Liverpool to face Real on CL return post five-year absence
Defending champions Real Madrid are set to face five-time winners Liverpool on their return to the Champions League.
Liverpool, back after a five-year absence, has also been drawn alongside Basel and Ludogorets of Bulgaria in their Champions League campaign.
Manchester City will play Bayern Munich for the third time in four seasons, as well as CSKA Moscow and Roma, while Arsenal face Borussia Dortmund for the second season running, and Chelsea look to have a kind draw against Schalke, Sporting Lisbon and Maribor, The BBC reported.
Chelsea secretary David Barnard said that the club boss Jose Mourinho texted him to say that he was happy, adding that would he rather be in the groups with the other English clubs, adding that one has got to be happy with that.
Arsenal, who qualified for the group stages for the 17th season in a row by beating Besiktas 1-0 on aggregate in the play-off, have also been drawn with Galatasaray and Anderlecht in Group D.
Arsenal's club secretary David Miles said that they know Borussia Dortmund well of course, and are looking forward to it and hopefully can progress through this group, with the pre-requisite being to aim to finish top of the group.
As well as Bayern, Premier League champions City also played CSKA Moscow in last season's competition, winning home and away to help them advance to the last 16, where they were beaten 4-1 on aggregate by Barcelona.
City's director of football Txiki Begiristain said that he feels this is the toughest group, adding that last season Bayern were first, they were second and they also played CSKA, but the fourth one was very tough, a very strong team in Roma.
Liverpool won their third European club title by beating Real Madrid 1-0 in the 1981 final in Paris thanks to an Alan Kennedy goal and manager Brendan Rodgers is delighted to be playing the record 10-time winners of the competition again.
Rodgers said that to be back in it again, no matter who Liverpool is going to play, it was always going to be exciting. But, he added that to have Real in their group, the champions last season, is going to be special.
Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre added that it is of course going to be tough, but they wouldn't be in it if it wasn't difficult, fun and challenging and they have prepared themselves well and have good preparations.
Real's former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award at the draw in Monaco, beating Bayern Munich pair Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben, who were also short-listed.
Ronaldo said of the Liverpool clash that it would, adding that he has never played there for Real. He said that Liverpool is a very, very difficult stadium, but added that they are Real so they are going to try to win.
(Posted on 29-08-2014)