The UEFA Champions League draws held in Istanbul, Turkey, on Thursday saw huge clashes and a return to familiar grounds for some players who moved recently.
The 2022/2023 UCL season is expected to have a slightly different schedule compared to previous seasons, but it is not expected to be short on exciting clashes.
Holders Real Madrid are placed in group F alongside German side RB Leipzig, Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, and Celtic.
Last year’s losing finalist Liverpool were paired in group A with Dutch champions Ajax, Italians Napoli, and Rangers, who are making their first appearance since 2010.
Group B will see Porto tackle Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, and Belgian club Club Brugges.
The biggest attraction is in Group C, where Bayern Munich will see the return of their former Polish striker Robert Lewandowski as they were paired with Barcelona. The other group occupants are Inter Milan and Czech side Viktoria Plzen.
There is also a German return for Erling Haaland, who will face his former side Dortmund. The Norwegian moved to the Premier League with Manchester City. The Premier League champions got as far as the Semifinals before they were ousted by Real Madrid.
However, they will need to navigate a group that has Sevilla and Copenhagen.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was named the UEFA Men’s player of the year award winner, while Carlo Ancellotti was named the manager of the year.
Group stage draw in full:
Group A: Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers
Group B: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Bruges
Group C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Viktoria Plzen
Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham, Sporting Lisbon, Marseille
Group E: AC Milan, Chelsea, RB Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb
Group F: Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic
Group G: Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, FC Copenhagen
Group H: Paris St-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu