The UEFA Champion's League may not technically be as prestigious as the World Cup, but it is almost universally agreed that it enjoys a higher quality game. This is because World Cup teams are limited to players of a given nationality, raising the odds that a team will field at least one or two players who are not truly world-class. (Hence why the trophy nearly always goes to countries with pervasive footie culture and populations over 50 million.)
The Champions League, however, draws the top few teams from the European leagues. Due to being the oldest in the world and often based in wealthy nations, these teams are the best-funded and most prestigious. Thus, from La Liga in Spain to the Premiership in England to Serie A in Italy, they attract the best players. These players' teams are likely to place, earning entrance to the Champions League. The upshot: The Champions League is the only professional game that is 100 percent wheat, zero chaff.
The international element further elevates the tournament. While style of play varies by team even within a given league, national cultures have an influence that can often be seen in all a league's teams. For example, players in hotter southern European countries tend to hover then break quickly for the goal, while northern teams run more steadily and thus cover more distance. As a result, Champions League games are the ultimate testing ground for contrasting strategies, making outcomes less predictable and analysis more thoughtful.
This means that picking a favorite Champions League team can be entirely obvious if your beloved local team tends to get in, and very difficult if they don't. Let's see which Champions League team you love -- and if you haven't picked one yet, this is a great way to start following the best football game on earth!