Cristiano Ronaldo Excluded from Fans' Combined Real Madrid, PSG XI in Marca

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After successive Champions League triumphs under manager Zinedine Zidane, Los Blancos were drawn with Unai Emery's side in the last-16, due to finishing second behind Tottenham in Group H.

Michael Laudrup believes his former clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid deserve to be considered as favourites for the Champions League.

"They are a great team regardless of the circumstances, but they always perform at their best in this competition - it's totally different from league competition".

"It is our favorite competition and we have much experience at knockout games, we know how to win these matches", a Real Madrid die-hard fan, Mohamed Sake, told Egypt Today.

Ahead of the last-16 first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, the Brazilian opted to get a constant reminder of what he wants to lift more than anything this season.

It may seem freaky that the future of a manager aiming to become the first to win three consecutive European Cups is under such scrutiny, but this is Real Madrid and a glance at the current La Liga table is both startling and instructive.

Madrid, however, will be buoyed by the momentum of their 5-2 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday.

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The Ligue 1 leaders have emerged as a powerful side after signing Neymar in a record €222 million release clause from Barcelona last summer. But I think that the team is ready.

The Madrid club posted the world's highest annual turnover for a decade until recently being overtaken by Manchester United, fuelled by the Premier League's astronomical TV rights. Of course, it is the greatest of all competitions but for me, the league is very important - it is the result of a whole year's work.

Ronaldo's future also had no bearing on Bale's future plans, Barnett said, as he did not need the Portuguese to leave in order to be acknowledged as a key player in Madrid's team.

"It's true that Coutinho can not play so they will not have that effect in the Champions League right now but in the future, next season, I think we're back to the same", he said. In the end though, the 33-year-old chose to stay, as no club really came in with a concrete interest to land him.

Nevertheless, Silva expects to be tackling the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in peak form.

Ronaldo is the Champions League all-time top goal scorer, with 114 goals including nine goals this season.

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