Find out here which are the groups for the next edition of the Champions League
The UEFA Champions League 2018-2019 had the first big emotions with its draw on Thursday, August 30, which defined the 8 groups that will make up the new season of the competition.
Leer en español: UEFA Champions League: Barcelona quedó en el 'Grupo de la Muerte'
The club tournament that gives the coveted cup, has a renewed image and the clear main objective of competing in the final on June 1, 2019 at the Wanda Metropolitan Stadium in Madrid.
Which are the groups of this demanding competition?
Extreme difficulty: 'The group of death' is for Barça
There are several highly competitive groups that left the draw of the Champions, but without a doubt the famous group called 'the group of death' was on this time for FC Barcelona of Spain.
The Catalans were in Group B paired with Tottenham Hotspur, third placed in England, with PSV, champion of Holland, and with Inter Milan, a historic team that entered as the fourth-placed in Italy.
"Diabolic raffle for Barça", is the headline of the Catalan media Mundo Deportivo, which affirms that the group of the Catalans could be the most difficult that has touched in all its history.
In the same way, groups like the C and the H match great historical teams that will fight hard battles during the competition. In Group C are the PSG, champion of France, SSC Napoli, runner-up of Italy, Liverpool of England, current runner-up of the Champions, and Red Star, champion of Serbia.
"We have a difficult group... This is the Champions League, the best competition in the world, so it will be difficult because it has to be," said Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool coach, on the UEFA's official website.
On the other hand, Group H matched Juventus, current Italian champion and great candidate for the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo's team, Manchester United, runner-up of England, Valencia, fourth place in Spain, and Young Boys, champion from Switzerland. While it is true that the Italian team and the English team have some advantage over the other two sets, the duel between the 'Vecchia Signora' and the 'Red Devils' will mean the return of the Portuguese idol CR7 to Old Trafford.
Medium difficulty: the "easiest" group was for Porto
The raffle brought together teams of high difficulty in a few groups, so the number of groups that have a normal difficulty is greater. Real Madrid, defending champion who will seek his fourth consecutive UEFA Champions League, was in Group G paired with AS Roma, third placed in Italy, with CSKA Moscow, runner-up in Russia, and Viktoria Plzen, Czech Republic champion.
"Even without Ronaldo, Real Madrid is a big favorite in our group. We should fight against Roma to finish in second place. We are not afraid of them," said Nikola Vlasić, Croatian forward of CSKA Moscow, in statements to the UEFA.
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On the other hand, Atlético de Madrid, current champion of the UEFA Europa League and the European Super Cup, was in Group A paired with Borussia Dortmund, fourth place in Germany, AS. Monaco, runner-up of France, and Club Bruges, champion of Belgium.
"Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid were more fortunate, since the road seems clear once the rivals are known," says Marca, so if everything goes smoothly the Madrilenians will be part of the group along with Roma and Borussia Dortmund.
Teams such as Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Porto were in groups of minimum difficulty, especially the Portuguese team. The giant of Germany was in Group E along with Benfica, runners-up of Portugal, Ajax, runner-up of Holland, and AEK Athens, champion of Greece, so it is expected an easy classification of Bayern Munich to the next phase.
"We are the favorites in this group, but we will need 100% of our potential," said Niko Kovač, Bayern Munich coach, on the UEFA's official website.
The 'cityzens' were in Group F with Shakhtar Donetsk, champion of Ukraine, Olympique de Lyon, third place in France, and 1899 Hoffenheim, third place in Germany, this being a really affordable group for the English.
"You always know after the draw whether it's good or not, but in this group there seems to be a clear favorite: the City, and then three even teams," Lyon coach Bruno Genesio said in statements to UEFA.
Undoubtedly, the relatively easier group that left the draw was Group D, as it left the Lokomotiv of Moscow, champion of Russia, followed by Porto, champion of Portugal, Schalke 04, runner-up of Germany, and Galatasaray, champion of Turkey.
It is a group without much relevance, but the UEFA Champions League in general will bring historical soccer matches of an exceptional level, because this season in particular has more balanced teams in the fight for the cup.
LatinAmerican Post | Javier Aldana
Translated from "UEFA Champions League: Barcelona quedó en el 'Grupo de la Muerte'"