Real play Athletic Bilbao while Barcelona visit Real Sociedad in fixtures that have often proved to be among their hardest away trips over the last decade.
FIFPro and its affiliated player associations asked professional footballers to pick a team from the best players in world football last season
World champions France had eight players, one less than former holders Spain in international players’ association FIFPro’s 55-name shortlist for its World XI of 2018 award.
But there is no place for Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi.
The World Player of the Year added another prize to his collection on Tuesday when his bicycle kick goal for Real Madrid away to Juventus in April won UEFA’s vote for the goal of the season.
The Real Madrid midfielder was crowned at the ceremony for the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday
Thibaut Courtois was expected to quickly assume the role of first choice goalkeeper for Real Madrid after arriving from Chelsea for 35 million euros this month.
Ronaldo, who won the award last season, helped Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title and finished as the competition’s top scorer with 15 goals.
It was the European champions’ first league game in the post Cristiano Ronaldo era, and they rose to the occasion
Atletico took the lead after only 49 seconds as Costa flicked a long ball forward to himself, shrugging off Sergio Ramos and powering past Raphael Varane before thumping a thunderbolt past Keylor Navas at the front post from what looked…