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OPINION: Who will win the Champions League?

Champions League By: Linus Onyeze | 20/04/2017

Who wins the Champions League between the four semifinalists - Atletico Madrid, Monaco, Real Madrid and Juventus?Who wins the Champions League between the four semifinalists - Atletico Madrid, Monaco, Real Madrid and Juventus?

The semifinalists for the 2016/17 Champions League are now known, following the quarterfinal games that were decided on Tuesday and Wednesday. Atletico Madrid progressed at the expense of Leicester following a 2-1 aggregate win and Real Madrid recorded a 6-3 aggregate win over Bayern Munich. Juventus got the better of Barcelona with a 3-0 aggregate win, while Monaco swept Dortmund aside 6-3 on aggregate.

So, there are Atletico Madrid, Monaco, Real Madrid and Juventus and on Friday, the semifinal draws will be held, and the path to the final would be set, but the big question remains: who will win the Champions League?

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In all fairness, and putting the pedigrees of these clubs aside, any of them could win the tournament this year, and it would be deservedly so. How they have gotten to this stage of the competition have been based on superior performances to that of their opponents’ – maybe with the exception of Real Madrid, considering the controversy that followed their win over Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals, for the purpose of argument.

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But overall, what we have here are the four best teams from the competition and any of them could go on to win it, but who would it be?

Monaco were last in this stage 13 years ago, and went all the way to the final, before losing to Porto. Juventus were finalists as recently as 2015, losing to Barcelona, while Real Madrid have won it twice in the last three years. Atletico Madrid have also gotten to the final twice in the last three years, but lost to Real on both occasions.

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Looking at how the teams got to this stage, Atletico finished top of group D with 15 points, scoring seven goals and conceding two. In the round of 16, they faced off with Bayer Leverkusen and won 4-2 on aggregate, before knocking out Leicester in the quarterfinals 2-1 on aggregate.

Monaco on their part, also finished top of their group with 11 points, scoring nine and conceding seven goals. In the round of 16, they came up against Manchester City, drawing 6-6 over two legs, but winning on the away goals rule, having lost 5-3 in the first leg, but won 3-1 in the second leg. They then saw off Dortmund 6-3 on aggregate in the quarterfinals.

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Unlike Atletico and Monaco, Real Madrid finished second in their group with 12 points, but saw off Napoli 6-2 in the round of 16, before dispatching Bayern Munich 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

Atletico Madrid will hope to be third time lucky after losing two finals in the last three seasons.

Juventus on their part, topped group H with 14 points, saw off Porto 3-0 on aggregate in the round of 16, and dispatched of Barcelona by the same margin in the quarterfinals.

So given how good these teams have been over the course of the competition, who deserves it most?