Football

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo to renew rivalry in Champions League

Barca drawn with Juve, while Man United will have it tough against PSG, Leipzig

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will come up against each other in this season's Champions League after Barcelona and Juventus were placed in the same group in last night's draw.

The two heavyweights were drawn in Group G along with Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine and Hungarian side Ferencvaros.

Messi and Ronaldo will resume the rivalry they developed when the Portuguese superstar was at Real Madrid. Between them, they have won 11 of the last 12 Ballons d'Or.

Meanwhile, beaten 2020 finalists Paris Saint-Germain will have a chance for revenge against Manchester United, who ousted the French club in the last 16 two seasons ago.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men will face a tough battle, with last season's semi-finalists RB Leipzig and Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir completing Group H.

PSG beat Leipzig 3-0 in last season's semi-finals in Lisbon in August, before losing to Bayern Munich in their first final appearance.

Manchester City, who are still hoping to reach their first final, should have it easy.

Pep Guardiola's men are expected to top Group C, which also comprises Porto, Olympiakos and Marseille.

English Premier League champions Liverpool, who won the Champions League in 2019, will face Ajax Amsterdam, Atalanta and Midtjylland in Group D.

Holders Bayern will meet Atletico Madrid and will also have a short trip across the border to Austria to take on Red Bull Salzburg in Group A.

Bayern swept all but one of the Uefa men's individual awards, which were given out during the draw - with Manuel Neuer (Goalkeeper of the Season), Joshua Kimmich (Defender of the Season), Robert Lewandowski (Forward and Player of the Season) and Hansi Flick (Coach of the Season) earning accolades.

Manchester City's talisman Kevin de Bruyne was named the Midfielder of the Season.

The Champions League group stage starts on Oct 20, with all six rounds of games crammed into eight weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. The final will be in Istanbul. - AFP


Group A

  • Bayern Munich
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Red Bull Salzburg
  • Lokomotiv Moscow

Group B

  • Real Madrid
  • Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Inter Milan
  • Borussia Moenchengladbach

Group C

  • Porto
  • Manchester City
  • Olympiakos
  • Marseille

Group D

  • Liverpool
  • Ajax Amsterdam
  • Atalanta
  • Midtjylland

Group E

  • Sevilla
  • Chelsea
  • Krasnodar
  • Rennes

Group F

  • Zenit St Petersburg
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • Lazio
  • Club Brugge

Group G

  • Juventus
  • Barcelona
  • Dynamo Kiev
  • Ferencvaros

Group H

  • Paris St Germain
  • Manchester United
  • RB Leipzig
  • Istanbul Basaksehir
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