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Learning English - Words in the News
26 August, 2005 - Published 12:20 GMT
Champions' League teams to share half a billion dollars
Champions' League

Representatives of the best clubs in European football were gathered in Monaco on Thursday for the draw for the European Champions' League. More than half a billion dollars will be distributed among the clubs taking part. This report from Harry Peart:

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For most clubs, the European Champions league provides the financial lifeblood and the incentive for a successful season. Reaching the later stages ensures sufficient money to be able to buy the best players and pay their wages.

Clubs from 16 nations have qualified. The football superpowers of England Spain and Italy provide four teams each including the reigning champions Liverpool, Real Madrid and AC Milan. Germany has three qualifiers. Using a complex formula, eight teams have been identified as the top seeds to ensure that those clubs do not meet each other in the opening rounds. The English champions Chelsea have complained that they are not one of the top seeds in spite of reaching the semi finals in the two previous years.

The 32 clubs will be drawn into 8 groups for the league games, and the top two will advance to the knockout rounds. Apart from the rich and famous, the line-up includes five clubs appearing in the final stages for the first time. Just taking part will earn them more than 7 million dollars even though they have little hope of reaching next years final in Paris where the winner will receive around 50 million dollars to add to the most prestigious club trophy in the world.

Harry Peart, BBC Sports Correspondent

Listen to the words

the financial lifeblood
the money that helps a team to survive

the incentive
the motivation


the reigning champions
the team who are the current champions, they won the last competition

a complex formula
a complicated mathematical calcualtion

to ensure
to make sure, to guarantee

in spite of reaching the semi finals
even though they proceeded in the competition as far as the semi-finals, the game before the final

will advance to
will continue to

the line-up
the list of teams taking part

respected because it is thought to be the best

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