Ranking of the favorites to win the 2024/25 Champions League: Real Madrid with Kylian Mbappé and Arsenal make the list

With Real Madrid lifting the Champions League title on Saturday, the format as we have known it since the 2024-2025 edition is a Competition with 36 teams instead of the traditional group stage. While this will shake things up, teams playing two more group stage matches will only move further into top teams that can rotate more than they already do. Looking at who can win the Champions League next season, while it would be great to pinpoint an unlikely winner, it's usually the teams that get to the final in impressive fashion but ultimately fall to a titan. In some cases, such as belowit can be the start of building to become one of the best teams in the world, but in other cases that run is just a flash in the pan.

So who is most likely to win the UCL next season? Here are the top five contenders ranked:

5. Inter

Despite operating on a smaller budget than some of their opponents, Simone Inzaghi has turned this team into a serious contender. Inter is able to absorb defensive pressure while giving teams an attack, making them one of the strongest contenders for the Champions League title next season. The question comes down to Lautaro Martinez, However. If a team wants to win a European title, they need to be able to rely on a striker to score when the stakes are high. In Serie A it was Marinez, as he scored 24 goals, his third consecutive season scoring 20 or more goals, but in the Champions League he only scored two goals. Underperforming his expected goals in the league as Martinez reaches his peak will be crucial to Inter's success.

4. Liverpool

Even without Jürgen Klopp, for so long Muhammad Salah is still going on, Liverpool have a chance in this competition. Arnie Slot has time in the offseason to adapt the attack to his image and possibly also strengthen the defense. He will have to figure out what to do with Darwin Nunez, but looking at Liverpool's squad, it is well prepared for the future, even as they leave the Klopp era behind them. While it is never easy to replace a club legend, Slot has been one of the most consistent managers in Europe in recent seasons. So his focus can be on keeping things simple while allowing Liverpool to press and attack the way they do best. With the depth in the youth, this is a team that will also get a boost from the longer group phase.

3. Arsenal

Unfortunately, Arsenal did not progress in the Champions League this year, but they are one of the best teams in the world. Their only problem is that arguably the best team in the world is also playing with them in Manchester City in the Premier League. Bukayo Saka has proven that he is someone you can rely on, and if Mikel Arteta can get a consistent striker in the summer, Arsenal are a team that can win the Champions League if the situation arises. From defense to attack, most positions are where they should be, but the question arises whether Gabriel Jesus/Kai Havertz at the nine are enough.

2. Manchester city

As a machine under Pep Guardiola, it is still astonishing that City have won just one Champions League title with him as manager. When we face the eventual winners of this season's competition in Real Madrid, it's understandable why City didn't pull it off, but with Erling Haaland And Kevin De BruyneWhen healthy, City are always a contender for every title out there. Defensively, things will have to improve to contain the best attacks in the world such as Madrid, but when facing anyone else in the world, City should win.

1. Real Madrid

This is Real Madrid's competition. With six UCL titles since 2013/2014, it is never smart to bet against Real Madrid to win the Champions League, especially when Kylian Mbappe is likely to be part of a star-studded attack. If Carlo Ancelotti can keep his balance Vinicius Junior and Mbapppe together in attack, this team will truly be unstoppable even with them Toni Kroos retire. Preparing for the years to come is how Madrid have kept things moving in the right direction, even with changes everywhere, and that will only continue to happen. Even with Endrick's arrival, there will be more and more attackers and a strong midfield, but like City, defense is the biggest demand Los Blancos have – not that it matters if they score three goals a game.

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