It’s the most sought after piece of silverware in European club football and on Thursday 32 of the continent’s finest from last season found out who they will have to battle past to take another step closer to adding it to their trophy cabinet.
The draw for the Champions League group stage was made in Monaco and as always the draw threw up some mouthwatering ties.
One of which will see reigning champs and ten-times winners Real Madrid take on five-times champions Liverpool, who are back in the competition after a five-year absence.
Real’s La Liga rivals and last season’s Spanish league champions Atletico Madrid were drawn alongside Juventus, Olympiacos and Sweden’s Malmo in Group A while completing Group B with Real and Liverpool are Swiss side Basel and Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets.
Two-time European champions Benfica were drawn in Group C with the Russians of Zenit St Petersburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco while Arsenal will meet Borussia Dortmund for a second season running in Group D which also includes Galatasaray and Anderlecht.
Manchester City will play Bayern Munich for the third time in four seasons, as well as CSKA Moscow and Roma in Group E while Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain, Ajax and APOEL from Cyprus will battle it out in group F
Group G consists of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, Bundesliga side Schalke, Sporting and Slovenian champions Maribor and finally Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Athletic Bilbao and the Belarussians of Bate Borisov will lock horns in Group H.
The group stage begins on September 16th