Last season was one to remember. From Bayern’s sixth European Cup to Real Madrid’s resurgence on the domestic scene to pandemic hit season to a thrilling golden boot race. the 19/20 season had it all. With the next season just around the corner, here is a look at some of the highlights of yet another fabulous European season.
2019/20 European Football Season In Review
Sensational Transfer Window
It’s that time of the year again. Lack of football, lack of match energy but the frenzy pre-season, preparations for the upcoming season and most importantly the exciting transfer deals. Last season saw some big money moves which surely made football fans more anticipated for the 19/20 season. Some of the big money moves during last season’s summer transfer window included:
- Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid)
- Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid to FC Barcelona)
- Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United to Inter Milan)
- Matthijs De Ligt (AFC Ajax to Juventus)
- Rodri (Atletico Madrid to Manchester City)
- Joao Felix (Benfica to Atletico Madrid)
- Joao Cancelo (Juventus to Manchester City)
- Harry Maguire (Leicester City to Manchester United)
- Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan to PSG)
- Nicolas Pepe (Lille OSC to Arsenal)
Along with these heavyweight transfers some big manager changes included:
- Antonio Conte (Inter Milan)
- Maurizio Sarri (Juventus)
- Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
Review of season’s of some of the biggest transfers
Lukaku and De Ligt had stellar campaigns in Italy with Lukaku having his personal best campaign and the young Dutch defender winning the Scudetto. Griezmann failed to live up to the expectations at the Camp Nou while Eden Hazard had a horrible season scoring only one goal throughout the campaign. Signings like Rodri, Pepe, Cancelo, Icardi, Felix displayed some moments of brilliance and the next season will provide a better review.
The Season Commences
The Top 5 European Leagues commenced in mid-August. Manchester City began their title defense with a 5-0 thrashing of West Ham. FC Barcelona meanwhile had an unsuccessful start to their title defense falling to a bicycle kick winner by Athletic Club’s Aduriz which Real Madrid took an advantage of by defeating Celta Vigo 3-1. Inter Milan and Juventus both had amazing starts to their respective seasons to kick start an amazing title race in Italy.
Here is an overview of the UEFA Champions League and the top 5 European Leagues:
UEFA Champions League
The draw for the Champions League Group Stages was made in September. The draw provided some mouthwatering fixtures with Group F dubbed the ‘Group of Death’ including Inter Milan, FC Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Slavia Praha. The Group Stage from September to December was eventful and set up nicely for the knockout stages. Teenage sensation Erling Braut Haland was the breakthrough star of the group stage scoring 8 goals for Austrian side Red Bull. Lewandowski was the top scorer with 10 goals. The Round of 16 fixtures had some exciting matches like Real Madrid Vs Manchester City, Chelsea Vs Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid Vs Liverpool, and PSG Vs Dortmund. Bayern and PSG swept aside their opponents while City completed a famous win over the 13-time champions, Real Madrid. Atletico completed a shock victory over the holders Liverpool while Barca took care of Napoli. Due to delay in the quarter finals because of the pandemic, quarter finals and semi finals were reduced to one leg ties in Lisbon. PSG and Leipzig won their respective ties to set up the first semifinal. City once again failed to advance past the quarters losing 3-1 to Lyon. But the greatest match of this season’s Champions League was undoubtedly Bayern Munich Vs Barcelona. Bayern ran riots scoring 8 goals which proved to be the final nail in coffin for Seitien at Barcelona. Bayern and PSG had easy wins in the semis to set up an amazing end to a long European club football campaign. Bayern proved out to be the better team winning 1-0 and securing their 6th title. Lewandowski finished the season as the top scorer with 15 goals becoming only the second player ever to reach that feat.
Liverpool were the runaway leaders of the English top-flight finishing 18 points above the runners-up, Manchester City. City, the nearest challengers, were never really in the title race and since November it was more or less clear that Liverpool would finally win their first Premier League title. Kevin De Bruyne deservingly grabbed the Player of the Season award with 34 goals and assists. The race for the Champions League spots was a thrilling one with United and Chelsea grabbing the final two spots. Norwich, Bournemouth, Watford were relegated and Vardy grabbed the Golden Boot.
Real Madrid finished 5 points above their eternal rivals FC Barcelona, defying all the odds and claiming their 34th La Liga title. The title race was a thrilling one, especially after the restart. Barcelona ultimately stumbled, paving the way for Zidane’s men to clinch a well-deserved title. Usually an attacking side, Madrid displayed great defensive prowess and team spirit. Leo Messi finished the season both as the leading goal scorer and assist giver. Courtois clinched the Zamora trophy beating out the likes of Jan Oblak and Marc Andre Ter Stegen.
Juventus once again proved to be the best Italian team achieving their 9th consecutive league title. This season, however, they were provided the biggest challenge by Inter Milan who finished just a point behind. Inter were impressive throughout the season but ultimately couldn’t dethrone Juventus. Golden Boot race was also a thrilling one between Ronaldo and Immobile. Eventually, the Italian came out on the top with 36 goals. Atalanta and Lazio occupied the remaining two Champions League spots.
The German top flight once again witnessed a similar story that has been there for the last seven years. Bayern were too good for the others and were the team that secured the European treble. Lewandowski had the season of his life scoring a personal best 34 goals. Dortmund, Leizpig and Borussia M’Gladbach will be the other sides representing Germany in next season’s Champions League. Dortmund had some exciting talents coming up, with Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi and Erling Haland having breakthrough seasons.
Ligue 1 was the only of the top five European Leagues that couldn’t be completed because of the coronavirus pandemic. PSG who were 12 points above Marseille with 11 games to go were declared the champions of France. Mbappe and Ben- Yedder shared the golden boot with 18 goals each. Rennes had a remarkable season finishing 3rd with players like Camavinga having breakthrough seasons.
So here was an overview of another rollercoaster of a European club football campaign. Goals, assists, injuries, saves, smiles, tears, and emotions. Football made us experience it all once again and will surely do in 20/21 as well. Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe, Ramos, De Bruyne all will return and provide unforgettable moments and matches to savour. Here’s to another breathtaking and unpredictable European season.