CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW
Great rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will finally do battle once again in the UEFA Champions League group stage this season after Juventus were pitted against Barcelona in yesterday’s draw.
It will be the first time both football icons will face off since 2018 when Ronaldo left Real Madrid to join Juventus.
The draw was concluded at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, with the pick of the fixtures being the high profile Group G showdown between the wounded animal of Barca and European under-performers Juve.
Premier League clubs have also learned their fate with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool set to go up against two tricky opponents in Ajax and Atalanta in Group D, while the returning Manchester United will once against meet Paris Saint Germain in the competition.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have not been afforded a pleasant welcome home party to European football’s premier competition, and will also have to overcome last season’s semi-finalists RB Leipzig in Group H while also contending with a trip to Istanbul Basaksehir.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City missed a horror draw against the likes of current holders Bayern Munich or Spanish royalty Real Madrid, and will instead face a trip to Portugal to lock horns with Porto, before meeting Olympiacos and Marseille in Group C.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea find themselves in a testing group with last season’s Europa League winners Sevilla, along with FC Krasnodar of Russia and Rennes.
Holders Bayern Munich face a tasty encounter with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, with potential dark horses RB Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow also joining the two giants in Group A.
Group B sees Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid go up against Serie A giants Inter Milan, with Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Monchengladbach making up the places.
Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund may well be breathing a sigh of relief and will fancy their chances of progression, after being drawn in Group F alongside Zenit St Petersburg, Lazio and Brugges.
The Group Stage Draw
Group A: Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow
Group B: Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Bo’Mo’gladbach
Group C: Porto, Manchester City, Olympiakos, Marseille
Group D: Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland
Group E: Sevilla, Chelsea, FK Krasnodar, Rennes
Group F: Zenit St Petersburg, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Bruges
Group G: Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencvaros
Group H: Paris St-Germain, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, Basaksehir