The Blancos were paired with Juventus, Galatasaray and Copenhagen in Thursday’s draw in Monaco, and the former striker admitted that the new coach’s familiarity with Italian football may be the tipping factor as his side search for top spot in Group B.
“It is a tough group and it is very important to finish top because in the knockouts it is crucial to play the second game at home, and also playing a runner-up is better,” Butragueno told Goal.
“The two games with Juventus are important, but then every game is. Carlo is a very experienced coach, and of course being Italian he knows perfectly how we can compete against Juventus. But it's not just that, I think in general he is a great coach and will bring experience to every game.”
Madrid open their group campaign with a trip to Galatasaray, whom they eliminated in the quarter-finals of last season’s competition despite an away-leg defeat, and the 50-year-old told the assembled press that he is expecting another rough ride at the Turk Telecom Arena.
“It is a great atmosphere. The support they give to their players is immense. The fans are fantastic. Also, I must say that the Galatasaray people were extremely friendly when we were there and were great hosts. But they are a great team so they will make it very difficult for us.”
Butragueno was quick to play down talk of Madrid winning a 10th Champions League crown, saying La Decima is a long way off at this stage of the season.
“We play in every competition to win, of course, and we will try to do our best. But every detail is going to be important, so we have to be focused on the group stage and try to qualify for the next round. But this competition is extremely difficult.”
The record nine-time champions have not won a European title since their 2-1 success over Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 final at Hampden Park in Glasgow.