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Bayern Munich to face Barcelona, Inter Milan after Champions League group stage draw


(CNN) Bayern Munich will face Barcelona and Inter Milan in this season’s Champions League group stage after the draw took place on Thursday in Istanbul.

It will see Barcelona’s new summer signing, Robert Lewandowski, face his old team, for whom he scored 344 goals in 375 appearances, second most for the club behind Gerd Müller, including 50 goals in 46 games last season.

The two behemoths of European football were drawn into Group C alongside fellow giants Inter Milan and Czech champions Viktoria Plzeň.

After a disappointing season last year — failing to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in 17 years — Barcelona will be aiming to get back to the final stages at the first time of asking.

Armed with a whole host of new signings, Barca face quite the task to qualify though against German champions Bayern, 2020-21 Italian champions Inter Milan and reigning Czech champions Viktoria Plzeň.

Elsewhere, reigning Champions League winners Real Madrid was drawn into Group F alongside RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic.
Real won its 14th Champions League title in Paris last season, beating Liverpool 1-0.

Ukrainian side Shakhtar began its club season on Tuesday, as the Ukrainian Premier League started again after Russia’s invasion of the country.

Also, new Manchester City striker, Erling Haaland, will travel to face his old club, Borussia Dortmund, in the group stage.

Haaland and City were drawn against Dortmund, Sevilla and Copenhagen, meaning after scoring 85 goals in 88 appearances in the yellow and black of the German club, he will be facing his former team sooner than he would have thought.

Last year’s beaten finalists Liverpool was pitted against Ajax, Napoli and Rangers.
The first round of group stage fixtures take place on September 6 and 7.

Alongside the draw, UEFA — European football’s governing body — announced a series of individual awards handed out for personal achievements of the last year.

England manager Sarina Wiegman was named UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year having guided her side to victory at Euro 2022.

Carlo Ancelotti was later named UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year, after leading Real Madrid to the Spanish league title and its 14th Champions League crown; his fourth as a manager.
Barca and Spain star Alexia Putellas was named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, becoming the first player to win the award twice in a row.

And finally, Karim Benzema won UEFA Men’s Player of the Year after a stellar season upfront from Real Madrid.

Draw in full
Group A: Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers
Group B: Porto, Atlético Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge
Group C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Viktoria Plzeň
Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting Lisbon, Marseille
Group E: AC Milan, Chelsea, RB Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb
Group F: Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic
Group G: Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, Copenhagen
Group H: Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa


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