Louis van Gaal said "it could have been a great deal worse" after last season's runners-up FC Bayern München were drawn alongside AS Roma, FC Basel 1893 and CFR 1907 Cluj in Group E.
Beaten in last season's UEFA Champions League final by FC Internazionale Milano, FC Bayern München have been drawn in Group E of the 2010/11 edition alongside AS Roma, themselves pipped to the Serie A title by the Nerazzurri.
As well as reacquainting themselves with Italian opponents, Bayern will also come up against a former player in Thorsten Frink, now coach of Swiss titleholders FC Basel 1893. CFR 1907 Cluj complete the section, returning – along with both Roma and Basel – to Europe's premier club competition after a one-year absence.
Louis van Gaal, Bayern coach
It could have been a great deal worse but we'll still need to focus extremely hard if we're to progress from this group. Another really pleasing thing is that we've been spared the really long flights.
Antonio Tempestilli, Roma chief operating officer
We will have to treat every single game with attention and motivation. This is the Champions League, it's a tournament made up of winners, and every team you play can prove a tough opponent. We have past experience against Cluj and Basel, so we will have to pay attention. We have to be at our best because a small detail can prove costly and you can be eliminated.
Thorsten Fink, Basel coach
As I used to play for Bayern, I hoped we would draw them so it's great that we have. I look forward to returning to Munich, where I celebrated lots of success. We know Roma from the UEFA Europa League [last season], where we managed to beat them at home [2-0] . Although we are certainly not the favourites, we would like to progress. Third place would also be acceptable.
Andrea Mandorlini, CFR coach
I am happy because we play an Italian team. As an Internazionale fan and former Internazionale player, I wanted to play Inter, but it wasn't meant to be. Obviously Bayern and Roma are the powerhouses in the group and therefore the favourites; we and Basel are the outsiders but that does not mean I am not confident. I am sure we can achieve something.