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Commentary(All times are CET)

That's it for today, thanks for following events on UEFA.com. Be sure to rejoin us tomorrow for the UEFA Europa League group stage draw, which takes place at 13.00CET. Until then ...
Antonio Conte (Juventus)Antonio Conte, Juventus coach: “It is a difficult group, full of fascinating games. Real [Madrid] are one of the main contenders to win the trophy and a historic opponent of Juve in Europe. It's always an extra motivation when you face a team with such history. Galatasaray have great quality and can count on their passionate fans when they play at home. We have started to know Danish football well after facing Nordsjaelland last season and we will have to be very focused against København. Compared to last season we know what we will find and how difficult it is to face the best teams in the world. We are more experienced now, but we have to play in this competition knowing that Europe is a dream for us, a dream which we have to make last for as long as possible.”
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, FC Bayern München chairman: "You certainly can't afford to underestimate CSKA Moskva or Manchester City. It is by no means a forgone conclusion. We have to be focused from the start and go into the competition with a lot of respect. Our aim is to reach the knockout stages."
Pavel Vrba (Plzeň)Pavel Vrba, FC Viktoria Plzeň coach: “Every one of our opponents [FC Bayern München, PFC CSKA Moskva and Manchester City FC] belongs to Europe’s elite. I am honoured to have a chance to play against such teams. It will be a very exciting experience, because we have never faced an English or German club yet. I will be happy with every point we get. Four or five I would consider a success.”
Rudi Völler(Bayer 04 Leverkusen)Rudi Völler, Leverkusen sporting director: "It couldn't have turned out much worse for us really, but we're obviously happy to have drawn Manchester United – that will be a highlight for our fans. We'll be courageous and give our all to please the supporters and progress to the next round. We have nothing to fear. We know that we're underdogs, but we have nothing to lose."
Serhiy Palkin, FC Shakhtar Donetsk CEO: "Manchester United are obviously favourites. The three other teams are quite equal, so it's very hard to tell who will qualify. All the sides are ambitious and overall it is a well-balanced group. The battle [for a last-16 spot] will go right down to the last matches. Shakhtar must target only victory. We sold some of our leading players and now we need to build a new team, which should be even stronger than last season. Our main goal is to reach the knockout stages. First or second − we'll see how it goes."
Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiacos FC)Avraam Papadopoulos, Olympiacos FC centre-back: “Benfica and Paris St.Germain are very strong. PSG have made great signings, while Benfica are always contenders in European competition. Anderlecht are a very attack-minded team. Everything will depend on our state of readiness. We have many newcomers in our squad and that makes it hard to build a team fast. We have the potential to do well. The first two matches in the group stage are the most important ones. If we win our first home match, everything will fall into place.”
Now that the draw has been made, why not play UEFA.com's Group Predictor game? Get your predictions in now.
Nenad Bjelica (FK Austria Wien)Nenad Bjelica will lead debutants FK Austria Wien into the competition. “All 32 teams are top quality. I was hoping for a Spanish opponent and I’m particularly looking forward to facing [Atlético coach] Diego Simeone. Porto are also an attractive team as former Champions League winners. Zenit perhaps aren’t as attractive, but they are certainly very strong.”
Jens Keller (FC Schalke 04)Jens Keller, Schalke coach: “It’s a really appealing group. We can certainly compete with these teams, even if Chelsea are the big favourites. FC Basel have also proved their worth on the European stage in recent years. It will be a tough task, but I believe every team that has made it to the group phase is also looking to progress.”
Laurenţiu Reghecampf (FC Steaua Bucureşti)Laurenţiu Reghecampf, FC Steaua Bucureşti coach: “It is a group from which we have a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages. I know all the teams very well. We played Chelsea recently in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, met Basel in friendlies in summer 2012 and winter 2013 and Schalke are from Germnay, a league I follow on TV.”
Jürgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund)Jürgen Klopp, Borussia Dortmund coach: “It’s a great, well-balanced group with four teams that have what it takes to get through. We have something to make up for against both Arsenal and Marseille. I have never been to Napoli, but I’m looking forward to the atmosphere. It’s going to be very exciting.”
