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Champions League draw: Messi and Ronaldo to meet in group stage

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo

Bengaluru, October 1: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will do battle in the 2020-21 Champions League after Barcelona and Juventus were drawn in the same group.

La Liga giants Barca and Serie A champions Juventus were paired together in Group G, along with Dynamo Kiev and Ferencvaros.

Messi and Ronaldo have played against each other five times in the Champions League, the former on the winning side twice and as many matches ending in a draw.

While Ronaldo has managed a solitary win, he has failed to score in their previous meetings.

Bayern Munich, who defeated Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 to be crowned champions of Europe for a sixth time in Lisbon in August, will come up against Atletico Madrid in Group A.

Meanwhile, beaten 2020 finalists PSG will have a chance for revenge against Manchester United, who ousted the French club in the last 16 two seasons ago.

PSG will also come up against RB Leipzig in Group H. The sides met in last season's semifinals in Lisbon in August, with the Ligue 1 giants winning 3-0 before losing to Bayern Munich in their first ever final appearance.

Completing the group is Istanbul Basaksehir, who are appearing in the tournament proper for the first time.

Premier League champions Liverpool, who won the Champions League in 2019, will face Ajax as well as Atalanta and Midtjylland of Denmark in Group D.

Other notable match-ups will see 13-time European champions Real Madrid meet Inter Milan in Group B and Chelsea come up against debutants Rennes as well as Europa League winners Sevilla in Group E.

The group stage starts on October 20, and all six rounds of games will be crammed into eight weeks in a schedule that is even more packed than usual because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This season's final is scheduled to be staged in Istanbul, which was initially the host for last season's final before UEFA was forced into a change of plans because of the health crisis.

The UEFA did not reveal as to whether the spectators would be allowed into the stadiums during the group stage.

Champions League group stage draw:

Group A: Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow

Group B: Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter, Borussia Monchengladbach

Group C: Porto, Manchester City, Olympiacos, Marseille

Group D: Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland

Group E: Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes

Group F: Zenit, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge

Group G: Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kiev, Ferencvaros

Group H: Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Thursday, October 1, 2020, 21:30 [IST]
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