Football is back!
Today marked the group stage of the European Champions League being set and awards being given out for Player’s of the year.
The stage was set by an array of Footballing superstars including Gianfranco Zola, Gary Lineker and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
With three London based clubs in the draw, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham,it marked the first time since 2003/2004 that three teams from one city have made it into the group stage.
Group A – Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Tottenham, FC Twente
Group B – Lyon, Benfica, Schalke, Tel-Aviv
Group C – Manchester United, Valenica, Rangers, Bursaspor
Group D – Barcelona, Panathinaikos, FC Copenhagen, Rubin Kazan
Group E – Bayern Munich, AS Roma, FC Basel, Cluj
Group F – Chelsea, Marseille, Spartak Moscow, MSK Zilina
Group G – AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre
Group H – Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk, SC Braga, FK Partizan
Some very interesting match ups, with Group G including no less than first ever winners and 9 time champions Real Madrid being drawn with 7 time winners AC Milan. Also featuring 4-time winners Ajax, Group G is the clear “Group of Death” for this year’s draw.
Another interesting match will feature Manchester United battling with Rangers FC, a club that Sir Alex Ferguson scored 25 goals for during his time there in 1967-1969.
Elsewhere, Chelsea FC was drawn with Spartak Moscow, which sees owner Roman Abramovich takes his club to his home country and the return of Russian player Yuri Zhirkov.
First matches are played on September 14th and 15th.
Not only were the groups drawn, but UEFA Player of the Year awards were announced and awarded, here are this year’s winners:
UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan)
Inter Milan continued their winning ways
UEFA Defender of the Year: Maicon (Inter Milan)
UEFA Midfielder of the Year: Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan)
UEFA Forward of the Year: Diego Milito (Inter Milan)
UEFA Player of the Year: Diego Milito (Inter MIlan)
It was a clean sweep for Mourinho and his men in blue stripes, his legend grows and the special one will look forward to completing another clean sweep with Real Madrid this year.