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Group C: Del Bosque in philosophical mood

Vicente del Bosque bushed aside talk that Real Madrid CF were dealt a favourable draw.

Real Madrid CF coach Vicente Del Bosque dismissed talk that the holders were dealt a favourable UEFA Champions League draw in Monaco today.

The draw
Madrid were pooled with Italian side AS Roma, whom they faced at the same stage last season, Greek league runners-up AEK Athens FC and Belgian champions KRC Genk.

Del Bosque's assessment
Del Bosque was philosophical in his assessment of Madrid's rivals. "There are always optimists who say the draw is in our favour while others will say that anyone who has qualified for the Champions League is strong opposition."

Optimistic Butragueño
Madrid's general manager, Emilio Butragueño, is clearly one of the optimists. "I have to admit it could have been much worse as we may have drawn stronger teams so we can't complain," he said.

No complaints
Neither did Roma president Franco Sensi have any complaints. "The group is made up of one strong team like Real, one reasonably tough team like AEK and an average side in Genk. We have been treated kindly," he said.

Revenge mission
Sensi is looking forward to the chance to earn revenge over Madrid, who defeated coach Fabio Capello's side in Rome last term. "It will be a spectacular match against Real. Our problem will be that we're without Francesco Totti, who is injured, and the suspended Gabriel Batistuta and Francesco Lima. At least our first match will be at home, that’s a key factor."

'A tough group'
AEK coach Dusan Bajevic, meanwhile, admitted his side faced a difficult task. "It's definitely a tough group," he said. "But we'll try to do the best we can. You never know what can happen in football but there's no reason to give up and say that it's all over."