Joe Cole thinks four clubs are more likely to win the Champions League than holders Real Madrid
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Joe Cole believes four teams are more likely to win this season's Champions League ahead of current holders Real Madrid.
Los Blancos defeated Liverpool back in May to win Europe's elite competition for a record 14th time.
Wednesday evening saw them win the UEFA Super Cup after running out 2-0 winners over last season's Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt.
Despite that dominance, BT Sport pundit Cole thinks a quartet of teams are still stronger than Carlo Ancelotti's side.
"I still think Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich above them," he admitted. "I still think there are four teams more capable of winning next year’s Champions League.
"We say it every season and it hasn't happened yet. Why is it different this season for Man City?" 🤔@JoleonLescott, Joe Cole and Owen Hargreaves have one simple answer. Erling Haaland 🤖— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 10, 2022
Is he the man to deliver #UCL glory to the Etihad? pic.twitter.com/F5L2fdEPE0
"They won the Champions League and you have to give them massive credit, they’re absolutely world-class players with a world-class manager. But think about all the stars that had to align for them to do that.
"The game against Chelsea, the game against Man City, even the final… [Thibaut] Courtois had to have the game of his career. Can they do that again?"
Real made it to the final with dramatic victories over PSG, Chelsea and City and were underdogs going into their clash with Liverpool.
If there's an unwritten rule about the Champions League, it's never write Real Madrid off.
There have been a number of chances at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, with Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni their big summer arrivals.
Isco, Gareth Bale and Marcelo have all departed and the latter's exit means Karim Benzema has been named new club captain.
"Benzema is very important, our leader," Ancelotti told Movistar per Eurosport.
"We are here mostly because of him - he scored many important goals. There are no doubts about who should win the Ballon d'Or, it should be Karim."
David Alaba opened the scoring out in Helsinki before Benzema sealed victory just past the hour mark.