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The greatest Champions League semi-final line up of all time?

4 May 2015

Champions-League-14-15-semi-final-draw-date-timeFor the last few years, the Champions League quarter final draw has kept apart the competition’s biggest names, helping set up a series of remarkable semi final lineups.

The 2014-15 draw – and subsequent progression of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus – was no different. Indeed, the first three teams on the list have stepped up another level in the last 9 months, creating a clear gulf between themselves and the remaining teams in Europe.

This got 5 Added Minutes asking – is this the greatest Champions League semi final line up in history?

Using data from the excellent clubelo.com website – which ranks teams across Europe historically based on their results – the answer appears to be yes.

ucl_semis

The average Elo rating of the four semi-finalists is nearly 2050. To put this into perspective, only four teams in history have ever achieved an Elo rating of 2050 (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Milan). This is way beyond the standards set in the early Champions League years, and surely in any European Cup before then given the limitations around qualification.

Not only are we currently witnessing the careers of two of football’s greatest ever players, we also currently have three of the sport’s finest ever club sides. The last five matches in this year’s Champions League could be considered some of the greatest match ups of all time.

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