Chelsea, City, Bayern or Inter - Madrid's possibles rivals in next season's Champions League
Real Madrid will be in Pot 2 in the group stage draw as runners-up in LaLiga and will be drawn against one of the top-seeded clubs.
Next season's Champions League is starting to take shapes as nearly all of Europe's league competitions have been concluded. Real Madrid, who finished second in LaLiga, will go into Pot 2 - despite being second in UEFA's ranking, and could be drawn against some of the favourites such as Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan or newly-crowned champions Chelsea. Obviously, clubs from the same country cannot land in the same group so Madrid won't face Atlético, Barcelona or Villarreal in the group stage.
Since 2015, the winners of the previous season's Champions League and Europa League along with the six clubs with the best ranking according to UEFA's club coefficients will go into Pot 1. That pushes Madrid out of Pot 1 even though they have the second highest coefficient. It means that they will avoid clubs such as Juventus, PSG, Liverpool, Manchester United and Dortmund. But in the champions pot, they could be drawn against Bayern, Manchester City, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Sporting Clube de Portugal or Lille.
Bombos del sorteo de la fase de grupos de la Champions 2021-2022
|Pot 1 (Heads of series)||Pot 2|
|Chelsea||Champions League winners||Real Madrid||ESP||127,000|
|Villarreal||Europa League winners||Barcelona||ESP||122,000|
|Pot 3||Pot 4|
Also directly qualified for the group stage are: Besiktas, Dinamo Kiev and Brugges.
Chelsea's victory over City in last night's final also changes the clubs' positions in the pots. It means that now Madrid will avoid Dortmund, who initially started off in Pot 3 but dependent on the result in the Champions League final and whether Manchester United would win the Europa League final - those results have effectively freed up a place for the Bundesliga side in Pot 2.
In Pot 3, Real Madrid's possible rivals include Porto, Ajax, Leipzig, Atalanta or Zenit. Either Shakhtar Donetsk, Salzburg and Benfica will land in that pot depending on which one of them gets through the preliminary rounds. If one of the three are eliminated, Besiktas will go into Pot 3. Along with the Turkish side, Dinamo Kiev and Club Brugge (who will go into pots 3 or 4) are potential rivals, as are Wolfsburg and AC Milan in Pot 4. The Rossoneri go into the last pot after having played in the Europa League in the last three seasons (it's been seven years since they last qualified for the Champions League) and for not having progressed past the Last 16. As things are, the draw could put Real Madrid in a group of death with Milan and one of the top sides who are heads of series...
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