UEFA has abandoned its disciplinary case against the three rebel Super League clubs, declaring the proceedings "null and void". 

European football's governing body announced in May it was opening a case against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus for a "potential violation" of its legal framework amid their continued support for the Super League project. 

The case was paused in June until further notice following a ruling from a Madrid court and has now been closed by UEFA's independent appeals body. 

UEFA also said it would not request payments from the nine other clubs that withdrew from the project. Potential fines and a collective €15million "goodwill fund" formed part of the agreement announced in May that saw Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Inter, Milan and Atletico Madrid rejoin UEFA competitions. 

On Monday, UEFA said in a statement: "UEFA understands why the disciplinary proceedings are declared null and void. UEFA has always acted in good faith and reasonably understood that the decision by its independent disciplinary body, the UEFA Appeals Body, to suspend the disciplinary proceedings was in full compliance with the Court Orders of the Madrid Commercial Court No. 17, and given that the three mentioned clubs have since been admitted to UEFA club competitions. 

"UEFA maintains its view that it has always acted in accordance with not only its statutes and regulations, but also with EU law, the European Convention on Human Rights and Swiss law in connection with the so-called Super League project. UEFA remains confident in and will continue to defend its position in all the relevant jurisdictions. 

"In relation with the Club Commitment Declarations UEFA received in May 2021 from nine of the 12 clubs that acted as founders of the so-called European Super League project, and with which such nine clubs had informed UEFA of their unilateral decisions to withdraw from the so-called Super League project, UEFA has informed the nine clubs that in view of the pending Court proceedings in Madrid, and to avoid any unnecessary complication, UEFA will not request payment of any of the amounts offered in the May Declarations of the clubs, as long as the Court proceedings in Madrid involving, among others, UEFA are pending." 

Barca, Madrid and Juve have refused to renounce the Super League despite the intense backlash from the football world that prompted the nine other clubs to withdraw from the plans. 

Bianconeri president Andrea Agnelli wrote to club shareholders to describe the Super League as a means of "guaranteeing stability for the football industry". 

Agnelli said it was "a new meritocratic paradigm and a return to the fundamentals of cost control and transparency". 

Carlo Ancelotti believes Real Madrid's history in the Champions League gives them a slight advantage over their biggest rivals.

The Italian was in charge in 2014 when Madrid at last won the competition for the 10th time, beating Atletico Madrid in the final in Lisbon.

Los Blancos then achieved an historic three titles in a row under Zinedine Zidane from 2016 to 2018, a feat unseen in the modern format and only surpassed by Madrid themselves in the days of the European Cup, when they won five in a row from 1956 to 1960.

Madrid started their 2021-22 campaign with a 1-0 victory at Inter and are expected to follow up with three more points on Tuesday when they host competition debutants Sheriff.

Ancelotti admits his side's past successes help a little when it comes to their chances this season, as he aims to replicate Zidane's remarkable achievements.

"For us to represent this club is something special, it's the most complicated, most difficult competition," he said on Monday. "We are more used to winning it than others. We have a little advantage.

"It's difficult [to compare this team with Zidane's] because the players changed a little, the squad has changed, plus I don't like to compare this team with Zizou's team.

"Zizou did things as well as he could have done. He won the Champions League three times in a row. Hopefully, I can win another one."

Madrid played their home games at the Castilla's Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano last season while renovation work was being completed at the Santiago Bernabeu.

It means Sheriff, the 108th different side they have faced in the competition, will be the first to visit the famous ground in the Champions League since Manchester City in the last-16 first leg in 2019-20.

"It's a Champions League game. You have to prepare well for all Champions League games. We're really excited to return to the Bernabeu because we have really good memories," said Ancelotti.

"Sheriff are doing well. We have to be careful because it's a team not much is known about, but they're organised, fast going forward... we have to hold maximum concentration. We need three points."

Defender Nacho Fernandez claims the squad are not interested in whether others consider them among the favourites for this year's trophy, insisting they are confident they can challenge in the latter stages.

"The question of being favourites is not one that the rest of the squad and I are really bothered about," he said. "We face the same level of pressure regardless of whether we're favourites or not.

"We've got a great squad, are feeling really confident and are raring to having a good year in the Champions League. Nobody rules Real Madrid out from being involved right until the end."

