Can they pull off the three-peat? Real Madrid launches its campaign for a third consecutive Champions League title on Sept. 13, as they take on Apoel FC at 2:45 PM ET. Sports fans better not miss this one!
Isn’t it great that the UEFA Champions League is back? The best of European soccer go head-to-head, and reigning champs Real Madrid kick off their trek for another title by meeting Apoel FC in the middle of Stadium Bernabeau. Good news for Los Blancos fans, as Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, will be back in action. Ballon d’Or winner is allowed to play, despite still serving a suspension in La Liga. Expect an eager Ronaldo to light up the scoreboard in an explosive start to the Champions League.
Yep, Ronaldo – suspended five games for pushing a ref in the first leg of La Liga’s Spanish Super Cup – won’t be back in league action until Sep. 20, when Real takes on Real Betis. Until then, these international games are the only chance Ronaldo has to play alongside the rest of Los Blancos. Thankfully, Cristiano should be well rested for this matchup and itching to prove to many he’s still (arguably) the best player in the world.
Madrid should have no problem getting out of the group stage. They’re in Group H with Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham Hotspur and the greek team, Athletikos Podosferikos Omilos Ellinon Lefkosias (aka APOEL FC or APOEL Nicosia.) The Cyprus team is the most successful in the country, racking up 26 Cypriot First Division championships, 21 Cypriot Cups and 13 Cypriot Super Cups. While it’s not likely that APOEL will be able to hang with the Bundesliga, La Liga and English Premier League heavyweights, they could play spoiler with an unexpected upset.
Of course, this is Real Madrid we’re talking about. If they play like they have been for the last two years, they shouldn’t have a problem in getting out of the group stage (they may just win the group if Borussia Dortmund struggles.) Real’s rivals FC Barcelona might have a tougher time, sharing a group with Sporting CP, Olympiacos and Italy’s Juventus. Though, it’s too early too predict who’ll win. After all, the Champions League is all about surprises. Could Apoel open up the season with a shocking upset?
Who do you want to win the Champions League, HollywoodLifers?