Thursday, May 05, 2011

Alternate History 4: UEFA Champions League

The tournament formerly known as the European Cup used to be limited to only one team per country. Prior to the mid-90s, it actually was a competition for champions only (imagine that), along with the title holders.

1997-98 was the first tournament to include teams that didn't win their domestic championships, and Manchester United was the first team to win who wouldn't have qualified under the old standard.

What if the old rules had remained in effect? Who would've won in each season from 1998 until today? Find out after the jump.

Rules: Teams will be ranked on how they finished in the real competitions, based on the round they were eliminated in. So if a finalist isn't available, then both semifinalists will be checked, and so on. If two teams are tied in the same round, then total points in the competition for that year will be used (not counting qualifying rounds).


Real Life: Real Madrid d. Juventus
Alternate History: Real Madrid d. Juventus

No changes in the first edition, as both teams were the reigning champions of their leagues.


Real Life: Manchester Utd d. Bayern Munich
Alternate History: Dynamo Kiev d. Juventus

No miracle for Man Utd, as Arsenal were the defending EPL winners. Bayern Munich also missed out, as the previous year was the one were Kaiserslautern won in their first year after promotion.

So that left the semifinalists, who had both won their leagues. Juventus barely scraped through the group stage with a win and five draws, which means that the Ukrainian club gets the title, 16-13 on points.


Real Life: Real Madrid d. Valencia
Alternate History: Barcelona d. Bayern Munich

This blog is a conspiracy. Yes, the title goes from Real to Barca, and Valencia's out as well, as only Barcelona qualified from Spain due to winning La Liga in 1998-99.

Barcelona and Bayern Munich made the semifinals in real life, so it went down to total points. The final total was 36-29, not particularly close.


Real Life: Bayern Munich d. Valencia
Alternate History: Bayern Munich d. Deportivo

Deportivo was the reigning La Liga champ, so Valencia didn't make it. Man Utd were the English entrant, so neither semifinalist was eligible (Leeds, Real Madrid). So that meant a runner up had to come from the quarterfinals.

Arsenal was also ruled out, so it came down to points for the other three teams from that stage. Deportivo won a very close race, 23-22-21 over Man Utd and Galatasaray.


Real Life: Real Madrid d. Bayer Leverkusen
Alternate History: Real Madrid d. Manchester Utd

Leverkusen and semifinalist Barcelona were out, leaving the English champions and other semifinalists to make the final.


Real Life: AC Milan d. Juventus
Alternate History: Juventus d. Real Madrid

This was the year three Italian teams made the final four, but only Juventus made it in for the alternate history edition. Real Madrid was the other semifinalist, but they only qualified as defending champions - Valencia won the 2001-02 Spanish title.


Real Life: Porto d. Monaco
Alternate History: Porto d. Real Madrid

Another runner up medal for Real. Lyon had won the French league, and Man Utd and Real Madrid won in England and Spain respectively. So Monaco and semifinalists Chelsea and Deportivo are ineligible.

Of the quarterfinalists, Arsenal were another non-winning English team and AC Milan wasn't Italy's entry (Juventus). Real Madrid topped Lyon 21-17 on points.


Real Life: Liverpool d. AC Milan
Alternate History: AC Milan d. Lyon

Arsenal were the defending English champions, so semifinal rivals Chelsea and Liverpool were out. DaMarcus Beasley's semifinalist PSV Eindoven team were also out.

Lyon was the only quarterfinalist to make it. Inter and Juventus had finished behind AC Milan, while Werder Bremen was Germany's entrant, not Bayern Munich.


Real Life: Barcelona d. Arsenal
Alternate History: Barcelona d. AC Milan

Arsenal didn't make it, as Chelsea won their first title of the Roman era in the previous year.

Juventus was the Italian champion, but AC Milan gets here as the defending champion in this universe. They were in the semis, along with Villarreal, who didn't qualify as they finished third behind Barcelona.


Real Life: AC Milan d. Liverpool
Alternate History: Chelsea d. Bayern Munich

Chelsea finally wins that title they've been dreaming of. With 3/4 English clubs in the last four, only one could make it. Meanwhile, AC Milan had finished behind Inter in Italy (at least after the whole scandal was taken care of, remember that?).

So we go to the last eight to find a runner up. AS Roma and Valencia weren't champions, so Bayern Munich beats out PSV 16-14 on points.


Real Life: Manchester Utd d. Chelsea
Alternate History: Manchester Utd d. Chelsea

The first unchanged final since 1998, despite both teams hailing from England. That's because Man Utd were Premier League winners, and Chelsea were defending champions. It's also the only same country final in this exercise.


Real Life: Barcelona d. Manchester Utd
Alternate History: Manchester Utd d. Bayern Munich

We finally get the 1999 result, only a decade later. Real Madrid qualified from Spain, so the title goes to the holders.

Bayern only made the last eight. Still, they became finalists because four of the other teams in the final four (Arsenal, Chelsea) and final eight (Liverpool, Villarreal) didn't qualify. Porto, another last eight team, is beaten 21-15 on points.


Real Life: Inter Milan d. Bayern Munich
Alternate History: Inter Milan d. Barcelona

Wolfsburg were the German champions, so no Bayern. Other semifinalist Lyon finished third in France, allowing Barcelona to move in.


Real Life: Barcelona vs Manchester Utd
Alternate History: Barcelona d. Shakhtar

This year's final has yet to be played, but the alternate history winner is already known. Chelsea won the EPL last year, so no Man U. There's also no Real Madrid, Schalke, or Tottenham.

It came down to three quarterfinalists: Chelsea, Inter, and Shakhtar. The points were 15-10-15 after the group stage, so Inter was pretty much done. After the round of 16, it's 19-13-21. All three lost both of their quarterfinal matches, so that's how it ended. Shahktar is the runner up.

If only Chelsea had won that return leg against Copenhagen. It would've to go to goal difference, and they would've advanced instead on that tiebreaker.


Champions by League

Real Alternate
England 3 3
France 0
Germany 1 1
Italy 3 3
Portugal 1 1
Spain 5 5
Ukraine 0

Despite 6/13 years having different winners, it turns out looking almost exactly the same. Only Ukraine could break through.

Finalists by League

Real Alternate
England 8 5
France 1 1
Germany 4 4
Italy 6 6
Portugal 1 1
Spain 8 9
Ukraine 0 2

England gets fewer teams in the final, despite winning the same number of times.

Champions by League

Real Alternate
AC Milan 2 1
Barcelona 2 3
Bayern Munich 1 1
Chelsea 0 1
Dynamo Kiev 0 1
Inter Milan 1 1
Juventus 0 1
Liverpool 1 0
Manchester Utd 2 2
Porto 1 1
Real Madrid 3 2

Three different champions, while Liverpool is the only one to lose theirs.

Finalists by Club

Real Alternate
AC Milan 3 2
Arsenal 1 0
Barcelona 3 4
Bayer Leverkusen 1 0
Bayern Munich 3 4
Chelsea 1 2
Deportivo 0 1
Dynamo Kiev 0 1
Inter Milan 1 1
Juventus 2 3
Liverpool 2 0
Lyon 0 1
Manchester Utd 4 3
Monaco 1 0
Porto 1 1
Real Madrid 3 4
Shakhtar 0 1
Valencia 2 0

Liverpool and Valencia both lose two finals, while nobody gains two.

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Comments on "Alternate History 4: UEFA Champions League"


Anonymous pay per head service said ... (4:24 PM, January 26, 2013) : 

It is more interesting with more than one team. It makes more compelling to watch because some times the cup winner in each country isn't the best team there.


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