Real Madrid will defend the trophy in the 2016-17 Champions League after increasing their record number of European titles to 11 with a second victory in three years over local rivals Atletico.
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Los Blancos are now four ahead of AC Milan on the list of most prolific European champions having triumphed on penalties in the San Siro following a 1-1 draw, Cristiano Ronaldo netting the decisive spot-kick to inflict Champions League Final heartbreak on Atletico once more.
The defeat was all the more galling for Diego Simeone’s side because they had knocked out favourites Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the two previous rounds, and it’s those two giants who head the betting again for Europe’s most prestigious club prize ahead of Real Madrid.
Heading the English contingent, at least as far as the bookmakers are concerned, are Manchester City, who reached the semi-finals for the first time in 2015-16, losing 1-0 on aggregate to Real Madrid, and now have two-time winning coach Pep Guardiola to lead them into battle.
Claudio Ranieri, manager of Leicester City, lifts the Premier League trophy (Getty Images)
But it will not be City among the top eight seeds when the draw for the group stage takes place, for having finished fourth in the Premier League they will have to qualify and so shock English champions Leicester City find themselves in exalted company in Pot 1 alongside Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and CSKA Moscow.
Pot 2 will include Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, triple consecutive Europa League champions Sevilla, Napoli and Bayer Leverkusen, while Tottenham Hotspur are the fourth English representatives and also go straight into the group stage.
The competition is already well under way with two qualifying rounds having taken place and after surviving an initial shock defeat in Gibraltar, Celtic are now on course to qualify for the play-off round after Leigh Griffiths scored a potentially vital away goal in Kazakhstan for a 1-1 draw with Astana.
The Scottish champions are hot favourites to complete the job in Glasgow, while League of Ireland winners Dundalk will also be hopeful of making further progress back on home soil after going down narrowly 1-0 away to group-stage regulars BATE Borisov in Belarus.
Third qualifying round second leg (first-leg score in brackets)
Tuesday August 2
17:30 Qarabag (Azerbaijan) v Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic) (0-0)
18:00 APOEL Nicosia (Cyprus) v Rosenborg (Norway) (1-2)
18:00 Dinamo Tbilisi (Georgia) v Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) (0-2)
19:30 Crvena Zvezda (Serbia) v Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria) (2-2)
20:00 Dundalk (Republic of Ireland) v BATE Borisov (Belarus) (0-1)
Wednesday August 3
18:45 Copenhagen (Denmark) v Astra Giurgiu (Romania) (1-1)
18:45 Steaua Bucharest (Romania) v Sparta Prague (Czech Republic) (1-1)
19:00 Hapoel Be’er Sheva (Israel) v Olympiakos (Greece) (0-0)
19:15 Young Boys (Switzerland) v Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) (0-2)
19:30 PAOK Salonika (Greece) v Ajax (Netherlands) (1-1)
19:30 Red Bull Salzburg (Austria) v Partizani (Albania) (1-0)
19:45 Anderlecht (Belgium) v Rostov (Russia) (2-2)
19:45 Celtic (Scotland) v Astana (Kazakhstan) (1-1)
19:45 Legia Warsaw (Poland) v Trencin (Slovakia) (1-0)
19:45 Monaco (France) v Fenerbahce (Turkey) (1-2)
August 5 – Draw for play-off round
August 16-17 – Play-off round first leg
August 23-24 – Play-off round second leg
August 25 – Draw for group stage
September 13-14 – Group stage match day 1
September 27-28 – Group stage match day 2
October 18-19 – Group stage match day 3
November 1-2 – Group stage match day 4
November 22-23 – Group stage match day 5
December 6-7 – Group stage match day 6
December 12 – Draw for round of 16
February 14-15 – Round of 16 first leg
February 21-22 – Round of 16 first leg
March 7-8 – Round of 16 second leg
March 14-15 – Round of 16 second leg
March 17 – Draw for quarter-finals
April 11-12 – Quarter-finals first leg
April 18-19 – Quarter-finals second leg
April 21 – Draw for semi-finals
May 2-3 – Semi-finals first leg
May 9-10 – Semi-finals second leg
June 3 – Final at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff