The most recent sign of international trust in the way Portugal has been handling the Covi-19 pandemic came from the football world. Last June 17th, UEFA officially announced that Lisbon will host the final stages of the Champions League, which will develop in a different scheme from the usual. The final was initially scheduled to be played in Istanbul (Turkey).
The Final Eight will gather the top eight teams of the tournament in the Portuguese capital to play the quarter-finals, seminals and final during August. The games will be split between the stadiums of SL Benfica and Sporting CP, the biggest and most representative Lisbonian clubs. Unlike the usual, quarter-finals and semifinals won’t be comprised of two legs; they’ll be played in a single game instead, just like the final.
Further games in Portugal possible
There are a few games of the eight-of-finals yet to be played (second legs of the Round of 16), and their location hasn’t yet been decided. They could be played as per the previous schedule, at the host’s stadium; alternatively, they might be played in Northern Portugal, in Porto (at the stadium of FC Porto) and Guimarães (at local club’s stadium).
Portugal’s authorities congratulate the country
Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and prime-minister António Costa praised the nation in a joint statement for this achievement. In short, both said that this choice is an “award” to the country in general and the healthcare professionals in particular, for the way everyone is dealing with the pandemic’s challenge.
The final games of the Round of 16 will be played on August 7th and 8th. Liverpool is already out, but three English teams can still reach the quarter-finals. The Round of 16 games are:
- Real Madrid x Manchester City
- Chelsea x Bayern Munich
- Tottenham x RB Leipzig
- Napoli x Barcelona
The quarter-finals will be played between August 12th and 15th; the semifinals, between August 18th and 19th; and the final on August 23rd.