The final 8 of the Champoins League consists of three teams from Spain (Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid), two teams from England (Manchester United and Chelsea), two teams from Germany (Defending champions Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund) and one team from France, Paris Saint-Germain.
At the moment, the favorites to win it would be Bayern Munich with Real Madrid slightly behind them, although any rationale about who should end up in the final and come through as championship should be reserved until after the draw on March 21.
A huge next step for Ateltico in their advancement under Diego Simeone, crushing Milan 4-1 in the second leg to make into the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time since 1997. In the league, Atletico are chasing Real Madrid at the top, surprisingly still very well in the championship race. Diego Costa with 7 goals is their top scorer in the competition.
Bayern Munich are the popular choice to become the first team to repeat as Champions League winners. They had it quite easy in the group stage with Manchester City, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen. They also didn’t run into too much difficulties with Arsenal, coming through against the London club for the second straight season in this stage with a 3-1 aggregate score. They’re going to win the championship in Germany at record speed (again). Thomas Müller with four goals is their leading scorer in the competition so far this season.
It’s been a rough season for a team that made it to the Champions League final last season – they’re second in Germany but not even remotley close to making things difficult for Bayern Munich. They did make it through the group of death with Arsenal alongside them, leaving Napoli and Marseille behind, and came through in the round of 16 with a 5-4 aggregate win over Zenit from Russia, mostly thanks to a 4-2 win away from home in the first leg. Robert Lewandowski with 6 goals is their top scorer.
The Jose Mourinho return is going according to plan, more or less. Chelsea are in the lead of the Premier League (until and if Manchester City complete their missing matches with wins), and finished first in a group stage that included Basel, Schalke and Steaua. Their Galatasaray encounter wasn’t the easiest, but they came through with a 1-1 draw in Turkey and a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge. Both Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o lead the scoring with 3 goals each.
The four-time European champions are currently third in the Spanish La Liga, heading into a crucial Clasico match at the Santiago Bernabeu. After finishing first in the group stage ahead of Celtic, Milan and Ajax, Barcelona beat Manchester City twice in their clashes with the Premier League club: 2-0 in England, 2-1 in the second leg. Lionel Messi, with 8 goals so far in the competition, is their top scorer. Last season Barcelona made it to the semifinals, knocked out by Bayern Munich.
An awful season in Manchester United terms just got a little bit better with a 3-0 win over Olympiakos in the second leg, overcoming a two goal deficit from the first leg in Pireus. In the league, things aren’t going that well for the club, finding themselves in 7th place, too far away to close the Champions League gap for next season, and battling for a place in the Europa League. Robin van Persie is their leading scorer in the competition with 4 goals, 3 of them coming in the win over Olympiakos.
The French champions, who made it to the quarterfinals as well last season and are well on their way to win a second consecutive championship in France, had no problem dispatching Anderlecht, Benfica and Olympiakos in the group stage, and faced similar “difficulty” against Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 16, winning 6-1 on aggregate. Zlatan Ibrahimovic with 10 goals is their top scorer in the competition.
Possibly the hottest team in Europe right now. Real Madrid are in the lead of the Spanish La Liga, and have been close to perfect in the Champions League. First in the group stage with Juventus, Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen, followed by a 9-2 aggregate win against Schalke. Cristiano Ronaldo, with 13 goals, has an excellent chance of setting a new record for goals in a Champions League season.