Real Madrid to face Liverpool in group stage

European champions Real Madrid will face former champions Liverpool, FC Basel and debutants Ludogorets of Bulgaria following the draw for the group stage of the Champions league on Thursday.

Real won the title for the 10th time when they beat Atletico Madrid 4-1 after extra time in Lisbon in May and have the chance to avenge a 5-0 aggregate defeat to five-time champions Liverpool in the last 16 in 2009.

Arsenal were drawn in the same group as Borussia Dortmund for the second successive season, as were Chelsea and Schalke 04 and Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Last season's runners-up Atletico were grouped with former champions Juventus, Olympiakos Piraeus and Malmo of Sweden.

Barcelona and Paris St Germain, both clubs with strong links to Qatar, will face each other in Group F along with former champions Ajax Amsterdam and APOEL Nicosia. 

Award for Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, whose extra-time penalty put the seal on Real Madrid's 4-1 Champions League final victory over Atletico Madrid in May, was named UEFA's Best Player in Europe on Thursday.

Ronaldo scored 17 goals in all as Real won the title for the 10th time. The Portuguese was presented with the award in Monte Carlo by UEFA President Michel Platini at the end of the draw for this season's Champions League.

He won ahead of Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer. Nadine Kessler won the women's award after captaining VfL Wolfsburg to the women's Champions League title ahead of team-mates Nilla Fischer and Martina Mueller.

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