Champions League draw: Ronaldo’s Juventus get Messi’s Barcelona in group stage

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will face one another within the Champions League group stage for the primary time.

Messi’s Barcelona was drawn from the pot of second-seeded groups Thursday into the group where Ronaldo’s Juventus group was already positioned as a prime seed. The group was later accomplished by Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencváros.

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The 35-year-old Ronaldo and the 33-year-old Messi had a nine-year rivalry within the Spanish league when the Portugal star was with Real Madrid. However, they may by no means face one another so early within the Champions League then as a result of golf equipment from the identical nation are separated within the draw.

They did meet within the 2009 finishing, when Messi scored as Barcelona beat Ronaldo’s Manchester United 2-0.

Juventus and Barcelona have been paired within the group stage of the 2017-18 season — Ronaldo’s last in Madrid when he helped Real win a fourth Champions League title in 5 seasons. Messi scored twice in a 3-Zero residence win over Juventus, earlier than the groups drew 0-Zero in Italy.

The stellar conflict of superstars still left area for intriguing attracts within the different seven teams.

Defending champion Bayern Munich was grouped with Atlético Madrid, Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Paris Saint-Germain, the overwhelmed finalist last season, was reunited with Manchester United — which it misplaced to within the round of 16 in 2019 — and Leipzig, which it beat on this yr’s semifinals. Newcomer Istanbul Başakşehir can be in that group.

Liverpool, the 2019 champion, is top-seeded in a bunch of groups with reputations for enjoying open attacking soccer — Ajax, Atalanta and Midtjylland of Denmark, one other Champions League debutant.

Six-time European champion Liverpool and four-time winner Ajax have met just one time earlier than within the competition, in 1966. Ajax eradicated Liverpool from the European Cup second round after a 5-1 first leg win in Amsterdam.

Real Madrid, the record 13-time champion, heads a bunch with storied European histories together with Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Sevilla and Chelsea, winners of the previous two Europa League titles, will play two further Champions League newcomers, Krasnodar and Rennes.

Manchester City, looking for its first title, was second-seeded in a bunch with two former winners, Porto and Marseille, plus Olympiakos.

Zenit St. Petersburg, top-seeded as Russian league champion, will play Borussia Dortmund, Lazio and Club Brugge.

UEFA will publish a full match schedule Friday. The group stage begins on Oct. 20 and is scheduled to run by Dec. 9.

Games may be made up till Jan. 28 if any are postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[Attribution HT.]

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