Messi, Ronaldo to renew Champs League battle

Messi, Ronaldo to renew Champs League battle

GENEVA • Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will come up against each other in this season’s Champions League after Barcelona and Juventus were placed in the same group in yesterday’s draw.

The two former winners were drawn in Group G along with Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine and Hungarian side Ferencvaros.

Messi and Ronaldo will resume the rivalry they developed when the Portuguese superstar was at Real Madrid. Between them they have won 11 of the last 12 Ballon d’Or awards.

However, the duo have not clashed in the early stage of the Champions League.

They met in the 2009 final, when Messi’s Barcelona beat Ronaldo and Manchester United 2-0.

Beaten 2020 finalists Paris Saint-Germain will have a chance for revenge against United, who ousted the French club in the last 16 two seasons ago.

PSG will also come up against RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir in Group H.

PSG and Leipzig met in last season’s semi-finals in Lisbon in August, with PSG winning 3-0 before losing to Bayern Munich in their first-ever final appearance.

Holders Bayern will face Atletico Madrid and a short trip across the border to Austria to take on Salzburg in Group A. Lokomotiv Moscow complete the group.

English Premier League champions Liverpool, who won the Champions League in 2019, will face Ajax as well as Atalanta and Midtjylland in Group D.

Manchester City are in Group C with Portuguese champions Porto, Olympiakos and Marseille.

Chelsea will meet Europa League champions Sevilla in Group E, alongside Krasnodar and Rennes.

    UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE

    GROUP A

    Bayern Munich (Ger)

    Atletico Madrid (Esp)

    Salzburg (Aut)

    Lokomotiv Moscow (Rus)

    GROUP B

    Real Madrid (Esp)

    Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukr)

    Inter Milan (Ita)

    Monchengladbach (Ger)

    GROUP C

    Porto (Por)

    Manchester City (Eng)

    Olympiakos (Gre)

    Marseille (Fra)

    GROUP D

    Liverpool (Eng)

    Ajax (Ned)

    Atalanta (Ita)

    Midtjylland (Den)

    GROUP E

    Sevilla (Esp)

    Chelsea (Eng)

    Krasnodar (Rus)

    Rennes (Fra)

    GROUP F

    Zenit St Petersburg (Rus)

    Borussia Dortmund (Ger)

    Lazio (Ita)

    Club Brugge (Bel)

    GROUP G

    Juventus (Ita)

    Barcelona (Esp)

    Dynamo Kiev (Ukr)

    Ferencvaros (Hun)

    GROUP H

    Paris Saint-Germain (Fra)

    Manchester United (Eng)

    RB Leipzig (Ger)

    Istanbul Basaksehir (Tur)

The group stage starts on Oct 20, and all six rounds of games will be crammed into eight weeks in a schedule that is even more packed than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Before the draw yesterday, former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba was presented with the Uefa President’s Award.

Bayern’s Manuel Neuer was named men’s Goalkeeper of the Year and Sarah Bouhaddi of Lyon claimed the women’s honour.

Lyon’s Wendie Renard was the women’s Defender of the Year with teammate Dzsenifer Marozsan the best midfielder, while Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich was the No. 1 men’s defender and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne named best midfielder.

Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski won awards for the best men’s forward and overall best player, while new Chelsea signing Pernille Harder was named the best women’s forward.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE