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Champions League still belongs to Ronaldo and Messi despite Premier League's strong showing

So, English football is back, capped by Liverpool's victory in Munich on Wednesday night, but is the Premier League ready, once again, to dominate the Champions League? With four English clubs reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2008-09 season, we may be on the cusp of a new period of European domination by the richest league in the world. Just don't expect that to begin without Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi having something to say about it.

The Champions League round...

Bayern Munich's humiliation vs. Liverpool must lead to change

Steve Nicol credits Liverpool for their return to the final eight of the Champions League, despite not playing to the high standard they set last season.

Early exchanges at post-match press conferences are often anodyne affairs, but on Wednesday night an ashen-faced Niko Kovac was immediately confronted with the most important, most uncomfortable question his team's 3-1 defeat had raised.

"What was your idea for the game?"

Kovac's reply spoke volumes. The 47-year-old started by congratulating Liverpool for being the "better team," then went on to say that Bayern's tactics were to employ a "controlled offensive" in recognition of their opponents'...

Liverpool's Champions League progress down to Van Dijk, the game's most expensive defender

Steve Nicol credits Liverpool for their return to the final eight of the Champions League, despite not playing to the high standard they set last season.

MUNICH -- It takes an extra-special player to inspire a team to Champions League glory, and during this decade, it has usually been Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi who has been the difference in terms of elevating his side above the rest. Only twice since 2010 has a team without Ronaldo or Messi won the Champions League -- Chelsea in 2012 and Bayern Munich in 2013 -- and it will take a great team, or an outstanding player, to prevent one of them from claiming another winners' medal this season.

But...

The keys to Champions League progress for Bayern, Liverpool, Barcelona, Lyon

Wednesday night's Champions League games are both evenly poised at 0-0 after the first legs, but what will make the difference for the teams that make it into the quarterfinals?

Bayern Munich vs. Liverpool

It has become part of Liverpool mythology that the Bayern players were singing in the showers of the Anfield away dressing room following their 0-0 draw in the first leg of the 1981 semifinal. No such boisterous behaviour occurred after the same result three weeks ago, but the result and manner...

LIVE Transfer Talk: Bayern Munich to rival Barcelona for Ajax's Matthijs De Ligt

Craig Burley says the arrogance shown at every level of Real Madrid is to blame for their current domestic and European troubles.

The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs is closed, but click here for all the deals, and keep track of who has joined the big boys. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world's media and set correspondents loose to see what's on the agenda for the summer.

TOP STORY: Bayern rival Barcelona for De Ligt

Ajax's Champions League win over Real Madrid has only intensified the hunt for Matthijs De Ligt. Barcelona are still optimistic that the highly-rated central defender will join...

With Bundesliga at stake, Dortmund might be supporting Bayern in Champions League

On Feb. 18, diners at an exclusive Italian restaurant on Liverpool's Castle Street were disturbed by cries of joy. The club bosses of Bayern Munich, in town for the following night's Champions League tie with Liverpool, had just received news of Borussia Dortmund's score: 0-0 away to bottom side 1. FC Nurnberg.

The Bayern board's laughter and jubilant shouts showed that they regarded their rivals' meek draw as a big win for themselves. The deficit was now only three points. The championship, all...