Barca have been placed in Group C alongside Bayern Munich and Inter Milan
Barcelona’s new star striker Robert Lewandowski, the man tasked with filling the void created by last year’s departure of Lionel Messi from the Catalan giants, will have to overcome his former team Bayern Munich if the Spanish side are to top their Champions League group following Thursday’s draw in Istanbul.
The Polish marksman was among a rake of new additions to the cash-strapped La Liga side this summer after he left the German capital after scoring 344 goals in just 375 in his eight seasons in Bavaria in favor of sunnier climes in Spain, but will make his return to Munich a little earlier than expected after being paired with his former side in a tough group which also features Italian side Inter Milan and Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen.
Remarkably, the other big name striking export from German football, Erling Haaland, also faces a homecoming of sorts after his new club Manchester City were paired with his former team Borussia Dortmund in a group which also features Sevilla and Danish champions Copenhagen.
Elsewhere in the draw which was conducted by ex-players Yaya Toure and Hamit Altintop, Liverpool will take on Ajax, Napoli and Rangers while Chelsea will face a trip to Italy to take on Serie A champions AC Milan, as well as Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb.
Champions Real Madrid, meanwhile, will face the comparatively easier task of taking on RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic.
Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain will take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s former side Juventus, along with Benfica and Maccabi Haifa.
There is no Russian representation in this year’s iteration of the Champions League amid penalties handed down due to the country’s military operation in Ukraine.
Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg were replaced by Scottish champions Celtic in the draw, meaning that that Sergei Semak’s team would have faced holders Real Madrid, Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar and Germany’s RB Leipzig had they been permitted entry to the competition.
Group stage matches will be held between September 6 and November 2.
The 2023 Champions League Final will take place at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday June 10 next year.
https://ift.tt/bwSs2Xf 25, 2022 at 11:04PM
from RT – Daily news