• Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

Ronaldo to face United in UCL

  • Published at 12:41 am August 31st, 2018
Uefa Champions League groups

Cristiano Ronaldo, a Manchester United player from 2003 to 2009, scored when they beat Chelsea on penalties in the 2008 final after a 1-1 draw and has faced them twice in the competition since with Real Madrid

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo will face his former club Manchester United after the two European giants were drawn together in the Champions League group stage Thursday.

Last season's runners-up Liverpool, big-spending French league champion Paris Saint Germain and Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli were thrown together in the pick of the groups while holder Real Madrid must face last season's semi-finalist AS Roma.

Inter Milan, back in the competition after a six-season absence, were pitted against Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur.

The Champions League has been altered this season, with more places given to teams from the bigger leagues - Spain, England, Germany and Italy now have four guaranteed slots apiece - and fewer from Europe's less glamorous competitions.

The new system could cut down on the number of one-sided contests which have spoiled the group stage in recent seasons.

But critics say it could increase the competitive imbalance in European football and remove what romance is left.

Due to the seeding system and Uefa's policy of keeping teams from the same countries apart in the group stage, there was a shortage of big heavyweight clashes but lots of intriguing ties.

One of the most interesting will be in Group H where Ronaldo - who twice faced United in the Champions League as a Real player - meets them again in a Juve shirt.

Ronaldo, a United player from 2003 to 2009, scored when they beat Chelsea on penalties in the 2008 final after a 1-1 draw and has faced them twice in the competition since with Real.

Juve are clear favourites in the group where Jose Mourinho's troubled United are likely to battle Valencia for second spot, with debutant Young Boys Bern the rank outsider.

"It's a demanding group with teams of great value, great tradition and historic stadiums," said Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri. "This is the new Champions League"

Group C was closest to a "Group of Death", as it pitted Liverpool, PSG and Napoli against each other.

That formidable trio will be joined by Red Star Belgrade, who won the old European Cup in 1991 but will be appearing in the Champions League group stage for the first time.

"It’s a very tough group but the most important thing for us is that we have managed to get into the group stage and compete at this level," Red Star president Svetozar Mijailovic told reporters.

Inter's wildly unpredictable form under Luciano Spalletti means anything can happen in Group B where they face Barca, PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham.

The English Premier League team are the only ones of the four who are not former European champion.

Group E also has three former European champions - Bayern Munich, Benfica and Ajax Amsterdam - alongside AEK Athens. Bayern should progress comfortably with Benfica and Ajax likely to battle for second place and AEK as dangerous outsiders.

"It could have been worse, but we cannot afford negligence if we want to finish first," said Bayern forward Thomas Mueller.

Real and Roma should qualify from Group G where CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen are the other contenders.

"We picked the best team in the world and two others who will create us many problems," said Roma captain Daniele de Rossi.

Pep Guardiola will begin his latest attempt to win the European title with Manchester City in Group F where they will be the favourite against Ukrainian champion Shakhtar Donetsk, Olympique Lyonnais and debutants Hoffenheim.

“City are a massive challenge for us," said Hoffenheim coach Julien Nagelsmann. "But I was hoping we would draw a big team and we got one.

"Atletico Madrid, AS Monaco and Borussia Dortmund were drawn in Group A, an evenly-balanced group completed by Club Bruges.

Group D is possibly the most open, featuring former European champion Porto, Lokomotiv Moscow, Schalke 04 and Galatasaray.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail