2021/22 UEFA Champions League draw: All you need to know
The draw for the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League group stage was announced on Thursday. Manchester City will lock horns with Paris Saint-Germain in one of the biggest clashes this season. Reigning champions Chelsea will face Juventus in Group H, while Barcelona will square off with Bayern Munich (Group E). Meanwhile, Manchester United are drawn against Villarreal. Here are further details.
Here are the groups (A-F)
Group A: Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, Club Brugge Group B: Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, FC Porto, AC Milan Group C: Sporting CP, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas Group D: Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Sheriff Tiraspol Group E: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kiev Group F: Villarreal, Manchester United, Atalanta, Young Boys
2021/22 UCL group stage draw
A Messi-Ronaldo face-off?
The City-PSG match sets up a possible clash between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It is understood that City are on the verge of signing Ronaldo. Meanwhile, Messi will play for the first time since parting ways with Barcelona. City overcame PSG 4-1 to reach last season's Champions League finale. However, they lost 1-0 to eventual champions Chelsea.
Barcelona and Bayern Munich to meet in Group E
Barcelona and Bayern Munich will clash in Group E. The two sides will meet for the first time since Bayern trounced Barca 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-finals in August 2020. This was the worst-ever defeat for Catalans in the Champions League history. Bayern had become the first team to score eight goals in the tournament's knockout-round game.
Liverpool to face Atletico Madrid
Liverpool will face Atletico Madrid in Group B. Atletico defeated Liverpool (4-2) in the last 16 clash in the previous season. Liverpool will return to Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, the venue where they won the Champions League in 2019.
AC Milan return to Champions League
AC Milan will also feature in Group B alongside Liverpool and Atletico. They return to the Champions League for the first time since 2014. AC Milan are the second-most successful team in the Champions League history with seven wins. However, they haven't won a title in over a decade. They last won in 2007 by defeating Liverpool 2-1 in the final.
Jorginho named Player of the Year (male)
In another development, Chelsea mid-fielder Jorginho won the best male Player of the Year award. The 29-year-old became only the tenth player to win a European Cup and Euro in the same year, last season. Barcelona's Alexia Putellas clinched the women's award. Meanwhile, Denmark medical team and captain Simon Kjaer, who helped save the life of mid-fielder Christian Eriksen, won the UEFA President's Award.