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13 September 2017

Real Madrid vs Apoel Nicosia LIVE: Cristiano Ronaldo returns as Zinedine Zidane’s side look to retain title

REAL MADRID take on Apoel Nicosia as they begin their Champions League title defence.

Zinedine Zidane’s side defeated Juventus in last season’s final.

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  • Real Madrid and APOEL Nicosia’s only previous encounter was in the quarter finals of the 2011/12 Champions League. The Madrid side won 8-2 on aggregate (3-0 in Cyprus, 5-2 in Spain).
  • Last season, Real Madrid became the first team since AC Milan to win back-to- back European Cup/Champions League titles. The Rossoneri did it in 1989 and 1990.
  • Real Madrid have won the European Cup/Champions League on 12 occasions – including three of the last four – more than any other team in history. In fact, they’ve won each of their last six finals in the competition.
  • Last season, Real Madrid became the first team since Inter Milan in 2010 to win the Champions League after having finished second in their group.
  • Real Madrid are playing in the Champions League for the 21 st consecutive season, the longest run in the history of the competition. They have always made it out of the group stages.
  • Real Madrid have reached the semi-finals in each of the last seven Champions League campaigns, also a record run in the history of the competition.
  • Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last 27 Champions League group games (W20 D7), their last defeat dating back to October 2012 away against Dortmund. At home, Real have won 20 of their last 22 group games (D2), last tasting defeat nearly eight years ago against AC Milan, in October 2009 (2-3).
  • Real Madrid have failed to score only once in their last 50 Champions League group games (Paris SG 0-0 Real Madrid, October 2015).
  • APOEL Nicosia are making their fourth appearance in the Champions League, and their first since 2014/15. It’s by far the most of any Cypriot team, the only other side involved being Anorthosis Famagusta in 2008/09.
  • APOEL have progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League only once in their three previous appearances. They were knocked out by Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the 2011/12 campaign.
  • APOEL have lost nine of their last 11 Champions League games (W1 D1). They have also failed to score in nine of their last 12 outings, remaining goalless in each of their last four games.
  • No Cypriot side has ever won an away game in the Champions League (D6 L8).
  • APOEL knocked out Dudelange, Viitorul Constanta and Slavia Prague to reach the group stages of this season’s Champions League.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in the history of the Champions League (105 goals in 140 games). With Real Madrid, he has found the net 90 times in 88 games.
  • Despite having only managed 20 games in the Champions League, Zinedine Zidane has already won the title twice (2016, 2017). No manager has ever won the European Cup/Champions League in three consecutive seasons.
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