Rangers face Liverpool in their Champions League return for the first time in 12 years after being drawn against Jürgen Klopp’s side in Group A, while Erling Haaland is set to face former club Borussia Dortmund for Manchester City.
Having played two qualifying rounds following their Europa League final defeat last season, the reward for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side is a tough group that also includes Dutch champions Ajax and Napoli, who are in top of the Serie A standings after two games.
Yet it could have been even worse for Rangers had former Bayern Munich and Turkey midfielder Hamit Altintop lured them into a group that contained Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Internazionale. Instead, Czech champions Viktoria Plzen have the unenviable task of trying to navigate their way past three teams who have won the competition 14 times between them.
Liverpool have never faced Rangers in a competitive match, although they met in friendlies with the most recent in October 2011 when the Scottish side won 1-0 at Ibrox.
Klopp had no doubts about the task at hand. He said: “The first thing to say is that it is an appropriate and appropriate challenge. The difference this year is that the group stage will be shorter than usual, so we will have to be ready not only for the quality of the opposition but also for the different demands and paces.
“Only a few years ago we played two very difficult games against Ajax and we are regularly drawn against Napoli, so we know a little about them both and they know a little about us. I know that There will also be new lessons to learn, however.
“Rangers are a new opponent for us, but we know them too. Their history over the past few years has been really interesting and they have done very well to qualify for the group stage considering the teams they have faced in the qualifying matches.
Elsewhere, Tottenham will relish their chances of progressing in their first Champions League campaign since 2019/20 after being drawn with Eintracht Frankfurt – who beat Rangers in the Europa League final to qualify for the Champions League competition. this season – Sporting and Marseille in Group D.
“We have some very tough games but everyone knows each other in European football now and we have a team that I think could be a force to be reckoned with,” said the Tottenham ambassador and former captain. Gary Mabbutt.
“We are playing against the elite in Europe and we are looking forward to it.”
Chelsea will face Milan, FC Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb in what also appears to be a welcome draw for Thomas Tuchel’s side in Group E, while Norwegian striker Haaland will reunite with his former Borussia Dortmund teammates after his move 53 million pounds after City placed with German side Sevilla and FC Copenhagen in Group G.
“It will be a special game, especially for Erling Haaland and Ilkay Gündogan,” said City chief executive Ferran Soriano.
“I think both will enjoy it. It’s a fantastic stadium – last time we were there it was empty due to Covid so it will actually be a great experience for our fans, both in Dortmund and Manchester.
When asked if winning the Champions League for the first time was City’s priority this season after being knocked out by Madrid in the semi-finals last season after losing to Chelsea in the 2021 final, Soriano said added: “No, it never is. Our priority is always the Premier League – it’s what we work hard for every week and it’s our daily bread. The Champions League is of course an aspiration but it’s not It’s not an obsession. We’ll win it, I’m sure.
Celtic face a tough challenge against holders Real Madrid, RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Celtic, managed by Ange Postecoglou, last met the 14 winners in 1980 – a European Cup draw that ultimately saw the Spanish side win after leading 2-0 at one stage.
Porto, Atlético Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Club Brugge make up Group B, with Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Benfica and Maccabi Haifa in Group H.
England coach Sarina Wiegman, winner of Euro 2022, has also been named UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year, with Beth Mead missing Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas in the Women’s Player of the Year award. year.
“It’s really nice to receive this great award, I’m honored and touched,” said Weigman. “This award is really for everyone involved in the England team, the FA, the staff and especially the players. Our fans have been amazing too so thank you fans for supporting us so much. Hopefully we we will qualify for the World Cup and that we will enjoy the game Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti won the men’s award, while Karim Benzema was named men’s player of the year.
Champions League: Liverpool take on Rangers as Haaland tie with Dortmund