The group stage of the 64th edition of the European Champions League starts on Tuesday (18) with private plots and several candidates for the title.
Divided between Messi & # 39; s Barcelona and Real Madrid by Cristiano Ronaldo in recent years, the biggest competition of the Old Continent comes to the season that, with the recent irregularity of the Catalans and the departure of CR7 to Juventus, the Spanish hegemony threatened in the current decade.
Since 2011 only two editions – 2012, with Chelsea and 2013 with Bayern Munich – have had champions outside the pair Barça and Real.
Look at it: Brazilians who shone in Europe during the weekend
More strengthened and experienced, the cast of big European clubs is ready to enter the path of titles in the Champions League. However, the two Spanish giants do not want to leave the post either.
Weak, Real Madrid looking for four champion
Since the arrival of Zinedine Zidane to the technical command of the team in 2016, Real Madrid has won the Champions League three times (2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18).
Top scorer in the history of the league, Cristiano Ronaldo was decisive in everything. However, he defends Juventus from this season.
Without the Portuguese bait and with the departure of Zidane, the club was reinforced with names of small expression, such as Vinicius Júnior, Ceballos and Mariano Díaz – the latter was the heir of Ronaldo's shirt 7. Before the position of coach was Julen Lopetegui the chosen one.
Bale analysis Real without Cristiano Ronaldo: & # 39; More teamwork & # 39;
The biggest champion in the history of the Champions League with 13 cups, the Madrid club will face two of the main names of the recent victory series and find ways to overcome the deficit that both will make for the team.
Real is in group G of these champions. The key counts with Roma, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen.
With CR7 Juventus no longer wants to fall on the bar
When Real Madrid fans mourn the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus fans celebrate it. It is in the Turin club that the star chose to live in the last years of his career.
Heptacampean in Italy, the team can not repeat the hegemony at European level. However, with CR7, Juve is not planning to come close: in 2015 and 2017, against Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, the Old Lady lost two Champions League finals.
Who can fire Real Madrid in the Champions League?
This season, with the arrival of the top scorer of the competition and the maintenance of the main parts of the cast – except Buffon, who went to PSG, and Higuain, who went to Milan – Juventus, Dybala, Douglas Costa, Chiellini, Pjanic and CR7 want to rediscover the European title, which has not existed since 1996.
For Group H the Italians stand for Valencia, Manchester United and Young Boys-SUI.
Messi tries to change the defeat in the cup in title by Barça. again
Before the arrival of Lionel Messi to Catalonia, Barcelona had only one cup of Champions League. After the Argentine there were four more performances, three with decisive participation of the shirt 10.
For him it was only lacking an expressive title with Argentina. In the Cup of 2018, after setbacks in 2010 and 2014, when he was the protagonist, the conquest did not come. Coincidentally, the Argentine in 2011 and 2015 was decisive in the last two European titles of Barcelona.
Messi surrendered to Xavi and Iniesta: & # 39; They made my game better & # 39;
In the company of names like Suárez, Philippe Coutinho, Rakitic, Dembélé and Busquets, Messi wants to re-transform the frustration in his club's conquests.
In group B Barça Messi is confronted with Tottenham, Inter Milan and PSV.
Is it time for PSG? French go with heavy artillery
Paris Saint-Germain provided an experienced reinforcement for the goal: Gianluigi Buffon. What's more, the French capital's club kept its cast and relies on its trio of attacks, formed by Neymar, Mbappé and Cavani, to seek the first title in the Champions League.
With the injury and the setback in the World Cup, Neymar was below expectations last season, but has returned well to the current: his four goals in four games in the French championship.
Cavani made a good World Cup, scored three goals in four games. In addition, he scored 40 goals in 48 games last season. Nesta rocked the net three times in three skirmishes.
Finally, Mbappé: the young striker was the engine of the selection of France in the World Cup and helped with four goals the team to conquer the bicampeonato in Russia. This season, the current feeling of French football has four goals in three games.
In the offensive sector there is still room for two talented players: the German midfielder Julian Draxler and the Argentine midfielder Ángel Di María.
PSG is in Group C, one of the toughest in the competition. In the key, will face Liverpool, Napoli and Red Star-SER.
Fortified and with the final at home, Atlético wants an unpublished title
Vice-champion of the Champions League in 2014 and 2016, Atletico de Madrid remains focused on winning the Champions League. The cast remains with the famous coach Diego Simeone and the same team that won the Europa League this year.
In addition, the mattresses went shopping. The team from Madrid counts, from this season, with the reinforcements of Lemar, Kalinic, Rodri, Arias, Adam, Gelson Martins and Castro.
Griezmann about winning the World Cup: & # 39; It was a boy's dream & # 39;
The outputs, however, were few and had not so much impact: Gameiro, Torres, Jota, Velázquez and Vrsaljko (on loan).
The optimism of Atletico fans will be the final of these Champions in the Wanda Metropolitano, the stadium of the Madrid team since last season. When they reach the final, the men of Simeone will dispute the decision at home.
