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Inter begin mission to defend crown

Ahead of today's big 2010/11 UEFA Champions League kick-off, top clubs across Europe are primed for their annual quest to lift the continent’s most coveted trophy. With competition as high as ever, holders Inter Milan will need to be at their very best if they are to achieve their stated objective of becoming the first side to defend the title since 1990.

Thirty-two teams from 18 nations make up this year’s group stage, with six sides making their debut in the competition. England’s clubs, unable to overcome the quarter-final hurdle last time around, are back with a vengeance; with four participants, the Premier League is better represented than any other national championship.

The first round of fixtures should also see the tournament’s 5,000-goal barrier broken, with the current total sitting at 4,992.

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