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Die Meister! Die Besten! Les grandes équipes! The champions!
The pinnacle of club football, the UEFA Champions League is where heroes are made and legacies enshrined.
The seven-year period between the beginning of the 2007/08 campaign and the end of the 2013/14 campaign is defined by four men. The first of these men is Cristiano Ronaldo. It is hard to think of any player having a decade long influence over the landscape of European football like Cristiano Ronaldo did.
But, what makes this era so magical was the rivalry he shared with Lionel Messi, the second man. Both Ronaldo and Messi were on a level of their own and cemented themselves as two of the greatest player’s two ever play the game. Constantly pushing each other to new limits, any team they played for instantly became favourites.
The third man to make a prominent impact on this era of European football is Pep Guardiola. He became the competition’s Goliath figure and a symbol of what teams would have to overcome in order to lift the trophy.
For every Goliath, however, there must be a David. Jose Mourinho embodies David, and is the fourth man to have a considerable influence over this seven-year span. He won the competition with Inter Milan in 2009/10, overcoming Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in the semi-finals against the odds. But while he only won the competition once during this period his finger-prints can be founds all over the winning campaigns of Chelsea and Real Madrid.
These four men, while not always the competition’s eventual winner, each contributed to the narrative told in the seasons spanning 2007/08 and 2013/14. Acknowledging their collective relevance to each season makes the accomplishments of each champion more remarkable and adds significantly to the competition’s lore during this period.
Tactical innovation, fierce rivalries, and four all-time greats delivered an unparalleled era in football history.
Dive into the nostalgia and nailbiting moments with contributions from some of the world's most respected football journalists, including Raphael Honegstein, Andy West, Phil Schoen, and Dan Levene.
Joining our team of tactical experts are renowned tacticians Tobias Escher, Alex Delmas, Muddassir Hussain, and more.
These are the Champions and this is their LEGACY.