On Wednesday Real Madrid begins the serious phase of defending the title of Champions League while he goes to Amsterdam to take the Ajax of Erik ten Hag.
The Dutch side has always been fertile ground for some of the best talents and the maturity shown by young people is a smokescreen for their age.
Real has suffered an overwhelming first half of the season, but has leapt into life in recent weeks and will try to get half of the work done on the road.
Let's examine some of the players who could make a difference in this exciting installation.
The spell of Tadic with Southampton failed to come out as he would have expected. But the Serbian enjoyed a career recovery in Amsterdam, performing brilliantly in Europe.
The winger scored five goals and provided an assist in the Champions League this season. He also scored twice in a 3-3 draw against Ajax against Bayern Munich in the final group stage game.
Bare in mind is not even known to be particularly prolific. Tadic is the player who has a keen eye for ball throws and boasts an impressive 2.6 key passages every 90 minutes in Eredivisie and 2.0 in the Champions League.
He will want his chance against a rickety Daniel Carvajal and the right-back could do with an extra pair of legs to help him overcome the Serb.
The Frenchman showed clear signs of decline after a disastrous start to the season. However, he seems to have recovered his talent in the last two games and the draw against Ajax could be the perfect way to make a strong and clear statement that he has not finished yet.
Benzema is back to doing what he does best – connecting with the midfielders, holding back the defenders, creating space for the attackers and basically, completing the opportunities that should be finished.
The four-time Champions League winner will have to channel his inner virtuoso if Madrid is to progress further.
The Brazilian prodigy boy has performed at a level higher than normal in the games that preceded this crucial draw. At the age of 18, he toured some of the best defenders in Spain.
Vinicius began the move that led to the opening race of Lucas Vascquez on El Clasico and won an important penalty in the derby. He is trying to make three big games in a row while he runs into a defense of Ajax who has conceded six goals to Feyenoord not long ago
The duel of the Brazilian with the actress of Ajax Matthijs de Ligt will be one to keep eye for.
MATTHIJS DE LIGT
An undisputed starter and a crucial element of the club's and nation's crucial point in the country, de Ligt will have to play one of the best games of his career so far to stop a hot team of Madrid.
The Dutchman has attracted the interests of the best European clubs like Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. A solid performance against the defending champions could do very well for his titles in the summer transfer market.
De Ligt was able to ward off any threats that Kylian Mbappe posed when the couple met in the UEFA Nations League in 2018 and the boy completely out of the game. But how it reacts to Vinicius – another young talent on the wings – remains to be seen.