If watching Paris hang on to knock out holders Bayern was tense, the drama off the pitch in the countdown to this issue going to press took some beating. Fan power was fundamental in seeing off the threat of a breakaway ‘Super League’, ensuring the principle of open competition will remain at the heart of the European game.
With a new format to the Champions League being introduced in 2024/25, we’ve gone back to the start to look at how the competition began and has evolved, hearing from protagonists down the years and looking ahead to what the future might hold.
Before then there’s the small matter of a trophy with big ears to win, and we’ve been fortunate to speak to two of the game’s most exciting young stars, Kylian Mbappé and Mason Mount, as they look to leave their mark this season. In his column Jürgen Klinsmann explains exactly what they will need to do to take home the trophy and for those of you pining for simpler times, we travel back 50 years to Wembley to celebrate the first of Ajax’s three era-defining triumphs. We also talk leadership with Fernandinho, Glasgow with chart-toppers The Snuts and take our place on the sofa with house-bound, home fans across Europe in this issue’s Gallery feature.