UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw: Messi vs Ronaldo in UCL; PSG, Man United in group H

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will face-off once again as Barcelona and Juventus have been drawn in the same group, while Group H will see PSG, Man United and RB Leipzig lock horns.

The UEFA Champions League group stage draw for the 2020/21 season threw up some interesting groupings, with Barcelona and Juventus being drawn in the same group.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will face each other in the Champions League group stage for the first time.

Messi’s Barcelona was drawn from the pot of second-seeded teams Thursday into Group G,  where Ronaldo’s Juventus team was already placed as a top seed.

 

The 35-year-old Ronaldo and the 33-year-old Messi had a long-standing rivalry in the Spanish league when the Portugal star was with Real Madrid, but have never faced each other so early in the Champions League.

They did meet in the 2009 final, when Messi scored as Barcelona beat Ronaldo and Manchester United 2-0.

 

The two teams will be joined by Dynamo Kiev and Ferencavaros. Dynamo has appeared in the competition 37 times, while Ferencavaros will make it Champions League debut.

Another group which is likely to provide Group G tough competition for the "Group of death" title is Group H, consisting of last season's finalist Paris Saint-Germain, three-time champion Manchester United and last year's semifinalis RB Leipzig.

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Istanbul Basaksehir, the team from the city which will host the final, completed the final group's line-up.

Newly-crowned champion Bayern Munich was the first team to be picked on the night and it was placed in Group A. It will be up against three-time runner-up Atletico Madrid, FC Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow. While Salzburg will be taking part in the group stage for the third time, while the Moscow-based outfit will make its third-consecutive group stage appearance.

The most succcessful team in Europe, with 13 titles, Real Madrid was the second team to be picked on the night. It will take on Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund.

Shakhtar Donetsk will make its 13th group stage appearance in 15 seasons and has last year's Seria A runner-up Inter and German side Monchegladbach for company in group B.  Inter hasn't reached the last 16 since 2012 but will fancy its chances in the upcoming season.

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Two-time European champion FC Porto, which last won the title in 2004, was the third team to be picked from the first pot. Pe Guardiola's Manchester City, Olympiakos and winner of the first-ever edition of the UEFA Champions League, Marseille, were also drawnin Group C.

Six-time European champion Liverpool was drawn in Group D as the top seed. It will joined by Dutch giant Ajax, which made headlines with a stellar run in 2019 and one of Italy's best attacking side, Atalanta. Gian Piero Gasperini's side powered its way to the quartefinals on its debut last season. UCL debutant and Danish team FC Midtyjlland completed the group line-up.

The most successful team in the UEFA Europa League history Sevilla FC, which won the recently concluded season, was the fifth team to be picked from pot one. Chelsea, which won the UEFA Champions League title in 2012, will be joined by Champions League debutant FC Krasnoda and Stade Rennais in Group E.

Zenit FC was the sixth team to be picked from pot one as the top seed of Group F. Borussia Dortmund, champion in 1997 and runner-up in 2013, was drawn in the same group. SS Lazio and Club Brugge, the only team from Belgium to reach the final of this competition, will also feature in this group.

The group stage of the Champions League kick-off on October 20. Matchday 1 will be played on October 20 and 21 and UEFA will allow home fans to attend Champions League games up to 30% capacity, starting next week with national team's matches.

 

FULL GROUP STAGE DRAW

Group A: Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow

Group B: Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter, Monchengladbach

Group C: Porto, Manchester City, Olympiakos, Marseille

Group D: Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland

Group E: Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes

Group F: Zenit, Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge

Group G: Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencvaros

Group H: PSG, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir

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