UEFA Champions League 2011/2012: Let the games begin!

 

Ifreke Inyang

 

The final of this season’s UEFA Champions League will be played in Munich, Germany. But the long, winding, drama-filled road will start at various stadia across Europe. From the Nou Camp to the Emirates to Bucharest’s Arena Nationala – which was unknown until Otelul Galati made it to the group stages, the battle to be European Champions is set to kick off.

The draws were conducted a few moments ago. The group to watch is Group A, already being labelled the group of death, with no easy matches as Bayern Munich, Villarreal, Manchester City and Napoli all go head to head. In Group C, Manchester United will be up against Benfica, their opponents in the 1968 European Cup Final. Benfica was drawn out of the hat by Bobby Charlton, who played in that match. Out of the seeded teams, Porto probably have the easiest group but Barcelona will also be confident about qualifying from Group H despite the presence of AC Milan. Arsenal find themselves up against former winners Olympique de Marseille and Borussia Dortmund.

The event, which was staged in Monaco ended with Michael Platini presenting Lionel Messi with the award of the best player in Europe as widely expected.

Here is the full draw:

 

 

GROUP A
Bayern Munich
Villarreal
Manchester City
Napoli

GROUP B
Inter Milan
CSKA Moscow
Lille
Trabzonspor

GROUP C
Manchester United
Benfica
Basle
Otelul Galati

GROUP D
Real Madrid
Lyon
Ajax
Dinamo Zagreb

GROUP E
Chelsea
Valencia
Bayer Leverkusen
Genk

GROUP F
Arsenal
Marseille
Olympiakos
Borussia Dortmund

GROUP G
Porto
Shakhtar Donetsk
Zenit St Petersburg
APOEL

GROUP H
Barcelona
AC Milan
BATE
Viktoria Plzen

 

 

The first group stage matches will take place on September 13 and 14. All matches would have been concluded by December 7.

 

 

 

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