Liverpool to face PSG & Napoli in Group C of the Champions League

Ruben Dias of SL Benfica during the match between SL Benfica and PAOK

Ruben Dias of SL Benfica during the match between SL Benfica and PAOK

Ronaldo scored 15 goals as Real Madrid won the Champions League for the third year on the spin last season and was expected to pick up the award when he was shortlisted alongside Modric and Liverpool's Mo Salah. The Croatian led a night in which Madrid players scooped one award after the other - Keylor Navas, Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo were also among the players feted, winning awards for excelling in their respective positions.

Ronaldo, a five-time victor of the world player of the year award, signed for Italian champions Juventus this summer from Real Madrid for 100 million euros ($116.5 million).

The Portuguese, who has three wins in total, and is the only player to have made the shortlist every year since UEFA created the award in 2011.

"Taking Cristiano Ronaldo does not mean that Juventus will be champions automatically".

Luka Modric of Real Madrid and Croatia on Thursday received the accolade of UEFA Player of the Year in Monaco after his Champions League exploits. "We played the quarter-finals, we had the perception we could have been even better so we will try to do that this season".

Usain Bolt makes respectable preseason debut for Central Coast Mariners
The crowd for Friday's match was about four times bigger than the average home attendance the Mariners attracted last season. He was named on the team sheet among the substitutes with the letter "T" for triallist next to his name.

The Champions League has been altered this season, with more places given to teams from the bigger leagues - Spain, England, Germany and Italy now have four guaranteed slots apiece - and fewer from Europe's less glamorous competitions.

The UEFA Champions League Draw is scheduled to be conducted on August 30, 2018 at 5 pm BST (10:30 pm IST) in Monaco, France.

Modric and his Real Madrid side face last season's semi-finalists Roma, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen. "This is an advantage for us".

Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, was fuming that UEFA chose to snub his client.

Tottenham have been drawn in a tough group to face Barcelona, while last season's runners-up Liverpool face Paris St-Germain and Napoli.

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