Martin Skrtel today declared himself pleased with Liverpool's Champions League draw and confessed: 'I wanted us to get Real Madrid!'
The Reds will tackle the trophy holders in Group B of the tournament, as well as FC Basel and Ludogorets Razgrad.
Skrtel is optimistic about Liverpool's chances of progression from the group, and admits he can't wait to pit his wits against Real.
"The draw was alright for us," he reflected to Liverpoolfc.com at Melwood. "We got Real, who are one of the biggest favourites for the Champions League - and I was wishing we'd get them, so I'm quite happy about that.
"Then we have Basel, who are a good team, and Ludogorets Razgrad, who will be tough. But I think - and hope - we can beat them and get to the next stage."
Expanding on why he was eager to be drawn against Madrid, Skrtel explained: "Because they are one of the biggest teams in the world, so it's a great thing to play against them and in a stadium like the Santiago Bernabeu.
"It's going to be a great game for the fans and players, so I'm looking forward to it."
Skrtel was part of the previous Liverpool team that took on Real back in the last 16 stage of the Champions League in 2008-09.
The Slovakian played in both legs as the Reds ran out comprehensive 5-0 aggregate winners.
"We beat them away and then the game at Anfield when we beat them 4-0 was a great night for us," he recalled.
"Obviously both teams are different now, but they're going to be interesting games."
Though pleased to have drawn Mardrid, Skrtel is eager to stress that Basel and Ludogorets cannot be underestimated.
"There are no easy games," he said. "We've seen it in the past when Basel played against Chelsea and gave them a tough game.
"It won't be easy, but I believe in our qualities and I can promise we'll all be doing our best to get to the next stage."
More pressingly for Liverpool is a trip to White Hart Lane on Sunday to go head to head with early Barclays Premier League pacesetters Tottenham Hotspur.
With a two-week international break to follow, Skrtel feels it's vital the Reds sign off with a positive outcome.
"It's tough for us because to play City away and then Tottenham away is not easy," he said.
"We lost at City, but now we have to do our best to get the three points at Spurs because we cannot lose two games in a row. We'll have to work really hard to get the three points at White Hart Lane.
"There's an international break with all the players going away, so it's important for our confidence to get something there.
"I hope it's going to be a different game than it was against City with a better return for us."
In last season's corresponding fixture, Liverpool conjured up one of their finest performances of the campaign as they ran riot in a stunning 5-0 win.
Meanwhile, in the return meeting at Anfield, the Reds were in cruise control as they hit four without reply.
Skrtel continued: "Tottenham have started the season well. They have a new manager and some new players, and they are high on confidence. But we beat them twice last season and absolutely dominated them in both games.
"That's what we have to think about - we have to go there with confidence and try to show them we're a better team."