Mauricio Pochettino wants Lionel Messi to be given time to adapt to his new surroundings at Paris Saint-Germain, who are preparing to go up against "the best coach in the world" in Pep Guardiola. 

Messi has yet to score or assist in three appearances since joining PSG on a free transfer amid financial difficulties at Barcelona, but Pochettino is prepared to be patient with the iconic superstar. 

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been struggling with a knee injury of late, though he may be involved when the French club host Manchester City in a titanic Champions League clash. 

"[Messi] is progressing very well, and I think he'll be in the squad, but I don't know if he'll start," Pochettino said in his pre-match media conference ahead of Tuesday’s meeting in the French capital.  

"He's the best player in the world, but he's still a human like everyone else. He also needs to adapt to this new team, new culture and new country. He was at Barcelona for 20 years, everything is new here for him.  

"With time, I have no doubt that everything will go well and we're going to have real success together." 

The former Tottenham and Southampton boss also attempted to downplay expectations as his side chase European glory, claiming that PSG are not yet the finished article - unlike their next opponents. 

"We're a work in progress," Pochettino said. "It's not an opinion, it's a fact. We have to look at where we have come from and where we are today. 

"We're going to face Manchester City and the best coach in the world, Pep Guardiola. They're a great team, a club that dreams of winning the Champions League, as we do. They're perhaps ahead of us, but anything can happen in a football match. 

"We're going to try and cause them problems with a lot of desire, determination, and also by applying our ideas and limiting their qualities, and finding weaknesses to exploit. It's a match for the players in which they can show their potential." 

Pochettino also dismissed the idea that the contest with City is their first real challenge of the season, having won all of their first eight Ligue 1 games to sit nine points clear at the top of the table. 

"A first test? I don't think so. We've had a different challenge in each game. The start of the season hasn't been easy because we have got players back gradually. Since we've had a complete squad, we've worked,” he said.

"We know the expectations on us and we know we have to work with responsibility and rigour today, not tomorrow. We have to stand up and be counted when a game comes up." 

There was also an update on the fitness of Marco Verratti, who, like Messi, is set to be part of the squad but may not be ready to start. 

Juventus pair Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata will not return from injury until after the October international break. 

The two forwards were injured in the Bianconeri's 3-2 win over Sampdoria and head coach Massimiliano Allegri revealed in his post-match press conference that they would not be available for the Champions League clash with Chelsea on Wednesday. 

However, Dybala and Morata have since been assessed and their injuries will also prevent them from facing Torino in the Derby della Mole. 

Juventus' Serie A clash against Roma on October 17 is likely to be the earliest either player will feature again. 

The victory over Sampdoria was the Bianconeri's second successive league victory, having failed to register a win in their first four domestic fixtures. 

Dybala notched the opening goal in the game on Sunday, but was forced off with a thigh injury in the first half, with Morata following suit with a hamstring problem late on. 

After a difficult start to the campaign, the loss of the club's two top scorers - with three goals apiece in all competitions - comes as a real blow to a side that was just beginning to pick up momentum ahead of two difficult fixtures. 

Juventus host Chelsea in their Champions League Group H contest, before facing Torino in Serie A action three days later. 

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's fond memories of travelling to Porto will count for nothing when the two sides meet at Estadio do Dragao on Tuesday.

The Reds cruised to a 4-1 victory in their last trip to Porto almost two and a half years ago, having thrashed them 5-0 in their previous visit in February 2018 - Sadio Mane scoring a hat-trick.

Liverpool head into their second Champions League match of the season top of Group B after beating Milan 3-2 in a thriller at Anfield.

Porto held Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw and Sergio Conceicao's side are unbeaten since losing the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final to eventual winners Chelsea in April.

Klopp, who will welcome Naby Keita back from a foot injury, dismissed the suggestion the Reds' past two visits to Porto can stand them in good stead to secure another three points.

The Liverpool boss said: "Porto have had players coming out and in but have the same manager. It's not an advantage to have won the last two games there.

"We think about this game and they have different opportunities to set up and we have to prepare for that."

He added: "We don't count on points we don't have already, it's a tough group so we should not waste time to get points.

"Atletico versus Porto was a tough one and if someone deserved to win it, it was Porto, so that says a lot. The team we face tomorrow."

Liverpool were held to a 3-3 draw with Brentford in a pulsating Premier League clash on Saturday and Klopp expects a response at Porto.

