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Barcelona, Milan, Ajax and Celtic drawn together

Four former winners with 16 triumphs between them – FC Barcelona, AC Milan, AFC Ajax and Celtic FC – were pitted together in the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.

Barcelona, Milan, Ajax and Celtic drawn together
Barcelona, Milan, Ajax and Celtic drawn together ©UEFA.com

Four former European champions will meet in one section following Thursday's draw for the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage.


FC Barcelona and AC Milan, 11-time winners between them, top the bill in Group H. The pair will meet in Europe's premier club competition for the third season running, with Barça having recovered a two-goal first-leg deficit to win 4-2 on aggregate in last term's round of 16. The pair were also pitted together in the 2011/12 quarter-finals, when the Liga side again prevailed, as well as the group stage that same season.

AFC Ajax, who have lifted the trophy four times, and Celtic FC – triumphant in 1967 – make up the rest of the pool. Neil Lennon's Scottish title holders will be hoping for a repeat of last season, when they upset the odds to beat Barcelona 2-1 at home in the group stage.

Group B, meanwhile, also reunites two teams who came face to face in 2012/13. Real Madrid CF suffered a major scare against Galatasaray AŞ but ultimately beat the Turkish outfit to reach the last four. Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has a reunion of his own to look forward to, with former club Juventus also set to come up against his current side.

Chelsea FC, winners in 2012, may draw inspiration from the sight of two of their Group E bedfellows, having defeated both FC Steaua Bucureşti and FC Basel 1893 en route to UEFA Europa League glory in May. The Blues take part in Friday's UEFA Super Cup against UEFA Champions League holders FC Bayern München, who will be up against PFC CSKA Moskva, Manchester City FC and FC Viktoria Plzeň during the course of the autumn.

The group stage draw also set the sections in place for the inaugural UEFA Youth League, with home and away games to mirror those in the senior club competition.

The opening UEFA Champions League group stage fixtures will take place on 17 and 18 September, with the Lisbon final scheduled for Saturday 24 May.

Group A
Manchester United FC (ENG)
FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER)
Real Sociedad de Fútbol (ESP)

Group B
Real Madrid CF (ESP)
Juventus (ITA)
Galatasaray AŞ (TUR)
FC København (DEN)

Group C
SL Benfica (POR)
Paris Saint-Germain FC (FRA)
Olympiacos FC (GRE)
RSC Anderlecht (BEL)

Group D
FC Bayern München (GER, holders)
Manchester City FC (ENG)
FC Viktoria Plzeň (CZE)

Group E
Chelsea FC (ENG)
FC Schalke 04 (GER)
FC Basel 1893 (SUI)
FC Steaua Bucureşti (ROU)

Group F
Arsenal FC (ENG)
Olympique de Marseille (FRA)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)
SSC Napoli (ITA)

Group G
FC Porto (POR)
Club Atlético de Madrid (ESP)
FC Zenit (RUS)
FK Austria Wien (AUT)

Group H
FC Barcelona (ESP)
AC Milan (ITA)
AFC Ajax (NED)
Celtic FC (SCO)