So, it's a new year, a new season and a fresh start to the Champions League. With hundreds of millions having been spent on new players, which teams are the main candidates for winning?
1. Real Madrid
The additions of Bale and Isco must surely place Real Madrid at the top of the pile in terms of contenders. The world's new most expensive player has made a decent start to life at the Bernabeu with a goal on his debut as well as playing a part in Ronaldo's second goal in their opening Champions League fixture.
Isco has made a fantastic start to the season, bagging four goals in five games and, along with Ronaldo and Bale, forms one on the most terrifying midfield trios in the world.
2. Bayern Munich
Last year's champions will be in contention again for the top spot and a solid opening performance against CSKA Moscow has reminded the world of Bayern's status as one of the best in the world.
The acquisition of Mario Gotze goes further to improve a glittering midfield including Robben, Schweinsteiger and the current European footballer of the year Ribery that will inevitably ensure that they go far in this year's tournament.
It is hard to over look Barcelona as one of the contenders for winning overall. The catalan team still commands respect the world over for their creative play and ball playing abilities.
Like Madrid and Bayern, they have an all star midfield with Iniesta still improving along with Xavi, while coming to the end of his years, is still one of the best central midfielders in the world and, of course, not forgetting their shining jewel. Messi has already scored nine goals from six games, and also has an incredible record in the Champions league.
The Ligue 1 champions will be one of the main contenders for the tournament this year. They have a glamorous array of talent on show, with the likes of Thiago Silva, Pastore and their biggest summer signing Lavezzi. Ibrahimovic is still the main man and could be the one to power them to Champions league glory.
They started convincingly with a 4-1 win over Olympiacos, so maybe this could be their year to become only the second French team to win the most desired club trophy of them all.
5. Manchester United
This one is a potentially controversial one. United have lost, in Ferguson, the greatest manager to ever a grace the game, and have not begun the season very convincingly.
Some fans have already given up hope simply by the lack of signings in the summer transfer window. But, does a team that wins one of the most prestigious leagues in the world by 11 points have to improve that much to keep up.
While they have also not been brilliant in the last couple of seasons in Europe, United still have the quality in their squad to see them far. The likes of Van Persie and Rooney can easily be considered world class talents and, as for the manager, United have in Moyes an experienced manager who will ensure that the club continues to proser and improve. Although maybe outsiders in this list, United could still stand a chance.
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