"I don't think it's that much of a concern but we do have to show reaction that's for sure," he said of dropping points against the Bees.

"It's tricky to win a football game when you are not defending on your highest level and that is what we didn't do.

"Porto is a different team and will play a different style but we will go direct as well and go for second balls so yeah we have to improve in that department for sure."

Klopp will not be able to call upon Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who remains sidelined due to a thigh injury.

Porto have failed to beat the Merseyside club in eight attempts, losing five and drawing three.

Pep Guardiola freely admitted he has no master plan in mind to contain Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe when Manchester City meet Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

Assuming Messi is fit to feature, this match will be the first time he has gone up against his former boss Guardiola since the six-time Ballon d'Or winner departed Barcelona in August.

Although Messi was handed his Barca breakthrough by Frank Rijkaard, it was under Guardiola that he truly established himself among the best in the world.

He featured 47 times for Guardiola in the Champions League, 18 more than for any other coach, and scored 43 times at an average of one every 92 minutes — among managers he has played more than two games for in the competition, he has only netted with greater frequency under Tata Martino (79 minutes per goal, seven matches).

Of course, this will not be the first time Messi has faced a Guardiola team — he boasts an impressive record haul of six goals in four games against his former mentor, including a hat-trick when Barca beat City 4-0 back in October 2016.

"This type of player speaks for himself on the pitch," Guardiola told a news conference on Monday. "I don't have to add anything else.

"We are fortunate to see him in his 15, 16 years… I don't know how many years since he turned professional.

"He speaks for himself. I don't have to talk about him. What he's done in his career is more than exceptional and hopefully tomorrow he can play for the good of the game.

"[Messi leaving Barca] was a surprise for everyone, but it happened and everyone accepts it.

"A long time ago or even few years ago you couldn't imagine it, but you never know what happens. I'm pretty sure he'll be happy there in Paris."

Messi has got off to a slow start in France, with a late arrival due to the Copa America delaying his debut and then the first international break of the season interrupted his settling-in period. He also missed the win over Montpellier due to a minor knee knock.

As such, he has played just three times for PSG and is yet to score, but Guardiola knows all too well what Messi is capable of and believes Mauricio Pochettino's front three have the talent to be up there with the best attacks he has faced.

"Yes, they have the quality," Guardiola said when asked if PSG's frontline could challenge Jurgen Klopp's Premier League-winning Liverpool attack and Luis Enrique's famed 'MSN' strikeforce.

"Both teams you mention had incredible players up front and good organisation and I think the manager from PSG can do it. The players they have upfront is the level of the previous teams I mentioned, of course they can do it.

"Football needs time, normally the people of football don't give it to us, but of course the qualities of the players… For many years PSG always have top players, being conducted by top, top managers, that's why always in the league, cups, Europe, they are there.

"We know exactly how difficult it is, maybe the most difficult, but at the same time we try to do our game knowing how good they are individually and collectively."

Pressed on whether he had an idea of how to stop Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, Guardiola said with a resigned chuckle: "I don't know, with this amount of quality I don't know what we should do to stop them.

"Honestly, they're so good. This amount of talent altogether to be controlled, it's so difficult. We try to defend well when we don't have the ball and try to let them run when we have the ball.

"They're exceptional players, everyone knows it. Individually they are so good, they can combine and connect with each other.

"The three players up front they can do whatever they want, play wide, narrow, one right and one left, they can combine well and have the quality.

"The talent cannot be stopped — we have to do it as a team. Individually we cannot put the pressure on one player to solve the skills and talents they have.

"We have to be compact, together and help each other, know we are going to suffer and be in pain, and how you handle the pain in these moments…you have to be able to suffer for 90 minutes."

Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful over Lionel Messi's fitness ahead of next week's huge Champions League meeting against Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola's side beat PSG over two legs to progress to last season's Champions League final, before going down 1-0 to Chelsea in the showpiece match.

The two sides will meet again in the group stage on Tuesday - PSG having drawn their first match, at Club Brugge, while City defeated RB Leipzig 6-3.

It is a headline fixture of the group stages, with PSG's star-studded front line going up against the Premier League champions.

However, there is a fitness doubt over Messi, who was absent for PSG's dramatic 2-1 Ligue 1 win over Metz in midweek because of a knee injury.

Messi will also miss Saturday's Ligue 1 encounter with Montpellier, but Pochettino said it is too early to rule the 34-year-old out for the match against City.

"Leo has started to run today and as you have seen in the medical update we are going to assess him and we hope he improves," Pochettino told a news conference on Friday.

"On Sunday, we hope we will be able to give a positive update. We hope everything goes well and he will be available again.

"Yes, we hope he can play. We have to be cautious and we have to see how he evolves in the next few days."

Messi has played just three games since his stunning departure from Barca and has yet to find the net for PSG.

He hit the crossbar against Brugge and then also hit the woodwork with a long-range free-kick against Lyon on Sunday before he was substituted off.

Mauro Icardi scored a late winner against Lyon, and Pochettino has been delighted with the striker's form this season despite the former Inter man missing a chunk of games through injury.

"Mauro Icardi, he is player who contributed a lot until his injury," said Pochettino.

"He recovered and has made a big impact. He scored against Lyon and of course, he offers us an alternative in our attacking play."

Lionel Messi has been ruled out of Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 trip to Metz on Wednesday with a knee injury that also renders him doubtful for a reunion with Pep Guardiola next week.

The Argentina international sustained the problem during PSG's late 2-1 win against Lyon on Sunday as they made it six wins from six to begin their new league campaign.

Messi made his home debut in that match but was substituted off with the scores level, meaning he has yet to score in three appearances since joining from Barcelona last month.

PSG will not have Messi in their squad to face Metz at Stade Saint-Symphorien, with that game coming six days before a Champions League trip to Guardiola's Manchester City.

The French giants confirmed the injury blow in an injury update posted on their official website on Tuesday.

"Messi, following the blow received on his left knee, underwent an MRI which confirms the signs of bone contusion," the update read. "A new test will be carried out in 48 hours."

PSG also confirmed that Marco Verratti returned to training on Tuesday, while Sergio Ramos – yet to feature since joining from Real Madrid – is continuing to train individually.

Pochettino's decision to bring on Achraf Hakimi for Messi with his side chasing a goal against Lyon dominated all the talk after last weekend's contest.

Messi was involved in six shots (four attempts, two chances created) – only Kylian Mbappe against Clermont (seven) has managed better in a league game for PSG this term.

Pochettino insisted there were "no issues" with Messi when speaking after the game and has once again defended his decision to bring off the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"I understand the situation and accept it as it is," Pochettino said at a news conference on Tuesday previewing the clash with Metz.

"The priority is always the players and their well-being. We thought the best decision was to take him off. But of course, all champions want to be on the pitch all the time."

Asked to elaborate on Messi's injury, Pochettino said: "The club have already communicated that. During the match we saw he was checking his knee after being struck.

"When we saw that we made a decision. We were happy with his performance and I am happy with his commitment. He didn't score but was otherwise very good."

Mbappe had a quiet game against Lyon before assisting Mauro Icardi's late winner as he touched the ball just five times in the opposition box and failed to get a shot on target.

The Frenchman spearheaded a 4-2-3-1 formation that also included Messi, Neymar and Angel Di Maria in attack and Pochettino insists it will take time for system to work.

"We have to create these connections in training over time, not just in matches," Pochettino said. "We used a 4-2-3-1 against Lyon and that's not the same as we've used before.

"That's why I was happy with the team's performance. We were also organised in defence and recovered balls high up the pitch.

"Leo, Neymar and Di Maria know each other well and have already built a connection. Now we have to integrate Kylian into the side and that will take a while."

Mbappe is expected to start against Metz on Wednesday, an opponent he has either scored or assisted against in all five previous Ligue 1 encounters.

PSG also have a great record against Metz, having defeated them in 10 successive league fixtures in a run stretching back to August 2007.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Rio Ferdinand got it all wrong after the former Manchester United captain questioned why Cristiano Ronaldo was allowed to vent from the touchline.

Ferdinand is a former United team-mate of the current Red Devils boss and said he would have told Ronaldo, with whom he also played, to stay in his seat rather than race to pitchside to complain about a tackle.

Ronaldo, newly back at the club after 12 years away, was on his feet alongside Bruno Fernandes as they expressed anger about a foul by Young Boys midfielder Christopher Martins on Nemanja Matic in Tuesday's Champions League clash.

