Bayern Munich will begin the chase for its sixth European crown in September as it was drawn Thursday against the world’s most expensive player, plus perennial champions from Belgium and Scotland, in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Play begins Sept. 12 and 13.
Bayern and Paris Saint-Germain (home of €222 million Neymar) will be heavy favorites to advance from Group B while Anderlecht and Celtic will likely look to secure passage to the UEFA Europa League with a third-place finish from the group.
The Bundesliga’s other two entrants in the group stage, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig were drawn into interesting groups as well. Dortmund will face Real Madrid, which is seeking its third straight title, Tottenham and APOEL in Group H; RB Leipzig’s maiden voyage in the Champions League has it drawn against Monaco, Porto and Beskitas in Group G.
Here is the complete list of groups:
Franck Ribery is ready to play:
A new system of qualification will begin with the 2018-19 season with the top four nations in the UEFA association club coefficient rankings (Spain, Germany, England and Italy) each receiving four automatic Champions League group places.