The UEFA Champions League draw took place earlier today, with the UEFA awards also being distributed at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. However, the centre of attention were the groups being seeded and the gigantic group A which includes European goliaths Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
The two infamously met in the Round of 16 encounter two years ago, when Madrid recorded a relatively easy win to destroy the European dreams for the Parisians. Club Brugge and Galatasaray complete the grou.. UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool were drawn with Napoli, Belgian side Genk and Austrian giants RB Salzburg.
Fellow finalists Tottenham Hotspur are pitted against five-time champions Bayern Munich, Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade, and are good value with bookmakers – you can use this bet365 signup offer – to qualify for the knockout stages once again. Premier League champions Manchester City were again placed in a relatively easy group alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta. Italian champions Juventus were drawn against last year’s opponents Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moskva.
However, the predominant “group of death” this season is probably group F, which consists of Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and Slavia Praha. The Spanish champions should be favourites for the title this time after securing Antoine Griezmann’s services and being very close to completing a sensational return for Neymar. Inter Milan, rejuvenated under Antonio Conte, embark on a new era while Borussia Dortmund will look to redeem last season’s failures.
Chelsea have also been drawn in a relatively tricky group alongside Ajax, Valencia and Lille. Last season’s surprise semi-finalists might’ve been stripped of their top stars, but are still a resounding threat along with last season’s UEFA Europa League semi-finalists Valencia and French side Lille.
Moreover, Group G also includes some good teams with RB Leipzig, Olympique Lyonnais, Benfica and Zenit St Petersburg being pitted against each other in what should be some thrilling, close encounters between evenly matched teams.
The UEFA awards were also handed out to the winners, with Liverpool’s Allison receiving the “Best Goalkeeper” award for his heroics last season.
Frenkie De Jong won the “Best Midfielder” award after his brilliant showing against the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus in what was a stunning campaign for Ajax. Lionel Messi bagged the “Best Forward” award after finishing the 2018/19 Champions League campaign with 12 goals!
Lucy Bronze won the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award after her impressive performance in the FIFA Women’s World Cup earlier this year for England. However, the biggest surprise was reserved for last when Virgil Van Dijk defied the odds to win the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year.
He becomes the only defender in history to win this award and is now a big favourite for FIFA’s “Best” player of the year award as well!