Both Ronaldo and Fernandes had been substituted by that stage of a game that United lost 2-1 after a stoppage-time winner by their Swiss hosts.

In his role as a pundit for BT Sport, Ferdinand had said: "If I'm the manager, I've got to be honest, I'm telling him to sit down."

But, quoted in several Sunday newspapers, Solskjaer explained that he had no complaints about the United pair showing their frustrations.

"Rio, again you know, sometimes he comments on things he doesn't really know," said Solskjaer.

"It's not like he was coaching players. No. Both Bruno and Cristiano, as competitive as they are, suddenly I had them on my shoulder.

"They were there for a brief spell and shouted at the referee. That was the aggravation of getting a few bad decisions against us. But then Cristiano sat down and Bruno sat down."

Ferdinand suggested it would be difficult to prevent a player of Ronaldo's standing in the game to hold his tongue.

"He's just a passionate guy. He wants to win, he's desperate to win, and he can't hold it in," Ferdinand said. "If that means he has to go up there and stand next to the manager, shouting instructions, so be it."

Fikayo Tomori is not considering a Chelsea return as the Milan centre-back dreams of Champions League success with the Rossoneri.

Tomori has starred for Milan, who completed a permanent deal for the one-time England international in July following his initial loan move in 2020-21.

The 23-year-old emerged from Chelsea's academy in 2016 before eventually leaving his boyhood club, but he is not thinking about a Stamford Bridge comeback.

"I don't know, I love Milan, I love being here, Chelsea was a big part of my life, 15-16 years," Tomori told DAZN, with seven-time winners Milan back in the Champions League this season for the first time since 2014.

"I think I managed to have that dream. Play at Stamford Bridge, play in the Premier League and the Champions League. Right now I am really happy in Milan.

"We are back in the Champions League, everything is really positive, hopefully like Chelsea [who won the Champions League last season], we can win it."

In 2021-22, Tomori has tallied 15 recoveries, 11 duels won, 12 possessions won in the defensive third, eight clearances, six interceptions, three headed clearances and six aerials won, while boasting an 87.6 passing accuracy to help Milan win their opening three Serie A fixtures.

Tomori has formed a key partnership with Simon Kjaer at the heart of Milan's defence – the Italian giants have kept the most clean sheets in the top-five European leagues (seven in 8 matches) since May.

Milan have only conceded one goal in three games, keeping two clean sheets in the league this term.

Tomori and Milan travel to rivals Juventus on Sunday, aiming to make it four victories from four games to open the season.

In the era of three points per win, Milan have won each of their first four Serie A seasonal games only twice – in 1995-96 under Fabio Capello and in 2020-21 under Stefano Pioli.

Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United will propel Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side towards Champions League success, according to former Red Devil Louis Saha.

Ronaldo has arrived back at Old Trafford, ending a 12-year absence from United after spells with Juventus and Real Madrid, with whom he won the continental competition four times.

Saha was in his final bow with Alex Ferguson's side at the time of Ronaldo's first Champions League triumph, the Portugal forward scoring eight times en route to victory in the 2007-08 campaign.

Returning as a 36-year-old goal poacher, the former Madrid star equalled Iker Casillas' appearance record in Europe against Young Boys in his 177th match, and Saha believes Ronaldo can drive Solskjaer's side to success.

"I think so, yes, I think it [Ronaldo to United] is a game changer," Saha told Stats Perform when asked if United could win the Champions League.

"I do think that the Champions League is the hardest competition. Yes, the Premier League is a marathon and you have five to six clubs who can actually win it.

"But the Champions League in a way that it works when you have groups, you will definitely have to win [against] the bigger clubs or the biggest clubs that's for sure."

Saha, who was speaking after United's 2-1 defeat to Young Boys, is convinced Solskjaer has a squad that is built to achieve at the highest level.

"United has the balance that they didn't over the years to win the Champions League," he said. "We had maybe a less quality squad when we won the Champions League.

"We have seen it with Chelsea, I don't think they had a great squad but it's about the team and about the team spirit and how you want to win it more than others.

"The ability to not make any mistakes as they have done [against Young Boys], this is the type of challenge the Champions League will provide to any good side who wants to go win the Champions League.

"So that's the formula, game by game this team can improve and definitely challenge for the victory [Champions League trophy]."

