x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Barca land Inter in Champions League

This season's draw pits two of the summer's biggest transfers - Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kaka - against their former clubs.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be making a quick return visit to Inter Milan, the team he left in the summer to join Barcelona, as both were drawn together in the group stages of the Champions League.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be making a quick return visit to Inter Milan, the team he left in the summer to join Barcelona, as both were drawn together in the group stages of the Champions League.

MONACO // The European champions Barcelona will face Inter Milan, Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine and Russian newcomers Rubin Kazan when they open the defence of their crown following the draw for the Champions League group phase on Thursday. It also brought European giants AC Milan and nine-time European champions Real Madrid together and they will face Olympique Marseille and FC Zurich in their group. The draw pits two of the summer's biggest transfers ? Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter to Barca) and Kaka (Milan to Real) ? against their former employers in the most mouthwatering clashes of Thursday's draw. Samuel Eto'o, the Cameroon striker who helped Barca to two Champions League crowns in 2006 and 2009 and was part of the deal that took Ibrahimovic to Camp Nou, will also be given the chance to impress back at his old stamping ground. "I think it will be a beautiful Champions League, but this is just the beginning," said the Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who takes his team to Inter's San Siro stadium on September 16.

Manchester United, European champions in 2008 and runners-up to Barcelona last season, will play CSKA Moscow, Besiktas of Turkey and Germany's VfL Wolfsburg. Chelsea, bidding to win the trophy for the first time under new coach Carlo Ancelotti ? a previous winner as player and coach with Milan, will meet Porto, Atletico Madrid and APOEL Nicosia, who are taking part for the first time. The competition starts in mid-September with the final in Madrid next May.

Group A Bayern Munich Juventus Bordeaux Maccabi Haifa Group B Manchester United CSKA Moscow Besiktas Wolfsburg Group C AC Milan Real Madrid Marseille Zurich Group D Chelsea Porto Atletico Madrid Hapoel Tel Aviv Group E Liverpool Lyon Fiorentina Debreceni Group F Barcelona Inter Milan Dynamo Kiev Rubin Kazan Group G Sevilla Rangers Stuttgart Unirea Urziceni Group H Arsenal AZ Alkmaar Olympiakos Standard Liege

* Reuters