of advancing past the Group Stage. So, expect Barca and the Leões to go all-out in this match. After all, you either go big or go home.
Speaking of going big, Barca got a big shot in the arm. Barcelona kicked off the 2017-18 Champions League with some much needed payback. After Juventus eliminated Barca in the 2017 knockout stages, Messi picked up a brace (with Ivan Rakitic, 29, netting a point of his own) to give Juve a 0-3 loss. Nice. The top two teams advance to the knockout face, so Juve has plenty of chances to recover from this stumble. They place Greece’s Olympiacos F.C., a perfect opportunity to pick up some points.
If Sporting CP needed a little motivation ahead of this game, they found it in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, who returned to his homeland (and to the club he joined when he was just 12-year-old before signing with Manchester United in 2003.) Ronaldo posed with club officials ahead of Sporting’s game with Tondela, as the club said Cristiano was “always welcome at your home.” Perhaps some of Ronaldo’s skill rubbed off on Sporting – though, considering Real just lost to Real Betis in a shocking upset, maybe some of Sporting’s luck rubbed on Ronaldo?
Who do you want to win this game, HollywoodLifers? Do you think Barcelona will win the Champions League?