Italian teams surge ahead in Champions League

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

After a couple of seasons of embarrassing failure, Italian soccer seems to be back on top. At least that's the case in the Champions League. Juventus was the la

Italian teams surge ahead in Champions League

London:

After a couple of seasons of embarrassing failure, Italian soccer seems to be back on top. At least that's the case in the Champions League. Juventus was the last Italian side in 1999 to reach the semifinals of the Europe's to club competition. Manchester United went on to win that season followed by two victories by Real Madrid (2000 and 2002) and Bayern Munich (2001). The last two seasons no Italian side has managed to make the quarterfinals while Spanish soccer has had a finalist in each of the last three years. Through two rounds in 2002-2003 with the third coming up on Tuesday and Wednesday, Italian teams lead three of the eight groups with Spain atop three more. English sides head the remaining two. AC Milan, heading Group G, has won its first two behind stars like Rivaldo, Filippo Inzaghi and Rui Costa. In addition to AC Milan, Juventus leads Group E and Inter Milan heads Group D - each with four points. The three Spanish leaders all have perfect records. Nine-time champion Real Madrid tops Group C, Valencia heads Group B and FC Barcelona is out front in Group H. Arsenal leads Group A with a perfect record and Manchester United matches it in Group F. (AP)

Topics : Football
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