Monte Carlo: Seven-time champions AC Milan, knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona in the last two seasons, were drawn against the Catalans again in the group stage of this season’s competition on Friday.
Milan were beaten 2-4 on aggregate by Barcelona in the round of 16 last year and 1-3 on aggregate in the quarter finals two seasons ago, when the two sides also met in the group stage.
The teams were drawn in Group H, alongside four-time winners Ajax Amsterdam and Celtic, the Scottish champions having also faced Barcelona in the group stage last season.
Nine-time champions Real Madrid would meet Juventus in two mouth-watering clashes in Group B, which also features Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen.
Defending champions Bayern Munich will face CSKA Moscow, Manchester City and Viktoria Plzen in Group D.
“We have to go into the competition with a lot of respect and a lot of focus from the very start,” said Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
“We have to be especially careful not to underestimate CSKA Moscow and Manchester City. This will not be an automatic qualification but our aim is to make the knockout stage.”
Group F was arguably the toughest, pitting Arsenal against Olympique Marseille, last year’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund and Napoli. The first three of those teams also took part in the same group two seasons ago. Austria Vienna, the only debutants in the draw, were placed in Group G.