The UEFA Champions League 2018/19 group stage draw, featuring more teams from Europe’s top five leagues and fewer representatives from the smaller ones, takes place Thursday in Monaco.
The last campaign was won by Spanish Giants, Real Madrid. It was their third consecutive time of winning the trophy and 13th time overall. They beat Liverpool 3-1 in Kiev in May.
Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are the Premier League representatives. Apart from Real, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are the other teams from the La Liga sides.
None of the top seeds can play each other, so Real will not be drawn in the same group as Ronaldo’s new club Juventus. Teams from the same country will be kept apart in the group stage as well.
But Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, five-time European champions, are among the leading names not in Pot 1, along with fellow Premier League clubs Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
They will all be hoping to avoid the biggest names in Pot 1, with Russian champions Lokomotiv Moscow the least imposing name of all the top seeds.
There are some fresh names appearing in this year’s group stage. Former winners Inter Milan make a notable return to the competition for the first time since 2011/12.
AEK Athens make their return after more than a decade, while Swiss champions Young Boys and German club Hoffenheim are in the group stage for the first time.
TEAMS BY POT
Pot 1: Real Madrid (ESP), Atletico Madrid (ESP), Barcelona (ESP), Bayern Munich (GER), Manchester City (ENG), Juventus (ITA), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS)
Pot 2: Borussia Dortmund (GER), Porto (POR), Manchester United (ENG), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Napoli (ITA), Tottenham Hotspur (ENG), Roma (ITA), Benfica (POR)
Pot 3: Liverpool (ENG), PSV Eindhoven (NED), Schalke 04 (GER), Lyon (FRA), Monaco (FRA), Ajax (NED), CSKA Moscow (RUS), Valencia (ESP)
Pot 4: Club Brugge (BEL), Galatasaray (TUR), Young Boys (SUI), Inter Milan (ITA), Hoffenheim (GER), AEK Athens (GRE), Red Star Belgrade (SRB), Viktoria Plzen (CZE)
Follow our live updates..
5:03 pm: David Beckham and many other dignitaries entering the draw arena amidst photographs.
5:05 pm: The host, Pedro Pinto takes the stage, welcomes everybody to the draw.
A recap of the 2017/2018 champions league campaign currently ongoing.
Aleksander Čeferin , the UEFA president takes stage to present 2018 UEFA President’s award to David Beckham.
Mr Čeferin said Beckham was the player that stood out for him to take this years’ award. Last years award was won by Bobby Charlton.
Beckham takes stage to recieve the award. He said winning the treble with Manchester united was the highlight of his career. He said he used his position to help children through UNICEF
Former Athletico winger, Diego Forlan and former Brazilian striker, Kaka takes to pick the first draw.
Champions league goalkeeper award 2017/2018 award goes to Real Madrid keeper, Keylor Navas
A preview of the draw’s technical procedure.
A quick reminder of the pots before the draw begins
Pot 1: R Madrid, A Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, PSG, Lokomotiv Moscow
Pot 2: Dortmund, Porto, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Benfica, Napoli, Tottenham, Roma
Pot 3: Liverpool, Schalke, Lyon, Monaco, Ajax, CSKA Moscow, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia
Pot 4: Viktoria Plzen, Club Brugge, Galatasaray, Young Boys, Inter Milan, Hoffenheim, Red Star Belgrade, AEK Athens
Meet the debutants
In Pot 4, there are two teams that will make their Champions League debuts in the 2018-19 campaign.
German outfit Hoffenheim, who qualified in fourth ahead of Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig, will be hoping to enjoy their first and last campaign in Europe under boss Julian Nagelsmann, who will take over at Leipzig in 2019.
Kaka picks from pot 1. He picked PSG.
Forlan Picks group C for PSG. Kaka deeps hand in draw again and picks Real Madrid for Group G.
Bayern Munich picked for Group E.
While Kaka pick the teams, Forlan Picks the groups. They are currently picking from pot 1.
Fc Barcelona in Group B while Athletico Madrid lands in Group A.
Juventus in the team of Group H and champions of England, Manchester City gets Group F as champions of Russia FC Lokomotiv Moscow in Group D.
Draws from Pot 1 ends.
Real Madrid Captain, Sergio Ramos awarded Champions League Defender of the season.
Draws from Pot 2 begins.
Fc porto gets Group D while Roma is placed in Group G. Roma is pitched against holders, Real Madrid.
Manchester United in Group H with Juventus as Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford.
Borussia Dortmund lands in Group A with Athletico Madrid.
Fc Shakhtar Donetsk in Group F together with Manchester City.
Benfica and Bayern Munich in Group F and Napoli draws Group C with PSG.
And Tottenham goes into Group B with Barcelona.
Pot 2 Draw ends…
Another Madrid player, Luka Modric steps on the stage to receive award of Best midfielder of the UEFA champions league 2017/2018 season.He said Madrid will try to lift the trophy for the fourth time consecutively.
A tough draw for Liverpool, who will face PSG and Napoli.
Group A | Atletico Madrid, Dortmund, AS Monaco
Group B | Barcelona, Tottenham, PSV Eindhoven
Group C | PSG, Napoli, Liverpool
Group D | Lokomotiv Moscow, Porto, Schalke
Group E | Bayern Munich, Benfica, Ajax
Group F | Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon
Group G | Real Madrid, Roma, CSKA Moscow
Group H | Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia
A nightmare for Tottenham, who now have Inter Milan to contend with along with Barcelona and PSV in Group B.
Liverpool will face a testing trip to Serbia as well as the Champions League regulars PSG and Napoli – not an easy task for last year’s finalist.
Manchester United will have to face Juventus but with Valencia and Young Boys in the group, Jose Mourinho will fancy his chances of qualifying. Manchester City have been handed a more favourable draw.
Group A | Atletico Madrid, Dortmund, AS Monaco, Club Brugge
Group B | Barcelona, Tottenham, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan
Group C | PSG, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade
Group D | Lokomotiv Moscow, Porto, Schalke, Galatasaray
Group E | Bayern Munich, Benfica, Ajax, AEK Athens
Group F | Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Hoffenheim
Group G | Real Madrid, Roma, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen
Group H | Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia, Young Boys
That concludes the draw.
The award of the UEFA Men’s Player of the award goes to Luka Modric.
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Ebuka Onyeji is a health reporter at PREMIUM TIMES. He also has a penchant for music and art. Ebuka holds a degree in Mass communication from Anambra State University.
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