Spanish clubs have dominated the Champions League lately, and the odds are stacked in their favor again when the group stage begins this week.
There will be five of them fighting for this year’s title, the most ever for a country in the tournament’s group phase.
That’s because Europa League winner Sevilla joins the four teams who qualified through their league positions.
Among those, of course, are defending champion Barcelona and 2014 winner Real Madrid, who are both having terrific starts to their seasons.
Barcelona leads the Spanish league after three straight wins, including at rival Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Real Madrid is coming off two remarkable victories – 5-0 over Real Betis and 6-0 at Espanyol, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring five goals in the latest one.
Barcelona will debut at Roma on Wednesday, while Real Madrid hosts Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.