If FC Rubin Kazan were an unknown quantity to FC Barcelona 12 months ago, the Azulgrana know full well what to expect this season after being drawn alongside the Russian club again, as well as Panathinaikos FC and FC København in Group D.
Rubin shocked Europe when they won 2-1 at the Camp Nou in their debut campaign at this level, an impressive result they immediately followed up with a goalless draw in the return. København − featuring among the continent's elite for the second time − will be hoping for a better outcome than the last time they met Panathinaikos, a 1-0 home loss in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage.
Andoni Zubizarreta, Barcelona technical director
Teams can look difficult or easy on paper but you always have to wait and see what test you'll get on the pitch. Having said that, it's true there are no huge names in there. With Rubin we face a difficult trip that we undertook last year, while Panathinaikos are always a tough, hard-working team. København are new for us and as such we'll have to discover what they can do. Wembley is a stadium that holds special memories for us and getting there and winning the UEFA Champions League is one of our main objectives this season.
Kurban Berdyev, Rubin coach
We really wanted an opponent from England yet I'm happy we got Barcelona for the second year in a row. Once again a big club from Europe will come to Kazan – that's a big joy for our fans. I don't know Panathinaikos and København that well right now. We'll have to study them thoroughly yet I have no doubt they're of a high quality.
Nikos Nioplias, Panathinaikos coach
It's a difficult group. Apart from Barcelona, the best team in the world, we have also been drawn with the Russian champions, who are a very tough side. København are also difficult opposition, a financially strong club who eliminated Rosenborg. Second spot will be decided between Panathinaikos and Rubin Kazan. Our goal is to progress to the knockout stage, no matter what combination of results we need. It will be great for our morale to play well against Barcelona and get a positive result.
Hjalte Nørregaard, København captain
It's an awesome draw! It may be tough for us to finish among the top two in the group and proceed to the knockout rounds because Rubin Kazan, from pot four, are a very strong team who have improved a lot recently. Panathinaikos are a team we met only a few years ago and I'm really looking forward to meeting them again. When it comes to Barcelona − well, they just play the kind of football we all like to watch and play, so we can only look forward to playing them.
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