The team trained again today, then Gareth, Cris, Bond Villain and the Peez flew off to Monaco for the annual Creepy Torso Award (aka Best Player in Europe) and the Champions League Draw.
First up, training. Keylor stayed indoors while Benz, Cris & Fabio did their recovery work outside. Martin Odegaard and Enzo joined the first team for training. (Video)
We found out our opponents for the Champions League Group Stage: Borussia Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon and Legia Warsaw. The group stage kicks off September 13/14. (Video)
Here’s the full draw:
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE
Group A: PSG, Arsenal, Basel and Ludogorets.
Group B: Benfica, Napoli, Dynamo Kiev and Besiktas.
Group C: Barcelona, Manchester City, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Celtic.
Group D: Bayern Munich, Atlético Madrid, PSV and Rostov.
Group E: CSKA Moscow, Bayern Leverkusen, Tottenham and Monaco.
Group F: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon and Legia Warsaw.
Group G: Leicester, Porto, Club Brugge and FC Copenhagen.
Group H: Juventus, Sevilla, Lyon and Dinamo Zagreb.
And now, a word from Bond Villain:
“Retaining the title is a challenge”, commented the Director of Institutional Relations.
Real Madrid’s Director of Institutional Relations, Emilio Butragueño, discussed the Champions League Group Stage draw: “We’ll have to see how the group pans out because we know this competition always presents difficulties. We’ll have to perform at our best to come out on top and that will be very important going into the last sixteen. It’s a great competition, it’s our competition and retaining the title is a challenge for all of us”.
“We’ve clashed many times with Borussia Dortmund and we know that with the support of their fans they can be very dangerous. We’ve not faced Sporting since the Champions League in 2000/01 and we’ve never come up against Legia Warsaw”.
And Cris took home the Best Player in Europe Award, beating out G-Money and Antoine Griezmann. But dang, nightmare fodder creepy torso trophy! I wouldn’t be able to sleep with that damn thing in my house. ::shudder:: Cris don’t mind though. He’s got a matching pair now.
“It’s a difficult group but we’re ready for the season”.
Gareth Bale, who eventually finished in third place in the vote for the best player in Europe 2015-16, spoke of his “incredible” experience in Monaco: “I was used to watching it on television and to see it live has been unbelievable. Winning the Champions League was amazing and we did well with Wales, we played a fantastic tournament and surprised a lot of people. We were close to getting to the final of the Euros and that was a big confidence boost”.
“The group we’ve got with Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon and Legia Warsaw is difficult, as it always is in the Champions League. But we’re ready for the season and I’m confident we’ll qualify”.
“I’m working hard every day and it’d be great to get to another Champions League final, which will be in Cardiff this year. That’s where we won the last European Super Cup and it’d be fitting to be back there”.
Florentino Pérez: “It’s always our objective to win everything, that’s the obligation we have at Real Madrid”
“Cristiano Ronaldo’s award is recognition for one of his most impressive seasons, he’s won everything”, added the president.
Florentino Pérez discussed the Champions League Group Stage draw which saw Real Madrid matched with Borussia Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon and Legia Warsaw: “It’s always our objective to win everything, that’s the obligation we have at Real Madrid. We’ve strengthened the squad this year and we’ve got a coach who is a perfect fit for Real Madrid, nothing seems to faze him. He knows we have to win the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa del Rey”.
“We’ve very happy because Real Madrid has had two players on the shortlist for the best player in Europe. I think Cristiano’s award is recognition for one of his most impressive seasons, he’s won everything. I also want to add something on Gareth Bale, who arrived three years ago and has won two European Cups”.
Kiss that torso, boo!
Tomorrow, training and a presser.