UEFA Champions League group stage draw, as it happened
The Foro Gramildi in Monaco was the setting for the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage which was concluded this evening.
Former AS Roma legend Francesco Totti was on hand to draw the 32 competing teams whilst current Ukraine national team coach Andriy Shevchenko was responsable for selecting the respective group for each team.
This is the result of the draw:
2017/18 Champions League groups:
Group A: Benfica, Man United, Basel, CSKA
Group B: Bayern, PSG, Anderlecht, Celtic
Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, Qarabag
GroupD: Juventus, Barça, Olympiakos, Sporting CP
Group E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool. Maribor
Group F: Shakhtar, Man City, Napoli, Feyenoord
Group G: Monaco, Porto, Beskitas, RB Leipzig
Group H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Spurs, APOEL
The opening fixtures will take place on Tuesday 12 September and Wednesday 13 September with the conclusion of the group stage on the 5/6 December.
The top two teams in each group will progress to the round of 16 of which the fixtures will be decided with the draw on Monday 11 December in Nyon.
The final award to Cristiano concludes the coverage from Monaco ... a reminder of the schedule of games that start in September and runs through to December. Many thanks for your company this evening and remember to stay in touch with AS English for all the post draw reaction and the UCL 2017/18 fixtures.
UEFA Player of the 2016/17 goes to CR7.... Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo
Back to the awards before we leave Monaco .... UEFA Women's Player of the 2016/17 season award goes to ..... Lieke Mertens
Group A: Benfica, Man United, Basel, CSKA Group B: Bayern, PSG, Anderlecht, Celtic Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, Qarabag Group D: Juve, Barça, Olympiakos, Sporting CP Group E: Spartak, Sevilla, Liverpool. Maribor Group F: Shakhtar, Man City, Napoli, Feyenoord Group G: Monaco, Porto, Beskitas, RB Leipzig Group H: Real Madrid, BVB, Spurs, APOEL
Totti selects Sporting Clube from Lisbon and they head to group D... Celtic head for group B... CSKA Moscow will play in group A ... Maribor will head to group E and that leaves Apoel to play in group H
It's the final pot as we learn of the teams that will complete all eight groups... Fisrt team out is RB Leipzig who will play in group G... Qarabag are the next side out and they will play in group C.... Next team is Feyenoord... the Dutch champions will play in group F...
Next individual award goes to Cristiano Ronaldo .... Forward of the UCL season 2016/17
Next side is AS Roma, the Italian side head to group C (with Chelsea and Atleti) ... next up ....Olympiakos and head to group D as Napoli go to group F
Second side out is .... FC Basel ..the Swiss side will play in group A (with United and Benfica) ... next team is Besiktas JK and play in group G... Liverpool next up and the Reds are heading to group E... Spurs next side out and the Londn based side will head to group H
Pot 3 time .... Totti smiles knowing his beloved AS Roma are in this pot .... Anderlecht first side out .... the Belgian outfit will play in group B
UCL Player of 2016/17 (Midfield) goes to Real Madrid and Croatia's Luka Modric
Sevilla FC join group E .... Dortmund aim for group H (and Real Madrid, a repeat of last season's group) FC Barcelona will play in group D (with Juve)
Nest team out is PSG.... The French side head for group B with Bayern Munich! Next out is Man. City and the Citizens will play in group F
Nest side out is Atletico Madrid ... Cholo's side play in group C (with Chelsea) .. Man. United next out and they go to group A (with Benfica)
Back to the draw.... Pot 2 with some big teams involved .... this is when it gets interesting .... first side out is FC Porto and they go to group G
Next up UEFA award time...this one for Defender of 2016/17 and Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos is on hand to collect his prize.
Real Madrid .... the current champions will partcipate in group H and Juventus will play in group D
Shakhtar Donetsk will play in group F
Next out .... French champions AS Monaco and they head to group G
Totti draws....Bayern Munich and the German side head to group B
Next Pot 1 side is SL Benfica, champions of Portugal and they will play in group A
Next side out is .... Chelsea FC .... The English champions head to group C
Bombo 1 (Pot 1) time .... and the first name out is .... Russian champions Spartak Moscow and they head to group E
Also confirmed by UEFA that no teams from Russia and Ukraine can face each other (Shakhtar Donetsk and Moscow based CSKA and Spartak)
It's draw time !!!! Giorgio Marchetti (UEFA Director of Competitions) talks us through the format of the draw and pays tribute to newcomers RB Leipzig and Qarabag with a guide to kick-off times.
Gianluigi Buffon wins the UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year (2016/17)
Former Ukraine international (and indeed manager of the national side) Andriy Shevchenko will alos assist with the draw this evening...
First up will be one of the various UEFA prizes that will be handed out during the course of the evening. Roma's Francesco Totti lined up to be awarded the "President's Award" by UEFA chief Aleksander Čeferin.
There will be plenty of videos of fine Champions League goals with pumping euro house soundbeds....Fingers crossed the waffle is kept to a minimum and the dray is a swift-esque process.....but don't hold your breath...
It's Reshmin Chowdhury and Pedro Pinto to guide us through this evening's draw....
We're live in Monaco at a packed Foro Grimaldi as the UEFA Champions League anthem belts out ....
RB Leipzig and Azerbaijan outfit Qarabag are the debutantes in this 2017/18 edition of the Champions League. "The Horsemen" from Qarabağ Futbol Klubu dispatching Danish champions FC Copenhagen in the qualifying round.
Important dates for the diary: The six match-days when the UCL 2017/18 group stage games will be staged:
Final last minute preparations taking place in the Foro Grimaldi in Monaco ahead of this evening's draw:
The Road to Kiev (#RoadtoKyiv) starts in earnest this evening as 32 of the biggest names in European football learn their rivals in the 2017/18 group stage draw:
Messi has arrived at the Foro Grimaldi in Monaco
Don't forget that tonight's draw will be complemented by the following UEFA awards:
An hour to go before the 2017/18 Champions League Group stage draw in Monaco.....
Cristiano Ronaldo's fellow Uefa Player of the Year Award nominee Lionel Messi has also posted a flying-to-Monaco-on-swish-plane photo:
This is the view that visitors will have when they arrive at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco
As can be seen from the list of teams below, one of the three Bundesliga representatives, RB Leipzig, sits in Pot 4 with the lowest Uefa coefficient (15.899). This figure is derived from various elements but the fact that this is the club's first European adventure has a big say. Compare this to their seasoned compatriots, Bayern Munich on 154.899 points. No one, though, will relish a match up against the runners-up in the German top flight.
It's obligatory: which would be your Group of Death (i.e. the strongest teams from each of the four pots remembering the draw rules)? Here's our pick: Real Madrid - PSG - Tottenham - RB Leipzig
Following the incredible transfer business done in this summer's window, lots of people were hoping for a Neymar return to Barcelona. Unfortunately for them, this will not be happening during the group phase, although with both sides expected to qualify for the last 16 who knows what may happen...
Here's a quick teaser for you: which team has scored the most goals in a single group phase? And the answer is: Borussia Dortmund who last season scored 21 goals across the six games. Impressive
Six hours till the draw itself begins. As part of the proceedings there will be introductions to those taking part and also a number of awards will be handed out for the UEFA Men's and Women's Players of the Year as well as specific prizes for best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward.
Fans around the world woke up this morning with one thing on their mind: which three teams will we be playing home and away in this year's Champions League group stage? And you can stay with us throughout the day for insight into the teams, the competition, the history...actually anything we think you'll find interesting, before bringing you every nail-biting second of the draw itself. Can you tell we're excited?
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