Villarreal have also had a good summer after their fifth-place finish last season with the arrival of the experienced Unai Emery as coach followed by the bargain signings of Valencia due Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin, along with a loan for the exciting winger Taka Kobe from Real Madrid.
Marcos Llorente impressed for Atletico last season and Diego Costa showed signs of life, but the club needs record signing Joao Felix to step forward and show why they paid 120 million euros for him a year ago.
"It means a lot. That's what we practice for. That's what we were trying to do in these five months off, working for this moment," Soares said.
Jordi Cruyff's debut as Shenzhen Kaisa was bitter but the Dutch said he was satisfied with his players.
AFC said the request for a postponement of the Group matches cannot be accommodated because of the advanced preparations in which many teams have already traveled to Qatar for the competition, to be restarted on Sept. 14. Enditem
Celta were even closer to the drop than Eibar and have waved goodbye to important loanees Rafinha and Jeison Murillo, while Fiodor Smolov and Pione Sisto have also left.
While Valencia look to be crisis, 50 kilometers up the road in Villarreal everything is a lot more positive. Although some may think sacking coach Javier Calleja after finishing fifth was a harsh decision, Unai Emery is an excellent replacement.
Stage One involves 32 groups of four players, with the player who tops each group progressing to Stage Two.
Fabio Cannavaro's Guangzhou Evergrande stay atop the table with 25 points, seven points clear of Jiangsu Suning.
Shenzhen took an early lead in the fourth minute, when John Mary hit the ball into the net after receiving a volley pass from Gao Lin. The Cameroonian striker added his second goal six minutes later thanks to a critical mistake made by Henan defender Han Xuan.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, all the big international sports events including tennis came to a grinding halt early in the year.