Despite surrendering a one-goal lead against Young Boys on Tuesday, Ronaldo created another record with his opener – the longest gap between goals for the same club in the competition's history (12 years and 132 days).

The Swiss side also became the 36th different club the forward has scored against as he extended his goal count to 135 goals in 177 games, 15 ahead of second-placed Lionel Messi in the all-time scoring list.

With Ronaldo leading the line, Saha envisages continuous success for United for three reasons as they look to challenge domestically and in Europe.

"The first one is because the guy is very obsessed in front of the goal," he said.

"It will bring this kind of like obsession and demanding from his players around. The second one is his stats, he is a player who's going to score goals for fun.

"He's already on three goals in two games. Let's say that it's a guarantee. If he plays you will have 25 to 30 goals, maybe not in the Premier League, but combined it's almost kind of a guarantee.

"At the same time the actual impact mentally on other teams. You go there and you have [Raphael] Varane, [Jadon] Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo, combined with the already very talented squad.

"I think he gives a different aura to the squad, it does bring definitely United forward in those aspects so it's a huge change for the title [race]. [They are] definitely up there with Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea I would say."

Chelsea and England defender Reece James has revealed he had his Champions League winners' medal and Euro 2020 runners-up medal stolen during a burglary at his home.

The break-in happened while the 21-year-old was playing for the Blues in Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win over Zenit.

James played a full part in Chelsea's 1-0 victory over Manchester City in last season's final and was used once for England in their run to the European Championship final, where they lost to Italy.

He took to social media on Thursday to appeal for help finding the culprits, who took a safe that also contained his Super Cup winners' medal.

"These medals were won representing Chelsea and England – honours that can never be taken away from me whether or not I have the physical medals to prove it," James posted alongside four CCTV clips of the incident.

"Nevertheless, I am appealing to all my Chelsea and England fans to help identify and turn in these low life individuals who will never be able to rest easy as the evidence is mounting against them.

"The police, my advisers and Chelsea FC (and many others) are all behind me as we have firm leads on who the perpetrators are. We are closing in on them. 

"Luckily, no one was present during the break in but I want to let all of you know I am safe and well. 

"I really do appreciate having the platform to tell you all about my misfortune and I hope together we can catch these individuals and deliver justice where it is due."

Academy product James has featured regularly for Chelsea over the past two seasons and has already made four appearances this campaign under Thomas Tuchel.

Cristiano Ronaldo was destined to be one of the best footballers in the world from the outset, according to former Manchester United team-mate Louis Saha.

The pair crossed paths during Saha's four-year stint at Old Trafford between 2004 and 2008, just as Ronaldo burst onto the scene following his arrival from Sporting CP.

The Portugal captain would go on to score 118 times in 292 appearances for United before sensationally returning for a second spell last month.

Ronaldo hit the ground running with a brace against Newcastle United – the only team he has a Premier League hat-trick against – in his first game back at the club last weekend and was also on target in a 2-1 Champions League defeat at Young Boys on Tuesday.

Saha said he recognised Ronaldo was a special talent soon after he first joined United.

"I saw it straight away," Saha told Stats Perform. "When you realise that the guy at this young age can do what he was able to do after a few games you realise that the guy is just an animal of work as well outside of the field.

"He is always obsessed about his game and how to improve straightaway.

"Maybe after a few months, he was already very confident in claiming that he was the best or he would be the best player in the world.

"So all those things were a big sign that the guy has something special in terms of skill, but [also] in terms of mentality and confidence.  All this make me fairly quickly believe that he had massive potential to be a top star.

"I'm not surprised from the moment he left United, I'm not surprised that he keeps doing it at this level because when you have the talent and you manage then to work harder than anyone who is a bit laborious, that's a fantastic combo."

However, it has not all been straightforward since Ronaldo's return, with 10-man United surprise losers to Young Boys on a landmark 177th Champions League appearance for the forward as he equalled Iker Casillas' record.

Ronaldo scored against his 36th different club in the competition on Tuesday, with 12 years and 132 days the biggest gap between Champions League goals for the same club in the competition's history.

But as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side failed to defend their one-goal lead, Ronaldo could be seen animatedly issuing instructions alongside his manager and Saha is interested to see how their new relationship will work.

"I think I will say that it could be strange for Ole in some way, more than for Cristiano because I think we have seen it all when he moved to [Real] Madrid and then to Juventus and improved as a superstar," he continued.

