After several weeks of qualification, European competition starts again tonight and there are a number of small reforms that we'll very quickly get used to. One thing is for sure, Spanish clubs will be targeting more silverware after a period of domination in both the Champions League and Europa League, winning 22 of the last 30 titles.
Spanish tinted Europe
Of the 10 most recent Champions Leagues LaLiga clubs have won in seven. Four have been collected by Real Madrid (including the last three) and Barcelona have picked up three. It's also worth noting that of the finals, Spanish clubs have also added two runners up, Atlético Madrid on both occasions.
In the Europa League there has been even more domination with six winners in the past decade coming from LaLiga. Atlético and Sevilla with three each. The result of all this has seen the European Super Cup - played between the champions of both competitions - won by a Spanish club nine out of 10 times (split evenly between Real Madrid, Atlético and Barça).
Clearly with the joy Spanish clubs have had over these years, there is not another league that gets close in comparison. The financial powerhouse of the Premier League has been getting stronger and stronger but has only seen one Champions League winner (Chelsea in 2011/12) and two in the Europa League (Chelsea 2012/13 and Manchester United in 2016/17).
The German Bundesliga can also boast a Champions League as well as that other Super Cup win, thanks to Bayern Munich while Italy's Serie A has provided another European Champion in the shape of Inter Milan and Portugal a Europa League winner in Porto. Other leagues, including Ligue 1, have not featured.
Changes to the format
This year's competition sees a number of changes to the format of the games. The timeslots allocated to games one obvious amendment that we'll need to get used to (18:55 and 21:00 CEST being used to stagger matches. Also, UEFA have removed the need for qualifying rounds for the four strongest leagues, currently Spain, England, Italy and Germany, based on their national co-effiicients. This means that there are 13 different champions and 47 titles distributed across the teams involved this year.
Despite there being more games shown at the new times, in Spain, and in other countries, there could well be fewer viewers wiht no requirement to televise games on terrestrial TV.
Another important change in the rules allows players who swap from one Champions League (also applying to Europa League) club in the winter transfer period can be involved for his new side. Until now, just like in the case of Philippe Coutinho with Liverpool and Barcelona, a player couldn't represent both sides in the same season. Other changed include an extra substitution being granted for games that go into extra-time, 12 substitutes on the bench, and managers allowed to communicate with the dugout using electronic devices if not sat there.
Will there be more joy for Spanish clubs this year? With a Champions League final next year in the Wanda Metropolitano, there is certainly one capital club looking to break its duck.