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

Carlo Ancelotti’s Los Blancos are aiming for their 15th European crown and have added Jude Bellingham to a star-studded squad.

Real Madrid's Champions League group stage draw
Julian FinneyDiarioAS

The draw for the 2023/24 Champions League group stages has been made and Real Madrid will once again be targeting continental glory.

Los Blancos are hoping to be crowned ‘Kings of Europe’ for a record 15th time this season. They have won five of the last ten Champions League titles and were beaten semi-finalists, at the hand of eventual winners Manchester City, in 2022/23.

Real Madrid’s Champions League draw

Group C: Napoli, Real Madrid, SC Braga, Union Berlin

The draw was made in a grand ceremony in Monaco on Thursday, 31 August. The 32 teams in the group stages were initially split into four pots, with the highest-ranked teams in Pot 1 and the lowest-ranked in Pot 4.

Each of the four-teams groups contains one team from each of the pots. Clubs from the same national league could not be drawn in the same group.

Champions League schedule and fixture dates

The exact dates for the 2023/24 Champions League group stage fixtures will be decided once the draws for the Europa League and Conference League have been confirmed. Organisers will look to prevent teams from the same city playing at the same time to avoid potential crowd trouble.

UEFA have confirmed the matchday dates for the group stages.

Champions League fixture dates

Matchday 1: 19/20 September 2023
Matchday 2: 3/4 October 2023
Matchday 3: 24/25 October 2023
Matchday 4: 7/8 November 2023
Matchday 5: 28/29 November 2023
Matchday 6: 12/13 December 2023

Can Real Madrid win the Champions League?

If there is one golden rule in Champions League football, it is to never rule out Real Madrid. Los Blancos are by far the most successful team in the competition’s seven-decade history, picking up twice as many titles as AC Milan in second place.

After lifting the trophy in 2021/22 they made it to the semi-final last season, but were thoroughly outplayed in the second leg against Manchester City. After the game, Ancelotti spoke about the challenge of facing City.

“You play against strong opponents in the Champions League semi-finals,” the Madrid coach explained. “They play better than you and you’re out. That’s it.”

But we’ll learn from it and be better for next season’s Champions League,” Ancelotti added.