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Exciting campaigns in prospect for Europe's best

"The UEFA Champions League is unparalleled as a sporting spectacle," said UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino as he looked ahead to the new season.

Third qualifying round draw ©UEFA.com

Clubs taking part in this season's UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League have been urged to make it a memorable campaign for football lovers.

Speaking in Nyon at the draw ceremonies for the third qualifying round of both competitions, UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino heralded the start of an exciting European football adventure, to which the clubs could contribute by providing top-quality entertainment for fans in the stadiums and in front of their television screens.

"The UEFA Champions League is rightly considered the most prestigious competition for club football across the globe," he said. "It is the competition that all of Europe's clubs want to take part in, and the trophy is one that the world's great players want to hold.

"In terms of excitement, on the pitch for the fans in the stadiums, and for millions of TV viewers worldwide, the UEFA Champions League is unparalleled as a sporting spectacle.

"One of the reasons for the UEFA Champions League success story is the positive relationship between UEFA and the clubs," Mr Infantino continued. "With this in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the clubs for their contribution to the UEFA Champions League's appeal. Together we are a 'champion' team.

"We know how difficult it is to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, but today you have a sporting chance: make it a wonderful football contest, put in all your best efforts to succeed. Do all that you can to ensure your matches in the competition remain a fond memory in the minds of your supporters, with fair play, integrity and respect."

Turning to the UEFA Europa League, Mr Infantino expressed the anticipation of all supporters for 2013/14. "We are entering an exciting new season, with the UEFA Europa League having proved its worth since its inception a few years ago as a competition of both substance and appeal," he reflected. "A competition which has the backing of the clubs and which is providing its fair share of memorable moments.

"The UEFA Europa League has also established itself as an attractive competition for the fans, especially since the format with a 48-team group phase was established. The competition has a truly European feel and can only continue to flourish during this, its second cycle, which continues until 2015.

"We expect the UEFA Europa League to continue to grow in appeal and stature," the UEFA General Secretary emphasised to club representatives. "But the most important success factor will be the support and full commitment of all of you. We share the same aspiration: an exciting European football adventure where you showcase brilliant football matches for your fans."