Champions League draw results: Messi, Barcelona in group of death; Ronaldo to take on Mourinho, winners and losers

The Champions League 2018-19 group-stage draw took place on Thursday in Monaco. All 32 participants were grouped into eight groups consisting of four teams, with some delightful matchups ahead. Lionel Messi and Barcelona are pitted in one of the toughest groups of the tournament, while Cristiano Ronaldo, now with Juventus, will meet his old squad, Manchester United. Here are the results, along with everything else you need to know about the draw, including the winners and losers. 

Group A

  • Atletico Madrid (ESP)
  • Borussia Dortmund (GER)
  • Monaco (FRA)
  • Club Brugge (BEL)

Group B

  • Barcelona (ESP)
  • Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)
  • PSV-Eindhoven (NED)
  • Inter Milan (ITA)

Group C

  • Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
  • Napoli (ITA)
  • Liverpool (ENG)
  • Red Star Belgrade (SRB) 

Group D

  • Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS)
  • Porto (POR)
  • Schalke (GER)
  • Galatasaray (TUR)

Group E

  • Bayern Munich (GER)
  • Benfica (POR)
  • Ajax (NED)
  • AEK Athens (GRE)

Group F

  • Manchester City (ENG)
  • Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
  • Lyon (FRA)
  • Hoffenheim (GER)

Group G

  • Real Madrid (ESP)
  • Roma (ITA)
  • CSKA Moscow (RUS)
  • Viktoria Plzen (CZE)

Group H

  • Juventus (ITA)
  • Manchester United (ENG)
  • Valencia (ESP)
  • Young Boys (SUI)

Winners

  1. Bayern Munich: Really simple group from them. They shouldn't have any trouble with Benfica, Ajax or AEK Athens and will likely waltz into the round of 16 by the end of the fourth matchday. 
  2. Manchester City: An easy group for Pep Guardiola's team, as the Cityzens are grouped with Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon and Hoffenheim. It's hard to not see nine points from City at home, and it would be a shock if this team doesn't finish first. Really favorable draw. 
  3. Schalke: Talk about a favorable draw. Look at all the other groups. It could of been much worse for the German club, considering it was slotted in Pot 3 before the draw, but it came away with Lokomotiv Moscow, Porto and Galatasaray. A great chance for U.S. men's national team midfielder Weston McKennie to ease into the competition. 

Losers

  1. Red Star Belgrade: Thanks for coming. Enjoy the six games. This team gets Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Liverpool, and could end up with zero points. Rough draw. 
  2. Spurs: For a team with really high aspirations, the Spurs are in a tough group that has Barcelona, PSV and Inter Milan. They can get through, just like last season with Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, but it's going to be quite the challenge.
  3. Manchester United: Fans of the Red Devils had to be praying for a group like Lokomotiv and Schalke, especially since the team is playing so poorly. Instead, United lands a Cristiano Ronaldo reunion with Juventus and an ambitious Valencia team that can give some serious trouble. Juve is the favorite out of this group and Valencia will likely be the direct rival to United for second place. 

Group of Death

You can make an argument for a few groups. Take Juve, United and Valencia in Group H or Liverpool, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain in Group C for instance. In the end, from top to bottom, the most challenging group is Group B. You've got Barcelona, Tottenham, a Hirving Lozano-led PSV side and Inter Milan. This group is packed with top talent, though Barca should win come away in first. All three of those remaining teams will fight for second, with the Spurs having the best chance to advance. All 12 games in that group should be really competitive and intense

We'll have to wait and see how the schedule plays out, but one thing is sure -- you have to get off to a great start in order to have hopes of advancing in this group. Whichever team lands Barcelona on the final matchday may come away with an advantage if Barcelona has already clinched and Ernesto Valverde chooses to rests some of his stars. Teams must take care of business and get results at home, and the ones that slip up will likely end up in the Europa League or out of the continental tournaments as a result. 

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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