CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2021/22

Real Madrid in Champions League: group, games, dates, schedule and rivals

The Champions League draw took place on Thursday afternoon and the LaLiga Santander giants will be pleased with the outcome, all things considered.

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Real Madrid in Champions League: group, games, dates, schedule and rivals
MURAD SEZER REUTERS

On Thursday evening in Istanbul - where both the 2020 and 2021 finals were initially scheduled to be staged - European football’s governing body UEFA were the centre of attention. A selection of pots filled with balls graced the stage along with some prize-winning professionals from the Beautiful Game. Together, under the watchful eye of Giorgio Marchetti, we found out the challenges that lie ahead for these clubs.

Champions League: the four pots

Pot 1: Chelsea (holders), Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Atlético Madrid, Villarreal (Europa League winners), Inter Milan, Sporting CP, Lille

Pot 2: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund

Pot 3: FC Porto, Ajax, RB Leipzig, Atalanta, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Benfica, RB Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk

Pot 4: AC Milan, Club Brugge, Wolfsburg, Young Boys, Malmö, Beşiktaş, Dynamo Kiev

After Real Madrid were pipped to the LaLiga title by their city rivals, that also meant they were locked into Pot 2, rather than their normal home among the elite. This year, however, arguably saw a much stronger line-up in alongside them, and that aided their chances of some easier group opponents.

As it turned out, being placed in Group D as the second seed was a fairly palatable result, with a couple of familiar faces.

Real Madrid’s UCL opponents

Group B: Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar, FC Sheriff

It's tough to say that this is a simple task to qualify in the top two places but Carlo Ancelotti's side will be clear favourites to do so. In Inter and Shakhtar they will be up against two sides from last season's group stage, and then there are the 'minnows' Sheriff to entertain, whose coach Yuriy Vernydub said after:

"It's an interesting group with giants from Italy, Spain and Ukraine. I had a feeling that we would get Shakhtar - a team from my country. We will try to compete. I hope and believe in my players. We feel as though we are in a fairytale and we want it to last as long as possible."

When do UCL matches and draws take place?

Group stage

14/15 September 2021: Matchday 1

28/29 September 2021: Matchday 2

19/20 October 2021: Matchday 3

2/3 November 2021: Matchday 4

23/24 November 2021: Matchday 5

7/8 December 2021: Matchday 6

When are these fixtures confirmed?

UEFA have advised that they will announce the exact match day fixtures on Saturday 28 August so that you can update your calendar to ensure you don’t miss the games. Come back here and we’ll have the details updated for you to save.

UCL knockout phase

15/16/22/23 February & 8/9/15/16 March 2022: Round of 16

5/6 & 12/13 April 2022: Quarter-finals

26/27 & 3/4 May 2022: Semi-finals

UCL Final

The showpiece final will take place on 28 May 2022

UCL future draws

13 December 2021: Round of 16

18 March 2022: Quarter-finals & Semi-finals

Where will the 2022 final take place?

The final will take place at the Saint Petersburg Stadium. The distinct venue on Krestovsky Island was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, whose vision was for a spaceship that had landed on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. It has been home to Zenit since 2017.