Istanbul is already waiting for the two contenders who will seek the UEFA Champions League title in their 2020/21 season and who will come out of the semifinal duels to be played this week, as both Manchester City, PSG, Chelsea and Real Madrid will seek to arrive to the final duel for the 'Orejona', in which there could be an American presence for the first time in 24 years, should Zack Steffen or Christian Pulisic advance with their respective teams, to the duel that will be played on May 29 in the Turkish city.
In case Steffen or Pulisic win the ticket to the grand final, would become the first Americans to reach this phase of the continental tournament since 1997, when Borussia Dortmund, the club where the American Jovan Kirovski played, reached the grand finale of the 96/97 season, in which the German team had its first ‘Orejona’ and where Kirovski made history for North American football.
Jovan Kirovski is, so far, the only American to have been UEFA Champions League champion in his entire history, because although he did not see activity in the final duel against Juventus, the Californian was part of the German team in that edition, in which he had minutes in a couple of meetings during the group stage.
Kirovski was also the first footballer of American nationality to make his debut in the continental tournament, when he played against Atlético de Madrid in the groups of the edition that the German team would ultimately win and at 24 years, hehe American reality changed radically, because precisely in this edition the largest number of Americans was registered in a Champions League, in which two of them are still alive to try to advance to the final.
Steffen and Pulisic go for history
Since the creation of the UEFA Champions League, there has never been a final with the presence of two American players, something that could happen in this edition, in which in case Manchester City and Chelsea win their ticket, an American would be guaranteed to be champion of the continental tournament, for the second time in its history.
Steffen, who debuted in this edition of the Champions League during the group stage, has been waiting on the bench before the start of Ederson in the English team, which this Tuesday it will seek to close the classification to the first European final in its history, as they have a 2 to 1 advantage over PSG.
For his part, Pulisic was a fundamental piece for Chelsea to come out of their visit to Real Madrid alive, as ‘Captain America’ scored the goal that put the London team ahead, becoming the first American to score in a Champions League semi-final and is expected to have minutes in the return, to be played at Stamford Bridge, this Wednesday.