The Champions League will now move on to the all important knock-out stages.

Ferdinand, Lampard and Owen pick their favourites for this seasons Champions League

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The Champions League group stage came to an end last night as the last four spots in the round of 16 knock-out stage were filled. 

Liverpool secured the result of the night after hammering Spartak Moscow 7-0 to send the Russian champions tumbling into the Europa League. 

Incredibly, from an English perspective, all five clubs that started out in the group stage have qualified for the next round, four doing so by winning their groups outright, with only Chelsea finishing as a runner-up.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and the above mentioned Chelsea have all moved on to the next round where they are due to rub shoulders with European football's elite.

With the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich finishing second in their groups, English clubs could be slapped with some massive ties after the draw on Monday, but confidence is higher than it has been for a long while that they could mount a challenge.

However, speaking after Liverpool's crushing win over Spartak, former Champions League winners Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard, as well as Michael Owen, believed that while progress has clearly been made, English clubs don't quite have what it takes just yet to go on and claim the biggest prize in club football.

When asked who they feel will go on to win this years tournament both Lampard and Ferdinand felt that we could have our first French winner since 1993, with the Paris Saint Germain machine starting to rumble ever louder.

Owen, on the other hand, felt that Real Madrid, despite their poor domestic form of late, are still the favourites to lift the famous trophy in Ukraine next year.

See the video below to see why they said what they said.

An English side last claimed European glory in 2012 when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to secure their first title, but since then English sides have struggled to make any sort of impact in Europe.

While this season has been a vast improvement, it seems that there is still a lot of work to be done before the Champions League trophy can be paraded on English streets again.

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Michael Owen
Frank Lampard
Rio Ferdinand

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