Real Madrid's desire to win a 10th Champions League title has grown into an obsession in recent seasons. Managers who have been successful domestically have still been handed their P45 as a result of their failings in Europe.
The man charged with the task of ending the club's 12-year wait for the famous trophy this time around is Carlo Ancelotti, who won the competition twice as a player with AC Milan and on a further two occasions during his stint in charge of the Rossoneri.
Los Blancos will take on Schalke 04 in the first leg of the round of 16 on Wednesday night in Gelsenkirchen. While the two teams have never met each other before, Madrid have won just one of their 24 matches on German soil, losing 17.
If they are to improve upon that sequence of results, they will have to do so without holding midfielder Sami Khedira because he is still sidelined with a cruciate knee ligament injury. Also, both Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao are struggling with knocks, which could see Alvaro Arbeloa come in at left-back.
As for hosting Schalke, midfielders Marco Hoger and Dennis Aogo have been ruled out with injuries, but reported Madrid and Arsenal transfer target Julian Draxler should feature despite having recently suffered a thigh problem.
The German outfit, who are currently fourth in the Bundesliga table, have won five of their 11 home matches against Spanish sides in UEFA encounters.
Possible starting lineups
Schalke: Fahrmann; Hoogland, Santana, Matip, Kolasinac; Boateng, Farfan, Neustadter, Draxler, Meyer; Huntelaar
Madrid: Lopez; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Carvajal; Modric, Alonso; Di Maria, Bale, Ronaldo; Benzema
Sports Mole says: 1-2