Cristiano Ronaldo happy to be drawn alongside Sporting Lisbon

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Football News

Cristiano Ronaldo has had a very good Thursday. The 31-year-old, who has been enjoying a well-deserved break after his highly successful summer, was suited and booted for the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco.

The presentation saw 32 of the best clubs on the continent drawn into eight groups. As the reigning champions, everyone wanted to avoid Ronaldo's Real Madrid. 

Borussia Dortmund and Legia Warsaw were the unlucky clubs to be placed alongside Madrid in Group F but the final club, Sporting Lisbon, were probably rather happy to have the challenge.

Although Sporting now face a devilish task to qualify for the round of 16, they will at least get the chance to welcome Ronaldo back to the Estadio Jose Alvalade all of 13 years after he left for Manchester United.

And it appears Ronaldo is also happy to get the chance to return. When Sporting were pulled out of the bowl, his reaction said it all. And here it is:

Things got even better for the three-time Ballon d'Or winner after he was awarded the Best Player in Europe award, beating team-mate Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann to the oddly shaped trophy.

Ronaldo v Sporting Lisbon

This will not be the first time Ronaldo has faced the Portuguese club in the Champions League. Manchester United were paired alongside them in the 2007-08 season and Sporting got a bitter taste of what their former prodigy had become.

Ronaldo famously scored the winning goal at Old Trafford with a 30-yard strike, earning United a 2-1 win and a safe passage out of a tough group which also included AS Roma.

At the time, he said: "It was a fabulous goal. I did not celebrate when I scored against Sporting in Lisbon, but this goal was different and I am very happy because it is always important to win and top the group."

Real Madrid are scheduled to play Sporting Lisbon on at the Bernabeu on 14 September with the away leg coming on 22 November.

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Luka Modric
Gareth Bale
UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal National Football Team

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