MONACO:┬áReal Madrid’s initial task in seeking to become the first club to retain the Champions League trophy will be in progressing from a group featuring Basel of Switzerland, Liverpool and fairytale play-off qualifiers Ludogorets.

If fans of the record 10-times winners want to blame anyone for the teasing group they will not have to look far.

Key roles in making the draw from the various goldfish bowls were taken by past and present Real Madrid captains Iker Casillas, Fernando Hierro, Manuel Sanchis and Francisco Gento.

The latter is the only player to have won the European champions’ trophy six times, between 1956 and 1960 and then again in 1966.

Madrid lost 1-0 to Liverpool in the 1981 final in Paris.

Group A: Atletico de Madrid (Sp), Juventus (It), Olympiacos (Gr), Malmo (Swe).

Group B: Real Madrid (Sp), Basel (Swz), Liverpool (Eng), Ludogorets (Bul).

Group C: Benfica (Por), Zenit St Petersburg (Rus), Bayer Leverkusen (Ger), Monaco (Fr).

Group D: Arsenal (Eng), Borussia Dortmund (Ger), Galatasaray (Tur), Anderlecht (Bel).

Group E: Bayern Munich (Ger), Manchester City (Eng), CSKA Moscow (Rus), Roma (It).

Group F: Barcelona (Sp), Paris Saint-Germain (Fr), Ajax Amsterdam (Hol), APOEL (Cyp).

Group G: Chelsea (Eng), Schalke (Ger), Sporting Clube (Por), Maribor (Svn).

Group H: Porto (Por), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukr), Athletic Bilbao (Sp), BATE Borisov (Blr).