LIONEL MESSI’S rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo could be reignited after Manchester City were drawn against Paris Saint-Germain in Group A of the Champions League.
While Man Utd get chance to exact Europa League revenge in a rematch with Villarreal.
Champions League group stage draw 21-22
The Champions League draw could bring together Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, should the Portuguese icon seal his Man City switchCredit: Getty Red Devils legend Ronaldo, 36, is said to have agreed personal terms on a shock move to Pep Guardiola’s city rivals – with Juventus’ demands preventing a move for now.
But the transfer is far from off the table and it could see Ronaldo and Messi go head-to-head once again if he makes the Etihad switch.
Fans across the world have long argued who is the best of the two – especially when they were playing across Spain’s El Clasico divide.
And they may be able to see the two greats face off on two more occasions after Messi joined French giants PSG this summer having left cash-strapped Barcelona.
If Ronaldo does not get his move to Man City, he will instead be facing defending champions Chelsea.
Thomas Tuchel’s Blues will play Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg and Malmo in Group H.
Chelsea icon Branislav Ivanovic drew out Man City first and they will play in Group A with PSG, RB Leipzig and Club BruggeCredit: Reuters JOIN SUN VEGAS: GET A FREE £10 BONUS WITH 100s OF GAMES TO PLAY AND NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED (Ts&Cs apply)
Man Utd and Villarreal’s group is completed by Young Boys and Italian side Atalanta. City also face RB Leipzig and Club Brugge.
But it was Liverpool who got the toughest draw of all the English sides, facing Atletico Madrid who knocked them out of the tournament in 2020.
Also awaiting Jurgen Klopp’s men are Portugueuse giants Porto and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s seven-time winners AC Milan.
Chelsea and City were drawn from pot one while United and Liverpool came from pot two.
Moldovan club FC Sheriff Tiraspol are appearing in the Champions League for the first time ever and will play in Group D alongside Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
Barcelona will take on Group E without Messi and the Catalans will have to overcome Bayern Munich, Benfica and Dynamo Kiev.
Group C comprises Sporting Lisbon, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax and Besiktas.
And Group G is probably the easiest with Lille, Sevilla, RB Salzburg and Wolfsburg.
Thursday’s draw started at 5pm UK time in Istanbul.
Hosts Pedro Pinto and Laura Wontorra conducted proceedings before Chelsea’s Champions League winning former stars Branislav Ivanovic and Michael Essien were welcomed on stage to draw the teams.
The Blues icons appeared shortly after Uefa chief Aleksander Ceferin was called up to present Denmark captain Simon Kjaer and the team’s medical staff with the Uefa President’s Award.
They were honoured for their actions during the heart-wrenching incident that saw Christian Eriksen suffer a cardiac arrest during the Euros.
When will the Champions League group stage matches be played?
The Champions League group stage draw took place on Thursday afternoon and here is when the matches will take place…
Matchday one: 14/15 September
Matchday two: 28/29 September
Matchday three: 19/20 October
Matchday four: 2/3 November
Matchday five: 23/24 November
Matchday six: 7/8 December
Kai Havertz bagged the Blues’ winner and fans of the West Londoners will hope Thomas Tuchel can lead them to European glory once again.
West Ham and Leicester will find out their Europa League group stage opponents on Friday.
The draw takes place at 12 noon UK time and is also in Istanbul.
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