2019/20 Champions League groups set; Van Dijk, Messi among UEFA Awards winners
The eight groups for the 2019/20 edition of the UEFA Champions League have been announced following Thursday's draw in Monaco. Teams will face each other home and away over the course of four months with the two group winners advancing to the Round of 16 stage in February.
The 2020 UEFA Champions League Final will take place on May 30 at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.
Group A: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Club Brugge, Galatasaray
Group B: Bayern München, Tottenham Hotspur, Olympiacos, Crvena zvezda
Group C: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta
Group D: Juventus, Atlético Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Moskva
Group E: Liverpool, Napoli, Salzburg, Genk
Group F: Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Internazionale Milano, Slavia Praha
Group G: Zenit, Benfica, Lyon, RB Leipzig
Group H: Chelsea, Ajax, Valencia, LOSC Lille
UEFA Awards winners
A build up to the draw the announcement of the award winners for the previous season. Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, champions after a win over Tottenham Hotspur in this past June, were among those taking home personal honors.
Men's Player of the Year - Virgil van Dijk
Forward of the Season - Leo Messi
Midfielder of the Season - Frenkie de Jong
Defender of the Season - Virgil van Dijk
Goalkeeper of the Season - Alisson Becker
Sights and sounds
Part of the glamour of the draw is how much of a star-studded affair it becomes, the highlight of this year's edition being the reunion of rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Of course, both were flown in via a private helicopter.
The "group of death" may be fitting for Group F where Barcelona, Dortmund and Inter Milan all have cases to advance as top of the group. Czech side Slavia Prague is, without question, the weakest link of the group and their staff know their odds to advance are small.
Manchester United Legend Eric Cantona was present to receive the President's Award, though you wouldn't guess it was him if you saw him walking down the street.
The UEFA Champions League group stage begins on September 17 and will be broadcast in the United States through the TNT / B/R Live in English and Univision / TUDN in Spanish.