Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
New Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho will get a quick return to the San Siro but instead of facing former club and champions Inter Milan, it’s another double header with AC Milan for the Spaniards like last year.
Chelsea’s Didier Drogba can look forward to a trip to old haunt Marseille and Arsenal will have a speedy reunion with ex-striker Eduardo who now plays for Shakhtar Donetsk.
Holders Inter, who can boast UEFA keeper of the year Julio Cesar, defender of the year Maicon, midfielder of the year Wesley Sneijder and forward of the year Diego Milito, have been drawn with Werder Bremen and debutants Tottenham Hotspur.
A battle of Britain between Manchester United, of course managed by a Scot, and Rangers promises some fireworks while Barcelona will probably be the happiest of the top seeds with their easy-looking group.
The draw for the group phase of the 2009-10 Champions League has just finished in Monaco and it’s thrown up a couple of groups to savour especially.
Real Madrid getting drawn in Group C means they will face AC Milan … and that means a return to the San Siro for Kaka, who made the switch over the close season. Likewise, Barcelona’s big signing Zlatan ibrahimovic will be on his way back to Milan, after Inter joined the holders in Group F.
The draw for the Champions League final qualifying round raises the question whether Michel Platini and UEFA have done the right thing by giving teams from Europe’s less heralded leagues a better chance of reaching the money-spinning group stage.
On one hand, restructuring the qualifying campaign has opened the group stage doors to Latvian champions Venstpils, Cypriots APOEL Nicosia, Hungarian title holders Debrecen and Moldovans Sheriff Tiraspol.