Real and rivals waiting for CL’s draw

27 Aug 2022 | 08:00 | Football

The Champions League trophy at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland. Photo: Champions League official twitter account file


The Champions League trophy at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland. Photo: Champions League official twitter account file

Title holders Real Madrid and the rest of Europe’s elite clubs will be able to start charting the road to Champions League glory when this season’s group stage draw is made in Istanbul. on Thursday from 10pm (BST).

As planned, the journey will end in the Turkish city on June 10 next year for the final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, the same venue where Liverpool beat AC Milan on penalties on Sunday. 2005.

The Spanish giants have now been crowned European champions 14 times, twice as many as the next most successful club, AC Milan, and they started the season by beating Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki to lift the UEFA Super Cup.

“The joy and satisfaction you get after wins like that tend to stick, making you feel like no one can take your place. And that’s a pretty strong incentive to keep going. win,” coach Carlo Ancelotti told in a recent interview when asked about the chances of a repeat victory for his team.

Their success is likely to be recognized elsewhere on Thursday, with goalkeepers Thibaut Courtois and Karim Benzema nominated alongside Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne for last season’s UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.

Ancelotti was nominated alongside Pep Guardiola of Man City and Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool for the position of manager.

As for the draw, Real were in the Pot One group along with the champions of other top European leagues such as Man City, Bayern Munich, Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto and Ajax, as well as the Europa League winners. League is Frankfurt.

Liverpool will be in the Pot Two group, which means there’s a chance they get a rematch with Real. Chelsea, the 2021 champions and Tottenham Hotspur are the other British representatives.

Meanwhile, Celtic will feature in Group Four when they return to the Champions League for the first time since 2017.

Russian clubs are banned because of the ongoing war, but Ukraine – where a new domestic season kicks off this week – will feature Shakhtar Donetsk.

Dynamo Kyiv, who faced Benfica in the playoffs, had hoped to join them but lost 5-0 on aggregate to the two-time champions.

The final places will be decided in a play-off tie in midweek, with Bodo/Glimt aiming to become the first Norwegian team to make it to the group stage in 15 years.

The Europa League draw – featuring Manchester United, Arsenal and Roma – took place on Friday, with the Europa Conference League draw shortly thereafter.