The reigning champions of two of Europe’s biggest leagues, Real Madrid and Manchester City of the Spanish La Liga and English premier league respectively have been drawn together in the UEFA Champions League group stage matches.
The Spanish giants and their Premier League counterparts were drawn against each other in Group D which also has Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund and Dutch powerhouse Ajax Amsterdam.
The competition’s titleholders Chelsea will battle with little-known Danish league champions FC Nordsjaelland, Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk and Serie A giants Juventus.
Perennial favourites Barcelona have drawn Glasgow giants Celtic, Portuguese side Benfica and Russian outfit Spartak Moscow while last year’s losing finalists Bayern Munich will entertain French side Lille, La Liga outfit Valencia and Belarusian side BATE Borisov in Group F.
Group A will have big spending Paris Saint Germain, Dinamo Zagreb, Porto and Dynamo Kiev while Group B has Arsenal, Schalke, Olympiakos and Ligue 1 Champions Montpellier.
AC Milan, Zenit St Petersburg, Anderlecht and Malaga are in Group C while Manchester United, Braga, Galatasaray and CFR Cluj are in Group H.
Meanwhile Barcelona midfield kingpin Andres Iniesta beat off stiff competition from the world’s two best players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to land the UEFA best player award for the past season. The skilful playmaker garnered just two votes more than his Barcelona teammate Messi and Real Madrid’s Ronaldo.
The Fuentealbilla-born 28-year-old had a good season as he was named the European Championships player of the tournament when he helped Spain win the UEFA Euro 2012 title in Ukraine and Poland in July.
Full UEFA Champions League Draw:
Group A: Porto, Dynamo Kiev, Dinamo Zagreb, Paris St Germain
Group B: Arsenal, Schalke, Olympiakos, Montpellier
Group C: AC Milan, Malaga, Zenit St Petersburg, Anderlecht
Group D: Real Madrid, Manchester City, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund
Group E: Shakhtar Donetsk, Chelsea, Juventus, FC Nordsjaelland
Group F: Bayern Munich, Valencia, Lille, BATE Borisov
Group G: Barcelona, Celtic, Benfica, Spartak Moscow
Group H: Braga, Galatasaray, Manchester United, CFR Cluj
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