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New Champions League format will spell the end for original vision of competition

Eamonn Sweeney


The Last Word

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Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer celebrates Champions League win last August. Photo: Matthew Childs

Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer celebrates Champions League win last August. Photo: Matthew Childs

Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer celebrates Champions League win last August. Photo: Matthew Childs

On June 13, 1956, L’Equipe publisher Jacques Goddet handed the European Cup to Santiago Bernabeu, president of Real Madrid, after the Spanish champions defeated Reims 4-3 in the first ever final, with the words: “I’m giving you this trophy because it is the child of love.”

Goddet was making the presentation because the competition was the brainchild of journalists at the great French sports daily, which last week described the proposed new Champions League format as “the child of the dictatorship of the big clubs, of their greed and of the weakness of Uefa”.


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