Borussia Dortmund have been drawn in group F in the UEFA Champions League on Thursday. The Black and Yellows will face Real Madrid, Sporting and Legia Warszawa.
Real are a familiar opponent, with Dortmund having played against Los Blancos six times since 2012. In 2012/13, they were drawn together in group D, with the Black and Yellows winning 2-1 at home and drawing 2-2 at Santiago Bernabeu.
In the same season, they met again in the semi-finals, with the Ruhr side blowing Real out of the Westfalenstadion 4-1 on their way to the final in Wembley.
One year later Real eliminated Dortmund in the quarter-finals, with Jürgen Klopp’s men fighting back from a 3-0 first-leg deficit but ultimately falling just short.
The current holders of the Champions League need no introduction, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale coming to Dortmund once again.
It will be the first meeting with Sporting, however. The Green and Whites came in second in Liga NOS last year, trailing Benfica by only two points, but failed to advance to the Champions League, being eliminated in the playoffs by CSKA.
In goalkeeper Rui Patricio and midfielders William Carvalho, Joao Mario and Adrien Silva, Sporting bring four important members of Portugal’s Euro 2016-winning side.
Dortmund have also never faced Legia Warszawa. The Polish champions are among the biggest underdogs to make it to the group stage in recent history, narrowly beating Republic of Ireland team Dundalk in the playoffs.
Legia is the first team from Poland to make it to Champions League in 20 years. Perhaps a good omen, the last Polish team was also drawn with Dortmund in the 1996/97 season. The rest is glorious BVB history.
Dortmund will begin their campaign on Wednesday, September 14. Their opening opponent and the entire schedule will be determined in short order.
The final will be played in Cardiff on June 3 2017.