Istanbul 2020: The Champions League final that we will never got to see


This Saturday would have seen two teams face off for Europe's top trophy

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Today, Saturday, would have been the Champions League final. Tomorrow, Sunday, would have seen fans savouring the game (watching the goals on repeat, re-reading the reports...) and another set of fans devastated to have lose the game. 

Dídac Peyret


But that will not be the case because the 2019-20 Champions League showpiece, scheduled for the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadi on May 30, is not going ahead.

It's the final that will never be. At least in these conditions. With fans, without break, without news of Covid-19, and with two teams arriving in Istanbul in normal circumstances. 

The likelihood is there will be another final. Competitions are resuming across Europe but it will be completely different. Without fans in the stands. It may even change venue. And the captain that lifts the trophy will do so while respecting social distancing. 

The new normal will bring more artificial scenes and celebration -- like we saw this weekend when Red Bull Salzburg lifted the Austrian cup. It was like watching a video game.


It was first announced the final would be moved to June 27 in Istanbul. Those dates will not be met, either, and now UEFA are working on resuming the competition in August, when domestic leagues have been able to finish. There's a meeting on June 17 to decide the format. 

Some last 16 games need to be completed before they can even think of the quarterfinals. 

Getafe president Angel Torres has suggested, once they reach the last eight, of the Europa League and the Champions League, they plan to hold the final stages in one fixed location. Barça and Madrid are among the teams who need to complete their last 16 ties (Barça are level with Napoli; Madrid trail Man City). 

And where could it be played? Health will be the key and Istanbul looks a doubt. Portugal, where the pandemic has been well managed is one option, but nothing has been decided yet. 


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