The European Football Awards, UEFA Champions League draw and UEFA Super Cup match take place this week.
European football's governing body heralds the start of each new club competition campaign by inviting the European football family and business partners to the Mediterranean principality at the end of August for several days of hectic activity on and off the field.
UEFA's annual European Football Awards are presented on the eve of the Super Cup match, and the impressive list of previous winners includes Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Oliver Kahn and Ronaldo. The awards serve to lift the curtain on the new season, while recognising the outstanding individual performances of the preceding season.
Next Thursday, 32 clubs will go into the hat for the draw for this season's Champions League group stage at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum. The 2003/04 version of European club football's premier competition features a new format, with the two group stages replaced by a single group phase, which will be followed later in the season by a 16-team knockout phase. Meanwhile, the UEFA Cup first-round draw is also eagerly awaited, as UEFA's second major club competition enters its last season in its current format, before including a group stage from 2004/05.
Milan play Porto
Friday brings the annual Super Cup encounter between Champions League holders Milan and their UEFA Cup counterparts Porto at the Stade Louis II in Monaco. Last season's Super Cup was won by Real Madrid CF, who added to their Champions League success by beating 2001/02 UEFA Cup winners Feyenoord 3-1.
Meetings and workshops
Various administrative meetings and workshops will also be taking place behind the scenes. The European Club Forum Board, representing 102 of Europe's major clubs, will meet with UEFA officials to discuss items of mutual interest, while sponsors and broadcasters will join their UEFA colleagues to fine-tune preparations and operational issues.
A decision is also expected in Monaco on whether to allow clubs from Israel to resume staging UEFA club competition matches on Israeli territory. Members of the UEFA Emergency Committee, which is empowered to take decisions between regular UEFA Executive Committee meetings, will be in Monaco and will hold deliberations on the issue.