Champions League: Zidane speaks on Ronaldo ahead APOEL Nicosia clash

Champions League: Zidane speaks on Ronaldo ahead APOEL Nicosia clash

However, perhaps Africa's best shot of winning the Champions League this term comes in the form of Paris Saint-Germain, whose ambition to win Europe's grandest prize was laid bare during an extravagant summer of spending.

"It doesn't matter who we are playing, the famous teams or the lower teams". Celtic is never an easy team to visit, but the Scottish champions are likely to be fighting it out with Anderlecht for third place. I recall that for the first time the teams met in the 2011/12 season at the quarterfinals of the Champions League, and the victory in the sum of two matches was for the "royal club" 8: 2.

But, one manager who certainly will not be excited about the return of the Champions League is Arsene Wenger, who will not be able to add to his 188 match tally in the competition after Arsenal failed to qualify, meaning the Gunners have to settle for Thursday nights in the Europa League.

"I joined the club in 2000 and I'm so proud to be here". Roma must go beyond themselves to qualify from a group with Atletico and Chelsea.

Elsewhere, RB Leipzig will make their Champions League bow against last season's semi-finalists Monaco, the Ligue 1 champions shorn of numerous stars who fired them to glory in France past year. Neymar, of course, is no longer around for Barca, with new signing Ousmane Dembele replacing him.

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Hot on PSG's heels are the only other two clubs (both 7/1) that have hoisted the Champions League trophy in the last five years: Barcelona (2015) and Bayern Munich (2013). Olympiakos and Sporting are regular qualifiers but rarely advance, with Sporting weakened by the recent sale of midfielder Adrien Silva to Leicester. Though Real Madrid are defending winners of the cup, they need a win here to open the group stage. They should be the weakest link in Group H.

Likewise, whilst many believe Manchester City will be far too strong for Dutch champions Feyenoord in Rotterdam - Pep Guardiola is refusing to look too far ahead.

The 29-year-old Brazil global full-back signed for Real from Fluminense in 2007 and has helped Los Blancos win three Champions League titles and four LaLiga titles. Still, Napoli was one of the more hard opponents for City from the third-seeded teams and eased past Nice in the playoffs round.

Ronaldo's return boosts will Los Blancos's attack after a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Levante on Saturday, their second successive home draw which left them trailing early Liga leaders Barcelona and Real Sociedad by 4 points. They have never reached the knockout stages.

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