The Champions League draw took place today in Monaco, to grace the beginning of this year’s spectacle. There was a glamorous ceremony, including awards from last season’s competition such as the best player and coach.
Barcelona were one of the 32 teams to find out their fate in the competition. The Catalan club have been placed in Group H alongside Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp. All things considered, Barça fans will be very pleased with the draw. They managed to avoid the heavyweights such as Bayern Munich, PSG and Manchester City by placing as one of the Pot 1 teams.
Barça also got lucky with the Pot 3 team in their group, as they have escaped teams such as Lazio, PSV and AC Milan, all of whom could have proved very tricky. Matchday 1 will take place on September 19 and 20, and the games will be played sporadically until the final group games on December 12 and 13.
Porto finished as runners-up in the Portuguese top flight last year, and have enjoyed a perfect start to the league this season, winning three from three. The Portuguese club are Barcelona’s toughest opponent, in a group that should be plain sailing.
Xavi will feel he has a lot to prove in the Champions League. The Barça legend has had a good reign in charge of his beloved club, but he has struggled significantly in Europe’s toughest competition. The fans expect nothing less than the best, and the Blaugrana cannot afford another group stage exit.
Japtej Ghura | GSFN