FC Internazionale Milano meet FC Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine in the pick of the third qualifying round ties.
Two-time European champions FC Internazionale Milano have been paired with FC Shakhtar Donetsk following today's third qualifying round draw in Nyon, Switzerland.
The tie was one of the highlights of the 16 matches that will take place over two legs on 9/10 and 23/24 August. Shakhtar are the reigning champions from Ukraine while Inter won the Italian Cup and finished third in Serie A in 2004/05. Their domestic rivals Udinese Calcio also have a tough test in store against Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Among the other eye-catching fixtures, Spanish contenders Real Betis Balompié and Villarreal CF were pitted against AS Monaco FC and Everton FC respectively, while holders Liverpool FC will play KF Tirana or PFC CSKA Sofia should they overcome FBK Kaunas. In all, 18 clubs are entering at this stage along with the 14 winners of the second qualifying round, which concludes next Wednesday.
The 16 victorious teams from the third qualifying round will then go on to join the 16 automatic qualifiers for the group stage, starting in September. The draw for the competition proper will be held in Monaco at 16.00CET on 25 August.
This season's final will be played in Paris on 17 May 2006. Introducing today's proceedings, Jean Fournet-Fayard of the UEFA Club Competition Committee said: "We are also proud to announce that the European Champion Clubs' Cup is 50 years old. It is 50 years since the first match took place on 4 September 1955 in Lisbon, between Sporting Clube de Portugal and FK Partizan. During the season we will celebrate the strong heritage and the great players of this competition."