Sport

Real Madrid chases 3rd consecutive Champions League title

Real Madrid chases 3rd consecutive Champions League title”

La Liga president Javier Tebas has lambasted PSG's 222 million euro ($267 million) capture of Neymar from Barcelona as "financial doping" with the French giants also set to splash another 180 million on 18-year-old Mbappe next summer to make his loan move from Monaco permanent. Madrid have lifted the trophy in three of the last four years with that run only interrupted by Barcelona's success in 2015.

England will have five teams representing them in this season's edition.

Manchester United can not be faulted for taking the Europa League seriously, something English teams have not always done, and though the rather plodding progress towards success in an unmemorable final seemed the upper limit of José Mourinho's ambition last season the club have not stood still since. Neymar, of course, is no longer around for Barca, with new signing Ousmane Dembele replacing him.

Dembele impressed in a cameo appearance as a substitute on his debut with an assist for Luis Suarez as Barca thrashed Espanyol 5-0 on Saturday.

Real shouldn't be troubled as they begin their defence of the competition at home to Cypriots APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday.

Real Madrid has won the Champions League three times in the past four years and is looking to become the first team since Bayern Munich (1974-76) to be European champion in three straight years. Tottenham will be hoping for better results in their temporary home at the Wembley Stadium.

Five-time European champions Liverpool came through the playoffs and get a chance to avenge their loss to Sevilla in the 2016 Europa League final.

Jose Mourinho can be happy with how Manchester United's return after a one-year absence is shaping up, along with his own quest to be the first person to coach three different clubs to European glory.

Two of the revelations of European football last season go head-to-head in Group G as Leipzig welcome Monaco on their Champions League debut.

Then the English flag flies tomorrow for City, who travel to Feyenoord, Liverpool, who host Sevilla, and Spurs.

With at least five credible title contenders in the Premier League it is a tall order for anyone to succeed at home and overseas - even Pep Guardiola and his well-resourced Manchester City side ended up empty handed last season - and for a club such as Spurs, frustratingly close to a first table-topping finish in over half a century, it is easy to see how Europe can be a distraction.

Monaco, last season's surprise semifinalist, is the top seed but has been hurt by the departure of key players like Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy this summer.



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