Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will face one another for the primary time in additional than two years after their groups, Barcelona and Juventus, have been drawn collectively on Thursday within the Champions League group stage.
Defending champions Bayern Munich face a probably bruising two matches towards Atletico Madrid whereas the draw additionally produced a number of different heavyweight clashes together with Paris St Germain v Manchester United and Actual Madrid v Inter Milan.
Premier League champions Liverpool should face Ajax Amsterdam and free-scoring Serie A aspect Atalanta.
The draw, normally held at a lavish ceremony in a seaside convention corridor in Monaco, this time passed off in a Geneva tv studio as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
The late begin to the season — a knock-on impact of final season being interrupted by the pandemic — implies that the six matchdays might be performed between Oct. 19 and Dec.9, a month lower than ordinary.
Shortly after the ceremony, UEFA introduced that spectators can be allowed to look at matches, upto a most of 30% of stadium capability, if native authorities enable.
Barcelona and Juventus, who met within the 2015 closing, have been paired in Group G together with Dynamo Kyiv and Hungarian aspect Ferencvaros, who’re again within the group stage after a 25-year absence.
Ronaldo, 35, and Messi, 33, the 2 highest scorers in Champions League historical past with 130 and 115 targets respectively, haven’t clashed because the Portuguese left Actual Madrid to affix Juventus on the finish of the 2017-18 season.
The pair have solely met 5 instances within the Champions League, most lately in 2011 when Barcelona beat Actual 3-1 on mixture within the semi-finals.
“Will probably be an enormous conflict with Barcelona and an interesting encounter as a result of it permits the 2 greatest gamers on the planet – Ronaldo and Messi – to face off towards one another,” stated Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved.
It’ll even be a tricky begin for Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo, handed the reins in August regardless of having no earlier teaching expertise.