Rafael BenítezRafael Benítez, SSC Napoli coach: "When you talk about the Champions League, you know all groups are tough. Ours is one of the most balanced. Certainly, it will be difficult because we will be facing teams who have great experience in the Champions League. It will be a great challenge for us. Borussia [Dortmund] are a top club, they reached the final last season and they play great football. We faced Arsenal recently in London for the Emirates Cup, so we know them well. They have a great manager who is very experienced at European level. Against Marseille, I had my first success in Europe, the [2004] UEFA Cup final with Valencia. It won't be easy in their stadium because their fans are very passionate.”
Thomas Delaney (FC København)Thomas Delaney, FC København midfielder: “We’ll go for it. Our aim is to play European football after the new year, so we need to finish third or above. Undoubtedly, we’ll need to get the necessary points at home, in Parken. We can look forward to a great experience, especially against Real Madrid.”
José Anigo, Marseille sporting director: "We will try to take points off everyone. It won’t be easy, but fans will enjoy it in the stadium and we are going to try to have fun, even if it is difficult. Dortmund are a very, very good team who have been improving for two years. Arsenal are always in the last eight and Napoli are tough. "
Johan Cruyff (UEFA Champions League group stage draw)Johan Cruyff on AFC Ajax, who will play AC Milan, FC Barcelona and Celtic FC in Group H: "It’s a fantastic thing for football that these clubs get drawn against other. It’s another group of champions – football is like that and you’ve got to enjoy yourself and make the best out of it. Play as well as you can and make the best of it. We have to aim for the last 16; we have a young team and they play well together, so let’s see what happens. Last year we showed that we were capable of knocking Manchester City out of Europe; let’s aim for the same again."
Here's a look back at perhaps the most famous meeting of AC Milan and FC Barcelona: the 1994 final, which the Rossoneri won 4-0 in Athens.
Neil Lennon (Celtic FC)Neil Lennon, whose Celtic FC team completed a famous comeback last night against FC Shakhter Karagandy, told Sky Sports News: "It’s the worst draw we could have got. In terms of glamour it doesn’t come any better, but in terms of football it couldn’t have been worse. There’s a lot of excitement. They’re three great footballing arenas and three great clubs with great pedigree in this competition. There’s so much to savour, but it’s going to be hugely difficult for us to get through."
Ribéry: “It’s a very special moment to be standing here this evening. I want to thank all of my team-mates from FC Bayern München, my family and my kids.”
And the winner is ... Franck Ribéry.
The trophy is being brought on stage. UEFA President Michel Platini will present the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.
Messi on Group H: “You never get easy groups in the Champions League. We know Milan well and played Celtic last season, while Ajax have a lot of European history.”
Franck Ribéry on FC Bayern München’s victory against Borussia Dortmund in last season’s final: “It was an unforgettable evening, playing at Wembley made it even more special.”
Lionel Messi: “It was great achievement to win the Spanish title again, especially against a great rival like Real Madrid.”
Check out this video of the nominees.
And now to the vote for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. The contenders, to remind you, are Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribéry and Lionel Messi.
The drawing of debutants FK Austria Wien concludes the ceremony − the Viennese outfit will be pleased with their hand, having gone into Group G with FC Porto, Club Atlético de Madrid and FC Zenit.
Chelsea FC will play another of the sides they defeated en route to UEFA Europa League glory in May, FC Steaua Bucureşti having been drawn into Group E.
And there we have it − Celtic FC complete Group H, meaning the pool is composed of four former winners of Europe's premier club competition.
Real Sociedad de Fúbol’s reward for disposing of Olympique Lyonnais is to be pitted against Manchester United FC, FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in Group A.
Group F is "really hard", according to Luís Figo. SSC Napoli bookend a section containing Arsenal FC, Olympique de Marseille and 2013 runners-up Borussia Dortmund.
Two-time UEFA Champions League winner Paulo Sousa, who lifted the famous trophy in successive years in the mid-90s with Juventus and Borussia Dortmund, will assist with the drawing of clubs from pot 4. “Those memories always end up staying with you,” he said of his triumphs. “By being here today it is possible for me to relive them.”
Manchester City FC are next out and one of the clubs they will play are FC Bayern München, who they met at this stage two seasons ago.
Group H is shaping up to be something special: AFC Ajax have been put in with fellow multiple winners FC Barcelona and AC Milan.
Galatasaray AŞ are placed into Group B, with Olympiacos FC going into Group C and Bayer 04 Leverkusen into Group A.
Owen's first act is to pull out FC Basel 1893. The Swiss club will face FC Schalke 04 and Chelsea FC, their opponents in last term's UEFA Europa League semi-finals, in Group E.
Michael Owen (UEFA Champions League group stage draw)Michael Owen − recipient of the Ballon d'Or in 2001, the year he won the UEFA Cup with Liverpool FC − is next to assist with proceedings. “It was fabulous year at Liverpool, we had a fantastic manager and a fantastic set of players,” he said.
