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Group C: Benfica, Atlético, Galatasaray, Astana

Debutants Astana lend added intrigue to Group C where Benfica and Atlético will meet competitively for the first time and Galatasaray will aim for a first win against the Spanish side.

Benfica, Atlético, Galatasaray and debutants Astana are in Group C
Benfica, Atlético, Galatasaray and debutants Astana are in Group C ©UEFA.com

Group C pedigree
Benfica (POR) – Pot 1
Previous group stage campaigns: 10 (last appearance: 2014/15)
Last season: UEFA Champions League group stage
Best European Cup performance: winners (1960/61, 1961/62)

Atlético (ESP) – Pot 2
Previous group stage campaigns: 5 (last appearance: 2014/15)
Last season: UEFA Champions League quarter-finals
Best European Cup performance: runners-up (1973/74, 2013/14)

Galatasaray (TUR) – Pot 3
Previous group stage campaigns: 13 (last appearance: 2014/15)
Last season: UEFA Champions League group stage
Best European Cup performance: semi-finals (1988/89)

Astana (KAZ) – Pot 4
Previous group stage campaigns: none
Last season: UEFA Europa League play-offs
Best European Cup performance: N/A

Matchday one fixtures (Tuesday 15 September)
Galatasaray v Atlético
Benfica v Astana

Key group facts

Astana celebrate their play-off victory
Astana celebrate their play-off victory©Getty Images
  • Benfica and Atlético have never met competitively.
  • Atlético are unbeaten in four fixtures against Galatasaray, winning two games – both away from home – and drawing the other two. The Spanish side triumphed 1-0 on aggregate (0-0 home, 1-0 away) in the 1973/74 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round and 3-2 (1-1 home, 2-1 away) in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 32

  • On each occasion, Atlético went on to reach the final of the competition, losing to Bayern München in the former season but winning the 2010 UEFA Europa League.
  • Galatasaray were 2-0 victors away to Benfica in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage.
  • In only their third European campaign, Astana have never played Atlético, Benfica or Galatasaray.

Reaction to the draw
Stanimir Stoilov, Astana coach
In every match our opponents will be favourites, but we have to do all we can and put in 100% effort. We want to go through – we'll play our natural game.

Pizzi, Benfica midfielder
We will approach every match with confidence and ambition. Our goal is to get through this group stage and reach the last 16, and we will fight for that from the first minute of the first match. I made a lot of friends during my time at Atlético Madrid. The year I spent there was important for me as I was able to grow as a person and as a player. It will be special for me, but, of course, I want Benfica to win.

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