REAL MADRID | JORGE VALDANO

"Real Madrid are not among Champions League favourites"

Jorge Valdano analysed the chances for Los Blancos doing well in this season's competition after the group stage draw, calling it "a moment of transition."

El Real Madrid sale en el bombo de la Champions.
HAROLD CUNNINGHAM AFP

Real Madrid will not have easiest of passage to the knock-out stage after finding out their group opposition in the Champions League draw held in Geneva on Thursday. Zinedine Zidane's team were no doubt rather pleased to have seen Shakhtar pulled out from Pot 2, probably the weakest available. But then they were paired with Inter and Monchengladbach, arguably the strongest teams from the remaining pots.

Real Madrid in transition

Jorge Valdano spoke to Movistar after the draw concluded and explained his belief why it would not be an easy year for Los Blancos. Not necessarily because of the three opponents they will have to compete against, but because of the where he sees the club right now compared to other seasons.

"Madrid are not among the favourites to win the Champions League. They are in a moment of transition and so it’s very difficult because you are depending on many things," explained the former manager. In his opinion, Madrid are going through a development phase, putting their faith in a number of younger, less-tested players, and trying to compete with more established outfits.

Furthermore, Valdano was critical of the new ‘state clubs’, not because of the football they play, but because he believes a growing experience of European competition over many yearsis needed to lift the famous trophy.

"You have to have historical collateral to go out and win the Champions League. You need another factor, a historical weight to win. It’s clear that Man City’s group is easy, but nobody has the God-given right to win the Champions League.”

UEFA Champions League group B