New Delhi: The 2015-16 UEFA Champions League group stage draw was held on Friday in the presence of a hosts of present and past football heroes in Monaco.
Defending champions Barcelona were given an easy group which also has Roma, Leverkusen and BATE Borisov. But last season's losing finalists Juventus probably got the proverbial Group of Death with Borussia Monchengladbach, Manchester City and Sevilla to content with.
Hosted by Melanie Winiger and Peter Schmeichel, the draw witnessed 32 teams from four seeding pots which were divided into eight groups. Here are the final groups:
Group A: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmo
Group B: Manchester United, PSV, Wolfburg, CSKA Moscow
Group C: Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray, Astana
Group D: Borussia Monchengladbach, Manchester City, Sevilla, Juventus
Group E: Barcelona, Roma, Leverkusen, BATE Borisov
Group G: Maccabi Tel Aviv join Chelsea, Dynamo Kiev and Porto.
Group F: Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Olympiacos, Dinamo Zagreb
Champions League holders and the league champions of the top seven associations -- Spain, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France and Russia were given top billing and were put in the Pot 1. As Barcelona are also Spanish champions, the eighth-ranked Netherlands receive the vacant seeding place ahead of the draw.
For the first time in the history of the world's greatest club competition, Kazakhstan were represented by Astana. The draw followed the age-old dictum which rules that no team can meet a team from the same pot nor the same country, and also the political one: Russian and Ukrainian sides must be kept apart.
The final of the 2015-16 edition will be played on May 28 next year at the historic San Siro stadium in Milan.
Pot 1 - Barcelona (Spain), Chelsea (England), Bayern Munich (Germany), Juventus (Italy), Benfica (Portugal), Paris Saint-Germain (France), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Pot 2 - Real Madrid (Spain), Atletico Madrid (Spain), Porto (Portugal), Arsenal (England), Manchester United (England), Valencia (Spain), Bayer Leverkusen (Germany), Manchester City (England)
Pot 3 - Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), Sevilla (Spain), Lyon (Spain), Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine), Olympiacos (Greece), CSKA Moskva (Russia), Galatasaray (Turkey), Roma (Italy)
Pot 4 - BATE (Belarus), Borrusia Monchengladbach (Germany), Wolfsbur (Germany), Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel), Gent (Belgium), Malmo (Sweden), Astana (Kazakhstan)