THE Uefa held this Thursday, at its traditional gala at the beginning of each season to reward the best of the previous season, in Istanbul, Turkey, the draw for the group stage for the next edition of the Champions League from Europe. With many big clubs positioned in pot 2, the event defined brackets with two or more traditional teams from the continent. And one with the two richest teams on the planet: Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Rivals in the semifinals of the last edition – the English club went to the big decision -, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are part of Group A. It will be the duel of Spanish coach Pep Guardiola against Argentine star Lionel Messi, now at the French club. Joining them are the emerging and also wealthy RB Leipzig from Germany and Brugge from Belgium.
Of the other groups, two can be considered as “death”. At B, Atlético de Madrid, seeded and current Spanish champions, will face Liverpool, champions of the Champions League in 2018-2019, Milan and Porto. In E, Bayern Munich will play against Barcelona, Benfica and Dynamo Kiev, from Ukraine. It will be the first duel between Germans and Spaniards after Bayern’s 8-2 rout, in Lisbon, in the quarter-finals in 2020.
Chelsea, defending champions, got a bit of luck and fell into a more relaxed group. His main rival will be Juventus, from Italy. Zenit St.Petersburg, from Russia, and Malmoe, from Sweden, should not interfere and will fight for the third place, which will give place in the wake of the Europa League.
Easy life won’t have Manchester United. In Group F, the English team will revive the decision of the last edition of the Europa League, when they lost to Villarreal. The Spanish club heads the key that also has Atalanta, the Italian team that has been doing good campaigns in recent years. Young Boys, from Switzerland, is the underdog.
Another key that two big clubs in Europe need to be aware of is D. Internazionale, current Italian champions, are together with Real Madrid and they also face Shakhtar Donetsk, from Ukraine, which always takes work. Sheriff, the Moldovan team that will make its debut in the Champions League, is the supporting cast.
In the group stage, which will start on the 14th, the four teams from each group will face each other in six games (three at home and three away from home). The top two in each group advance to the round of 16 (the third go to the Europa League). Next, the quarterfinals, semifinals and the final will be played, which will be held at the St. Petersburg stadium, in Russia, on May 28, 2022.
Check out the Champions League groups:
A group – Manchester City-ING, Paris Saint-Germain-FRA, RB Leipzig-ALE and Brugge-BEL;
Group B – Atlético Madrid-ESP, Liverpool-ING, Porto-POR and Milan-ITA;
Group C – Sporting Lisbon-POR, Borussia Dortmund-ALE, Ajax-HOL and Besiktas-TUR;
Group D – Internazionale-ITA, Real Madrid-ESP, Shakhtar Donetsk-UCR and Sheriff-MOL;
Group E – Bayern Munich-ALE, Barcelona-ESP, Benfica-POR and Dynamo Kiev-UCR;
Group F – Villarreal-ESP, Manchester United-ING, Atalanta-ITA and Young Boys-SUI;
Group G – Lille-FRA, Sevilla-ESP, Red Bull Salzburg-AUT and Wolfsburg-ALE;
Group H – Chelsea-ING, Juventus-ITA, Zenit St.Petersburg-RUS and Malmoe-SUE.