The Champions League is back with a bang, but who were the stars? Here's the best XI from Matchday 1.
GK - Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus)
Juve performed heroically for an hour with 10 men to win 2-0 at Valencia after Cristiano Ronaldo's red card. They may have had to suffer a few flutters near the end had Szczesny, who is making their No. 1 spot his own after Gianluigi Buffon's departure, not saved Daniel Parejo's late penalty -- ensuring a continuation of their superb away form was guaranteed.
After netting three against PSV on Tuesday, Lionel Messi has now scored eight hat tricks in the Champions League -- more than any other player. But which has been the best so far?
8) APOEL 0-4 Barcelona -- Nov. 25, 2014
If you look back over Messi's European trebles, the thing that stands out is the sheer quality of the goals. However, his hat trick against APOEL is the exception. After sticking out a leg to deflect Rafinha Alcantara's shot past Urko Pardo to double Barca's lead on the night, he...
1. Barcelona kick off Champions League campaign in fine form
A brilliant hat trick from Lionel Messi and a wonderful solo effort from Ousmane Dembele helped Barcelona's Champions League campaign get off to a winning start as individual quality helped them hammer PSV.
Messi opened the scoring with a devilishly good free kick before a fine individual effort...
Barcelona's obsession with winning the Champions League is approaching the level of Real Madrid's when their quest for La Decima, their 10th European Cup, dragged on for 12 years earlier in the millennium.
It's only been three-and-a-bit-years since Barca last lifted the trophy in Berlin in 2015, their fourth since 2006 and the fifth in their history -- their relationship with this cup is a relatively new one. Madrid are the only club that have won it since the Blaugrana. But that's kind of the...