Real Madrid and their fellow Primera Liga representatives will pose a challenge English dominance of the Champions League this year, according to coach Bernd Schuster.
Manchester United beat Chelsea in the final of last season’s competition while Liverpool reached the semi-finals. An English team took part in the previous three finals.
This season the Spanish contingent comprises league champions Real, Villarreal, Barcelona, who lost to United in the semi-finals last year, and Atletico Madrid.
“From what we have seen in recent years the English teams are the ones to beat,” Schuster said.
“I think the Spanish teams will do well. Between us (the Spanish clubs) I believe we will be closer to them this time.
“If we (Real) have all our players available, I am sure we are the equal of any English team.
“Last year against Roma we made two or three basic errors which you cannot do, but it wasn’t about a lack of quality,” Schuster added. “This is the second year we have all been together. I believe in this team and am confident we can go farther than we did last time.”