LIVERPOOL are relishing the prospect of hosting reigning Champions League winners Real Madrid after the Reds were handed a glamorous return to the European stage.
Five-times European champions Liverpool will face ten-times winners Real - as well as Basle and Ludogorets, the Bulgarian side who had a fairy-tale win in the play-offs - in Group B while there was a familiar look to the draw for the three other English sides.
Manchester City have perhaps the toughest group - they will face Bayern Munich for the third time in four years - plus CSKA Moscow and Roma in Group E, while Arsenal will play Borussia Dortmund for the second year running as well as Galatasaray and Anderlecht.
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In Group G, Chelsea will play German side Schalke for the second consecutive season plus Sporting Lisbon and Maribor - who put out Celtic in the play-offs.
Real Madrid may be a daunting prospect for Brendan Rodgers’ side, but Liverpool beat the Spanish giants 5-0 on aggregate in 2009 including a 4-0 hammering at Anfield.
Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre said: “If you look at Liverpool as a football club this is our competition, we’ve won it five times and to play someone who has won it ten times makes it extra special.”
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo - named as the European player of the 2013/14 season - believes the club can become the first to successfully defend the Champions League trophy.
He said: “Why not? Everything is possible. I had the opportunity to do it when I was at Manchester United and now for Real Madrid - the biggest clubs in the world so I am looking forward to getting a second chance.”