Group A is the key to Atletico Madrid, which will take Borussia Dortmund, Monaco and Club Brugge-BEL.
After winning English, Guardiola goes in search of Europe
Pep Guardiola, seen by many as the best coach in the world over the past two decades, has won two Champions League for Barcelona and more important titles for the Catalan club Bayern Munich and Manchester City.
Some say, however, that the coach's two European trophies were only due to the great cast of Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and company. The Spanish commander therefore wants to prove himself in this edition of the champions.
In City, where he won the last English championship, he will play De Bruyne, Agüero, David Silva and Gabriel Jesus for the "Orelhuda & # 39; win, because the cup of the competition is known.
Citizens are confronted with Group F with Lyon, Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Klopp-insulting Liverpool is hunting for European hexa
At the beginning of the year, the departure of Philippe Coutinho seemed to upset the course of Liverpool in 2018.
Although they closed the season without title, the commanders of Jürgen Klopp showed that the Brazilian did not fall short of the offensive system of the Reds: the English team ended the last League of Champions with the best attack of the league. There were six goals in the preparatory phase, 23 in the group phase and 18 in the knockout phase. The second team with more fols was the champion Real Madrid, with 34 goals.
Klopp does not confirm Firmino against PSG: & # 39; We have a few hours & # 39;
When goalkeeper Karius does not win two goals in a 3-1 defeat against Real, coach Klopp star of Alisson, who has spent a great season in Rome.
Besides the Brazilian goalkeeper, compatriot Fabinho and Guinean Keita were two reinforcements of the weight of the team, which lost few pieces in the last window of transfers.
The Reds stand for Group C, PSG, Napoli and Estrela Vermelha-SER.
Experienced Bayern eyes return to the top of the old continent
Five years ago Bayern Munich won the European crown against rival Borussia Dortmund.
Important names such as Neuer, Müller, Robben, Ribéry, Boateng and Alaba, who participated and won the 2013 final, are now more experienced and want to belong to the best teams in the Champions League.
In addition to the remains of the last title, Hummels, Lewandowski, Thiago and James Rodríguez are the main players who arrived after the conquest.
1st round of the Champions League: matches, suspended and injured
For this, the experienced athletes of the Bavarian team will count on the work of the young technician Niko Kovac. Last season he won the German Cup for Eintracht Frankfurt. The title came after a victory against Bayern in the final, with 3 against 1.
Bayern Kovac is located in Group E, Benfica, Ajax and AEK, Greece.
The United star of Mourinho must prove himself
A cast under the command of José Mourinho, with players of the caliber of Pogba, Alexis Sánchez, De Gea, Lukaku and Mata, is forcing respect for every team in the world.
Manchester United from Mourinho has not yet achieved what was expected of him. In two years it was three, but less expressive performance: the English League Cup 2017, the 2016 Supercup of England and the Europa League 2017 – the most important United title.
For this season, the Portuguese coach still has the reinforcement of Brazilians Andreas Pereira, who returns from the loan, and Fred, who was bought from Shakhtar Donetsk for R $ 240 million. Both athletes acted for the Brazilian team in the befriend of early September.
Sílvio Lancellotti: With 32 clubs the group stage of the Champions League starts
It remains to be seen whether, with the millionaire cast he owns and the newly hired, United will be able to enter the battle for the Champions League title.
The Manchester team looks at Juventus, Valencia and Young Boys-SUI in Group H.
More teams are running out
In addition to the main candidates for the title, there are some teams running on the outside in the search for the Cup of the Champions League. Among them distinguished Tottenham, Inter Milan, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund.
The team from London belonged to the top three in the English Premier League in the last three editions. The team maintains the most important names of the last years, such as Lloris, Kane, Dele Alli and Son, in addition to the maintenance of the technician Mauricio Pochettino. In group B, one of the most difficult of the competition, Barcelona, PSV and Inter Milan will face.
The Milan club also comes with strength for the champions. Champion in 2010, Inter brought Nainggolan, Lautaro Martinez, De Vrij and Vrsaljko to their main reinforcements. In the keys of Barça and Tottenham, the Luciano Spalletti team starts the race with major challenges that are already in the group stage.
Napoli, meanwhile, lost coach Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea and assured the famous Carlo Ancelotti for the job. Excellent athletes such as Mertens, Hamsik, Insigne and Allan are in the race for Italian runners-up and want to surprise in the Champions League.
Borussia Dortmund, Reus, Götze and Kagawa have been strengthened for the season and will be equipped with Witsel, Alcácer, Delaney and Diallo, the most expensive purchase of this window in the German championship. After the departure of Thomas Tuchel for PSG, the Aurinegros are led by coach Lucien Favre. Group A from Dortmund has Atletico Madrid, Monaco and Club Brugge-BEL.
Call up teams that are in the & queue & # 39; queue & # 39; stand to win the Champions League