Ronaldo voted best player in Europe

Barny 29/08/2014
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Best of the best: Cristiano Ronaldo embraces the latest addition to his 'museum'.


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Ronaldo looking forward to Real test against Liverpool

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Aiming high: Ronaldo is targeting as many trophies as possible with Real Madrid his year.

Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted Real Madrid are determined to hold on to their Champions League crown and is relishing the prospect of facing Liverpool. Five-times European champions Liverpool will face 10-times winners face Real as well as Basle and Ludogorets.

The 29-year-old Ronaldo, named UEFA's European player of the year for 2013/14, says Real are targeting a treble.

He said: "Our target is to win it again – the Champions League, the Cup the League – everything.

"We're going to try to do the same this season, win the Champions League. We know it's a hard competition to win but we will try because Real Madrid are always thinking big – huge.

"Liverpool are a fantastic team. They came very close last year to winning the Premier League. We know it's going to be a very tough game at their home. So it's going to be tough.

"But in general the group is nice and it's going to be good for Real Madrid."

Manchester City have perhaps the toughest group – they will face Bayern Munich for the third time in four years – plus CSKA Moscow and Roma in Group E, while Arsenal will play Borussia Dortmund for the second year running as well as Galatasaray and Anderlecht.

In Group C, Chelsea will play German side Schalke for the second consecutive season plus Sporting Lisbon and Maribor – who put out Celtic in the play-offs.

Manchester City's director of football Txiki Begiristain insisted the club can cope with UEFA's Financial Fair Play sanctions despite being handed the toughest draw in the Champions League. The Premier League champions have had to cope with a transfer spending limit of £60million plus a fine of the same level and a reduction in their Champions squad size from 25 players to 21.

Begiristain, speaking in Monaco after the draw, said: "It has not affected us in the transfer window, we have signed the players that we wanted. I don't think it will affect us in the final result. "We knew where we wanted to improve and we got it."

Chelsea club secretary David Barnard said manager Jose Mourinho had declared himself "happy" with the draw.

Barnard said: "He texted me to say he was happy. Would you rather be in the groups with the other English clubs? You have got to be happy with that."

Arsenal's club secretary David Miles said: "We know Borussia Dortmund well of course, and we are looking forward to it and hopefully can progress through this group – with the pre-requisite being to aim to finish top of the group."

Barcelona and Paris St Germain should dominate Group F, where they were drawn with Holland's Ajax and APOEL from Cyprus, while last season's beaten finalists Atletico Madrid are in Group A with Juventus, Olympiacos and Malmo.

Benfica, Zenit St Petersburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco make up Group C while in Group H Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Athletic Bilbao and Belarus side BATE Borisov will battle it out.

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Familiar faces thrown together in Champions League group draw

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Team to beat: Real Madrid will be hoping to defend their Champions League trophy this year.

Liverpool will have the a glamorous return to the Champions League after being drawn against holders Real Madrid in the group stage.

Five-times European champions Liverpool will face 10-times winners face Real as well as Basle and Ludogorets – the Bulgarian side who had a fairy-tale win in the play-offs – in Group B while there was a familiar look to the draw for the three other English sides.

Manchester City have perhaps the toughest group – they will face Bayern Munich for the third time in four years – plus CSKA Moscow and Roma in Group E, while Arsenal will play Borussia Dortmund for the second year running as well as Galatasaray and Anderlecht in Group D.

In Group G, Chelsea will play German side Schalke for the second consecutive season plus Sporting Lisbon and Maribor.

Real Madrid may be a daunting prospect for Brendan Rodgers' side, but Liverpool beat the Spanish giants 5-0 on aggregate in 2009 including a 4-0 hammering at Anfield.

The draw in full…

Group A
Atletico Madrid
Juventus
Olympiacos
Malmo

Group B
Real Madrid
Basel
Liverpool
Ludogorets

Group C
Benfica
Zenit St. Petersburg 
Bayer Leverkusen 
Monaco

Group D
Arsenal 
Borussia Dortmund 
Galatasaray 
Anderlecht

Group E
Bayern Munich 
Man City 
CSKA Moscow 
Roma

Group F
Barcelona 
PSG 
Ajax 
Apoel Nicosia

Group G
Chelsea 
Schalke 04 
Sporting 
Maribor

Group H
FC Porto 
Shakhtar Donetsk 
Athletic Bilbao 
BATE

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