Holders Real Madrid will face Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League group stage while five-time winners Barcelona were drawn with last season’s runners-up Juventus yesterday.
Zinedine Zidane’s side are chasing a third successive European title and fourth in five seasons after demolishing Italian champions Juventus 4-1 in Cardiff in June.
Aside from Spurs, English teams received slightly easier draws, with Chelsea’s matchup with Atletico Madrid among the more challenging matchups, while Liverpool will face Sevilla.
Manchester United will face Benfica, FC Basel and CSKA Moscow in Group A, while Manchester City get Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli and Feyenoord in Group F.
Teams were drawn into eight groups of four. Clubs from the same national association — as well as Russian and Ukrainian clubs — could not be drawn together. The first group games will be played on Sept. 12-13.
League they are a very strong team.”
Tottenham forward Harry Kane said he was excited to line up against the defending champions.
“It’s a great draw. You expect to play the best in Europe in the Champions League and it’s exciting for us. We look forward to these games. You want to test yourself against the best and Real Madrid are the best at the moment,” said Kane.
Barcelona beat Juventus 3-1 in the 2015 final but the Spanish club have endured a difficult month with Neymar departing for Paris Saint-Germain in a mammoth 222-million-euro ($261 million) deal.
They will also come up against Greek champions Olympiakos and Sporting Lisbon in a competitive Group D.
“It is a high level group with four historic teams. We will be fighting against a well known rival in Juventus and the games against them will condition our chances in the group,” said Barca general manager Pep Segura.
Juventus director general Beppe Marotta said Barca were a weaker side following the record-breaking sale of Neymar.
“Missing a player like Neymar weighs heavily. We’ll have to see how they intend to replace him. But Barcelona remain a top quality side with great individual players,” Marotta told Italia 1.