Berlin (AP) – Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus Turin, Paris Saint-Germain and FC Liverpool are the champions in the major European football competitions.
However, they are not currently at the top of the tables. An inventory:
Series champions Bayern Munich has lost the championship lead and Bayer Leverkusen has taken first place in the Bundesliga for the first time in more than six years. “We are happy to be there. Better there than anywhere else,” said coach Peter Bosz. A week before the direct duel with the German record champion from Munich, the Werkself are at the top of the table. “It’s a great feeling to be in the top spot. And it’s great motivation,” said Leon Bailey, who has been doing great for weeks.
In Italy, AC Milan has been at the top for weeks. Local rivals Inter Milan follow in second place – but what about Juventus Turin? The record champions are currently level with Naples in only fourth place. New coach Andrea Pirlo would claim the tenth title in a row, but so far the team under his leadership has not lived up to expectations. Milan coach Stefano Pioli, meanwhile, is confident and recently delighted: “This team has a real heart and character that I’m really proud of.”
FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have won the title among themselves for years. But Barcelona are currently only eighth in Primera División with ailing superstar Lionel Messi, while Real has just moved up to third thanks to their derby victory against local rival Atlético. The surprising first is Real Sociedad San Sebastian. Coach Imanol Alguacil said: “I hope they keep talking about us and we stay on top.” The club had already won the title 40 years ago – even twice in a row at the time.
Especially the clubs in Manchester lag behind the top group in the Premier League. Coach Pep Guardiola’s Citizens only managed to score five league victories, the Red Devils of Man United – also in eleven games – only six. The local rivals were not only disappointed with the zero number over the weekend. Tottenham Hotspur remains in the lead as champions Liverpool FC with coach Jürgen Klopp missed the opportunity to oust the competition with a win over Fulham from the top of the Premier League. On Wednesday, the rivals will meet in a direct duel.
Champions League finalist Paris Saint-Germain had a difficult start this season – also due to a few failures – and suffered another setback on match day 14 of the French Ligue 1. “I saw a very tired team,” said coach Thomas Tuchel. Lyon overtook PSG in the list, but the former is currently an outsider: OSC Lille – most recently French champion in 2011.