It’s time for Europe’s biggest soccer clubs to go head-to-head again and the draw for this season’s Champions League group stages didn’t disappoint in producing some mouthwatering fixtures.
Every year there is a so-called ‘group of death’ and this season it appears to be Group F that will be given the title.
Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and Newcastle all feature in this group and will play each other home and away to decide who advances to the next round of Europe’s elite competition.
This represents a difficult test for all teams involved, particularly Newcastle on its long-awaited return to European football, but fans of the four teams can find some solace in the fact that they will have the opportunity to visit some of European soccer’s great stadiums.
Elsewhere, Harry Kane will return to England for the first time since leaving Tottenham Hotspur for Bayern Munich in the summer after being drawn alongside Manchester United in Group A, as well as Copenhagen and Galatasaray.
Bayern Munich taking on Manchester United is also a repeat of one of the Champions League’s most iconic encounters.
United fans will have strong memories of the team’s famous comeback win against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final.
Last year’s winner Manchester City has avoided some of the toughest sides in Europe and will be confident of its chances to progress in the tournament from Group G.
Arsenal fans have been waiting a while to see their team in the Champions League and will be pleased that the Gunners have also managed to avoid Europe’s best teams in Group B.
The European Cup’s most successful team, Real Madrid, has been drawn alongside Napoli, Braga and Union Berlin in Group C as it looks to add to its record 14 trophies in the competition.
The fixtures for the competition are yet to be confirmed.
Following the Champions League draw, individual awards were handed out for the 2022-23 season.
Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola was awarded the 2022-23 UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year. The Spaniard led Manchester City to a historic treble as the club picked up silverware in the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League.
Guardiola’s star striker Erling Haaland picked up the 2022-23 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year trophy. Haaland scored goals at an unprecedented rate during the 2022-23 season and was the top scorer in the Premier League during Manchester City’s incredible campaign.
England head coach Sarina Wiegman was announced as the 2022-23 UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year. Wiegman won the European Championship with England in 2022 and also led England to the final of the Women’s World Cup in 2023 where the Lionesses lost to Spain.
One of the Spain players who helped defeat Wiegman and England was Aitana Bonmatí, who was awarded the 2022-23 UEFA Women’s Player of the Year trophy. Bonmatí also had a brilliant season for club team Barcelona, where she was influential as it won a league and Champions League double.
Champions League draw in full
Group A – Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Copenhagen, Galatasaray
Group B – Sevilla, Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven, Lens
Group C – Napoli, Real Madrid, Braga, Union Berlin
Group D – Benfica, Inter Milan, RB Salzburg, Real Sociedad
Group E – Feyenoord, Atletico Madrid, Lazio, Celtic
Group F – Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Newcastle
Group G – Manchester City, RB Leipzig, Crvena zvezda (Red Star), Young Boys
Group H – Barcelona, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Royal Antwerp