Club Atlético de Madrid, two-time UEFA Europa League winners in recent campaigns, join FC Porto in Group G. In Group B, Juventus face a reunion with their former coach, Carlo Ancelotti, now in charge of Real Madrid CF. FC Shakhtar Donetsk, placed into Group A, complete the teams from pot 2.
FC Schalke 04 join Chelsea FC in Group E, with Paris Saint-Germain FC accompanying SL Benfica in Group C. PFC CSKA Moskva will meet the holders in Group D.
AC Milan go into Group H with Cruyff's former club FC Barcelona, who they played in the round of 16 last term and in the group stage and quarter-finals the season before.
The great Johan Cruyff is now on stage to help with the draw. He has picked out Olympique de Marseille, champions in 1993. They have been paired with Arsenal FC in Group F.
FC Barcelona, under the guidance of Gerardo Martino this term, go into Group H. SL Benfica take residence in Group C, with FC Porto in Group G and David Moyes' Manchester United FC in Group A.
Nine-time winners Real Madrid CF, the most decorated European club, are placed into Group B. And next out are the holders, FC Bayern München.
The Gunners are quickly followed out of the bowl by London rivals Chelsea FC, winners in 2012. The Blues will play in Group E.
Arsenal FC, runners-up in 2006, are the first team to be drawn. They have been placed in Group F.
Gianni Infantino, UEFA General Secretary, is explaining the draw procedure before things get going.
Luís Figo: “It’s a pleasure and an honour to be present at another edition of the Champions League, in this case in the role of ambassador. I'm extremely honoured, because the final this year will be played in Portugal. The role of ambassador means to promote the competition everywhere even more. From my personal experience, I know well that it’s a competition which is watched by millions of people.”
McNeill has been joined by Luís Figo, ambassador for this season’s UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon, the city of his birth and where he began his glittering career with Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Billy McNeill, captain of the Celtic FC side which defeated FC Internazionale Milano 2-1 in the 1967 final in Lisbon, is on stage with the UEFA Champions League trophy. “I’m delighted, it’s lovely trophy. We won it all those years ago, but that was a great day. The memory will be there forever.”
The draw is moments away ...
Manuel Neuer (Bayern)No club has retained the European Cup since AC Milan in 1990. What chance FC Bayern München doing so this term? "We’ve managed to play in two consecutive finals, and I hope we can make it a third, but it depends on your form on the day, on luck, and on which teams you’re playing in which situations," said Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. "And you have to work very hard for it."
Andy James in Prague for the UEFA Super Cup: "One notable absentee from Bayern’s squad at the stadium today is Franck Ribéry. The French international has flown to the principality for the announcement of the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. He faces stiff competition from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo."
Draw hall (UEFA Champions League group stage draw)The draw hall is starting to fill up. Proceedings get under way in 20 minutes.
Bacary Sagna (Arsenal FC)Bacary Sagna, Arsenal defender: "At this stage of the competition, there are no easy teams. The teams that will participate in the Champions League are competitive sides. We know it will be difficult. We were able to qualify against a tough team [Fenerbahçe]. It wasn't easy and we won both matches, so this is a good day for Arsenal. It's exciting to know who we'll come up against, to know which group we'll be in, and to see the other teams we'll have to play. We hope to play against good sides and to go as far as possible."
Michael Owen (Stoke City FC)Former England striker Michael Owen in Monaco: "I'm looking forward to the draw. It’s a great event to be a part of – the eyes of the world will be watching. I know when I was playing you eagerly waited to see who you got in your group. It’s an important draw and I’m sure everyone will have a great evening."
Rafael Benítez (SSC Napoli)Rafael Benítez has experienced many a UEFA Champions League night as coach of Valencia CF, Liverpool FC, FC Internazionale Milano and Chelsea FC. Hired by SSC Napoli this summer, he is looking forward to leading out the Partenopei in the group stage. "It’s a unique competition, a special tournament − all of us coaches and players want to do well in it. The atmosphere is great, so special, you can see that in every game with the fans there, close to the pitch. It’s special and, as ever, we want do well in it."
It is three months since Lahm lifted the European Cup at Wembley. Here, the full-back reflects on that special night in north London.
Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München)FC Bayern München captain Philipp Lahm in Prague: "It would be nice if we could avoid the big clubs, but Man City could be in our group. It’s exciting to see what we get as defending champions. We have to get through as FCB, no matter who our opponents are."
