Barcelona’s Champions League Draw Sees Messi Face Ronaldo

Lionel Messi

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Barcelona will face Juventus, Dynamo Kiev, and Ferencváros in the group stages of the 2020-21 Champions League.

The draw means Barca captain Lionel Messi will come up against Cristiano Ronaldo when the Catalan giants take on Juventus. The two superstars have enjoyed a long rivalry and have won 11 of the last 12 Ballon d’Or awards between them.

Messi has the edge when it comes to meetings between the two players in Europe’s top competition, although this will be the first time they have faced each other in the group stages.

The game will also see midfielders Miralem Pjanic and Arthur face their former teams after swapping clubs during the summer transfer window. Pjanic moved to Barcelona from Juventus with Arthur heading in the other direction.

Also in the group are Dynamo Kiev, who finished second in the Ukrainian Premier League in 2019-20, and Hungarian champions Ferencváros.

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Group Stage Schedule

There’s a hectic schedule for the group stages because last season’s competition was disrupted by Covid-19 and did not finish until the end of August. The late completion meant this season’s competition will not kick off until later this month.

The Champions League group stages will get underway on 20 October and are scheduled to wrap up by December 9.  Here’s a look at the full schedule.

Matchday 1: October 20-21
Matchday 2: October 27-28
Matchday 3: November 3-4
Matchday 4: November 24-25
Matchday 5: December 1-2
Matchday 6: December 8-9

Teams will then progress to the knockout stages which will revert to their normal schedule. The final will be held at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Turkey which had been due to hold the 2020 final.

Round of 16:  February 6, 2021–March 3, 2021
Quarter-finals: April 6, 2021–April 14, 2021
Semi-finals: April 27, 2021–5 May, 2021
UCL Final: 29 May 2021

Bayern Munich are the current holders of the European Cup after beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the final back in August. Barcelona will be hoping they can lift the famous trophy for the first time since 2015.

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