Champions League in focus
Nobody said it would be easy. But the task facing Manchester City in this season's Champions League could hardly be more daunting.
The champions of England have been drawn against the champions of Spain (Real Madrid), the champions of the Netherlands (Ajax) and the champions of Germany (Borussia Dortmund).
Depending on to whom you listen, this is either a nightmare draw or the stuff of dreams, a "group of death" or the ultimate opportunity for City to finally announce their presence at Europe's top table.
"Games like this are why you are in the Champions League," City captain Vincent Kompany said ahead of their trip to Real Madrid on Tuesday.
'It's a great challenge. I think we are the sort of team which gets better as the challenges get even greater. It's perfect for us.
"There won't be any moments where we will be surprised. The motivation will be sky-high, the atmosphere great. I couldn't think of a better way to play the Champions League. It's all about how far you can get but it's even nicer when you play against the best teams.
"I thought it couldn't get more difficult than last year but there you go."
Last season, Roberto Mancini's team failed to progress to the knock-out stage from a group containing Bayern Munich, Napoli and Villarreal.
Mistakes were made, but lessons have been learned. What surprised Mancini and his players more than anything was the speed with which City were punished for their mistakes. But they are a different proposition these days.
The Premier League title has brought with it a sense of belonging and a confidence that will make City a far tougher proposition.
Indeed, it was City's presence, as much as that of Dortmund and Ajax, that prompted forward Cristiano Ronaldo to suggest his Real Madrid team had been drawn in "the most difficult and most competitive" group.
"In my opinion, and I am sure the opinion of most people, it is the most difficult group and the most competitive," Ronaldo said.