Ronaldo 'furious' at UEFA award snub, says Allegri

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Croatian global and Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric, has been named the best European player by the continent's football governing body, UEFA.

The Portuguese faced Manchester United in just one Champions League season during his time with Real Madrid, scoring at the Bernabéu and at Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho is expecting a rapturous reception from the Old Trafford crowd when Juventus new boy Cristiano Ronaldo returns to face Manchester United in the Champions League. They also might not be able to beat Valencia, who finished fourth last season in La Liga.

The other contender was Egypt and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. "He scored 15 goals, and carried Madrid on his back to win another Champions League".

In Serie A's first season with 4 teams in the Champions League group stage it will take some great performances to get them all to advance from there.

But the tricky side will be Inter, who are returning to the Champions League after 8 years struggling to secure qualification and playing in the Europa League. The three players who got the most points in each category made up the final shortlist. Santos said he and Ronaldo had discussed the situation after the star moved from Real Madrid to Juventus.

The trio are in Group C with Red Star Belgrade, European Cup winners in 1991 and making their debut in the group stage. Here is how I see the groups for the road to the Metropolitano.

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Swiss champions Young Boys, group-stage debutants, look to be the makeweights in the section, and host United on the opening matchday on September 19.

Real Madrid and Roma should qualify from Group G where CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen are the other contenders.

The Bundesliga giants have an easy route to first-place in Group E. Benfica and Ajax could have a competitive battle for second place while AEK Athens will be the punching bag of the group.

Tottenham, the last of the four English participants, travel to Barcelona and further square off with PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan.

"We want to defend our title for one more year", Emilio Butragueno, Real's Director of Institutional Relations, told Spanish television.

"Manchester City are a massive challenge for us", said Hoffenheim coach Julien Nagelsmann.

And the Red Devils boss admits that his side have been handed something of a tricky draw this term for the group stage.

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