"So now to actually manage a player like that you played with, it must be a bit strange but at the same time, he's a very smart lad and at the same time, Cristiano is here to win.

"There is no conflict there. It's just about how to actually get the result they both want.

"I think he has the luxury to get to, let's say, the finished product in his hand. It's brilliant as a manager to be in that position and to [have] one of the best players in the world.

"So I don't think that is it any difficulty for him, just the players around will need to adapt. They need to play a certain way to optimise Cristiano Ronaldo, [he] is not 25 anymore. You have to play to a certain strategy."

Nicolas Anelka fired a warning that darker days could lie ahead after Paris Saint-Germain fell flat against Club Brugge despite fielding Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe in the starting line-up.

The disappointment of a 1-1 draw in Belgium was compounded by an ankle injury sustained by Mbappe that forced the France forward off early in the second half.

PSG were out-shot 16-9 by Club Brugge, with Messi having three attempts but proving unable to mark his 150th Champions League appearance with what would have been a 121st goal in the competition.

Messi had never previously played against a Belgian side in the competition, scoring against teams from all 17 other nations he has faced. The closest he came was when he struck the crossbar in the 29th minute.

Neymar did not take a shot, while Mbappe had only one attempt before being substituted.

"It is the PSG that we do not want to see," Anelka said, speaking to French broadcaster RMC Sport.

"Nothing. There was nothing, except for the first 15 minutes. But apart from that, there was no intensity. We did not see anything offensively, it will be complicated."

The star attacking trio may take time to become a cohesive threat, given playing together is so very new, but head coach Mauricio Pochettino will be expected to return PSG to winning ways.

Manchester City visit Paris on September 28, and Anelka is already worried about the Parisians' prospects of finishing in the top two in Group A.

"If they play like that, it will not be possible," said former PSG and City striker Anelka.

The result on Wednesday evening means Messi has gone four consecutive Champions League games without enjoying a win (D2 L2). Only between March 2006 and February 2007 has he gone longer without a victory in the competition, then experiencing a run of five with Barcelona around the outset of his career.

Pochettino saw the performance of his team rather differently to Anelka's viewpoint.

"The problem today wasn't our three attackers," Pochettino said. "We just had to be more solid in both penalty areas but I'm happy with the defensive performance of our attackers."

The PSG boss defended Messi's performance, saying of the former Barcelona captain: "When you don't win, people try to put the focus on the less positive aspects.

"But I'm happy with his performance in terms of his spirit and attitude but also in terms of his adaptation to the team. It is clear that none of us is happy today as here at PSG we want to win every game and then also play well."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted Divock Origi will be remembered as a club legend, lauding the forward following Wednesday's thrilling Champions League victory over Milan.

Origi has often taken a backseat to Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino but the Belgian started and impressed in Liverpool's 3-2 win against Milan at Anfield midweek.

In his first start since January, Origi teed up Salah's equaliser as Liverpool kicked off their Group B opener with maximum points on Merseyside, where Jordan Henderson settled the contest.

Klopp hailed Origi, who only started six matches last season after Liverpool braced for the 26-year-old's exit in 2021-22.

"Divock is a great guy, that's how it is, and in 10 years' time when we look back he will be a Liverpool legend, but he is too young to be already seen as a legend now so he has to play football," Klopp told reporters.

"To be 100 per cent honest, of course I thought he would maybe leave in the summer, but the football world is a crazy place and people obviously forgot how good he is.

"I said it, it is really difficult to get into this team. That's just how it is and I have to decide about different positions, who I bring on, how I want to react before a game. That's why Div was not in, he did nothing wrong. He trains, he gives everything and sometimes you still don't make it into the squad.

"That really can happen, especially when everybody is fit. But for tonight he was the right player to do it and he did really well. He was not injured, he had cramps, that's normal and so now let's see. It's just nice, I'm really happy I could give him the opportunity and that he used it like he did."

Liverpool have won their opening home game in seven of their last eight Champions League campaigns (D1), last losing such a match in October 2007 (1-0 against Marseille).

Under Klopp, Liverpool have only lost one of their 13 group-stage games in the Champions League at Anfield (W10 D2) – 2-0 against Atalanta last season.

Liverpool have averaged 2.5 goals per home game in the group stage since the German took charge (33 goals).

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