Philipp Hosiner (FK Austria Wien)All of the 32 clubs in the draw, few will be more excited than FK Austria Wien, who withstood a fightback on Tuesday from GNK Dinamo Zagreb to qualify for the group stage for the first time. Speaking after his team's 3-2 second-leg defeat, forward Philipp Hosiner said: "We heard yesterday that we will play our first match at home against an opponent from pot 1. That will be an amazing experience. We are all excited about the draw and will take on any opponent, but to face one of the big ones would be an immense highlight for us."
Marco Donadel (SSC Napoli) & Daniel Kolář (FC Viktoria Plzeň)Want a comprehensive lowdown on the runners and riders in today's draw? Then look no further than this piece.
Meanwhile, in Prague, UEFA.com's Andy James reports: "Eden Stadion is a hive of activity ahead of tomorrow’s UEFA Super Cup match between UEFA Champions League holders FC Bayern München and UEFA Europa League winners Chelsea FC. Both sides have their press conferences this afternoon followed by a training session but will undoubtedly have more than a keen interest in events in Monaco as they await news of their group stage opponents."
Kevin Ashby, Monaco: Two-time winner and current Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC coach Paulo Sousa has dropped into the UEFA.com interview room to share his UEFA Champions League memories and look ahead to this season’s final in his home country, Portugal. Having spent time in Israel working at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship this summer, I asked him how he was enjoying the local hummus – a question which drew a huge smile that said it all.
Grimaldi Forum (UEFA Champions League group stage draw)Preparations are almost complete in Monaco, and our onsite team will bring you all the latest from the principality as we count down to the start of the European football season proper. Exciting times.
As usual, UEFA.com will have highlights of all the group stage matches throughout the autumn and, to give you a taster, we also have video highlights from last night's play-off games which you can see in the big video box below.
Jose Mourinho (Chelsea FC)Chelsea manager José Mourinho in Prague: "The draw will be when the training session is finished, we will be watching on TV or on the internet. There’s nothing to do, you cannot choose, it is an open draw. It has an influence on the competitions of course. Sometimes you get a good draw and sometimes you get a bad draw. Everyone wants to be in the Champions League. It’s the best so everyone wants to be there - it’s good for us to play against the European champions tomorrow. The Champions League is another world - we’ll wait for the draw and hopefully it won’t be the hardest one."
With just two hours to go until we get under way, we will have thoughts from some of the big names in European football ahead of the draw, including Chelsea FC coach José Mourinho who has been speaking in Prague ahead of his team's UEFA Super Cup game with FC Bayern München.
It is not just all about the draw tonight ... the Grimaldi Forum ceremony will also include the presentation of the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, with football experts from each of UEFA's member associations to take part in a live vote to decide between the three short-listed players: Lionel Messi, Franck Ribéry and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Just a quick word on the procedure for later: as usual, the 32 teams will be drawn into eight groups. The clubs are split into four pots based on UEFA's coefficient system – entrants from the same association cannot be drawn into the same group.
Speaking of Bayern's victory just three months ago at Wembley, and to whet your appetite ahead of this season's competition, take a look at our video review of the 2012/13 final (click on the picture), when Arjen Robben won the European title in the dying moments.
UEFA Champions League debutants such as FK Austria Wien will rub shoulders with the likes of champions FC Bayern München, while clubs such as Real Sociedad de Fútbol and FC Steaua Bucuresti are making long-awaited returns.
Virgil van Dijk & Adam Matthews (Celtic FC)The group stage is set to feature its usual mixture of upsets, thrills and great goals, as the ten play-off victors (including Celtic FC, pictured, who came back to break the hearts of FC Shakhter Karagandy) join 22 automatic qualifiers for the draw ahead of kick-off on 17 September.
In just over three hours, the ceremony for the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage draw gets under way, so stay here for all the build-up, live video streaming as the balls are picked and full reaction afterwards.
Trophies (UEFA Champions League group stage draw)The UEFA Champions League group stage draw will begin at 17.45CET at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco. There are 14 former European champions among the teams waiting to learn their fate. After the draw, one of Lionel Messi, Franck Ribéry or Cristiano Ronaldo will win the 2012/13 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. The UEFA Europa League group stage draw takes place at 12.45CET on Friday.

Draw details

Group stage

17.45CET, 29 August, Monaco

Ten play-off winners join the 22 automatic entrants in the group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco, where the 32 sides are split into four seeding pots and one from each is drawn into the eight groups. Seeds are based on UEFA's coefficient system and no team can meet another from the same association.

Where two sides from the same association qualify, they are paired to split their matches between Tuesday and Wednesday, so one club will always play at home on one day and the other will play away on the other day. In the case of associations with three representatives, only two teams are paired in terms of their fixtures; in the case of associations with four representatives, two pairings are made based on the TV audience.

To ensure sides from the same country play on separate days, the eight groups are distinguished by colour: Groups A–D red and Groups E–H blue. When a paired club is drawn, for example, into one of the red groups, the other paired club – once it is drawn – is automatically assigned to one of the four blue groups.

Teams from Pot 1 are provisionally placed in the first position within their groups, sides from Pot 2 provisionally take the second spot in their sections, and so on. Once the draw is completed, a computer draw determines the final position of the clubs within their group and therefore the order of the home and away matches.

UEFA Champions League-Group stage draw-Monaco - Thursday 29 August 2013 17.45CET


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Team info

No matches found


Pot 1

  • BayernBayern(GER)
  • BarcelonaBarcelona(ESP)
  • ChelseaChelsea(ENG)
  • Real MadridReal Madrid(ESP)
  • Man. UnitedMan. United(ENG)
  • ArsenalArsenal(ENG)
  • PortoPorto(POR)
  • BenficaBenfica(POR)

Pot 2

  • AtléticoAtlético(ESP)
  • Shakhtar DonetskShakhtar Donetsk(UKR)
  • MilanMilan(ITA)
  • SchalkeSchalke(GER)
  • MarseilleMarseille(FRA)
  • CSKA MoskvaCSKA Moskva(RUS)
  • ParisParis(FRA)
  • JuventusJuventus(ITA)

Pot 3

  • ZenitZenit(RUS)
  • Man. CityMan. City(ENG)
  • AjaxAjax(NED)
  • DortmundDortmund(GER)
  • BaselBasel(SUI)
  • OlympiacosOlympiacos(GRE)
  • GalatasarayGalatasaray(TUR)
  • LeverkusenLeverkusen(GER)

Pot 4

  • KøbenhavnKøbenhavn(DEN)
  • NapoliNapoli(ITA)
  • AnderlechtAnderlecht(BEL)
  • CelticCeltic(SCO)
  • SteauaSteaua(ROU)
  • PlzeňPlzeň(CZE)
  • Real SociedadReal Sociedad(ESP)
  • Austria WienAustria Wien(AUT)


Group A

Man. UnitedMan. United(ENG)
Shakhtar DonetskShakhtar Donetsk(UKR)
Real SociedadReal Sociedad(ESP)

Group B

Real MadridReal Madrid(ESP)

Group C


Group D

CSKA MoskvaCSKA Moskva(RUS)
Man. CityMan. City(ENG)

Group E


Group F


Group G

Austria WienAustria Wien(AUT)

Group H


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