Ronaldo set for Old Trafford return with Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo. Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo can look forward to a return to Old Trafford in the Champions League this season after his new team Juventus came out in the same group as Manchester United in Thursday’s draw in Monaco.

Ronaldo spent six years at United, winning the Champions League in 2008, before moving to Real Madrid in 2009. He will come up against his compatriot Jose Mourinho, under whom he played during his time at Real, while United midfielder Paul Pogba can also look forward to facing his old team.

While those sides will be favourites to progress to the last 16 from Group H, they will have to be wary of Valencia, with the Spaniards returning to the group stage for the first time in three years.

Thursday’s draw ceremony at Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum, a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean Sea, threw up several other fascinating groups, with last season’s beaten finalists Liverpool set to have their work cut out alongside the Paris Saint-Germain of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, as well as Napoli, in Group C.

Carlo Ancelotti, who became coach of Napoli in the close season, will return to the French capital, where he led PSG to the title in 2013. That group is completed by a famous old name in 1991 European Cup winners Red Star Belgrade.

Holders Madrid begin their bid to win a fourth consecutive Champions League crown in a kind-looking Group G, featuring Roma, CSKA Moscow and the Czech side Viktoria Plzen.

In contrast, Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur will play each other in a testing Group B along with Inter Milan and PSV Eindhoven, the 1988 European Cup winners. The draw looks kind to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City as they look to win the trophy for the first time.

They will face group-stage debutants Hoffenheim as well as Lyon and Shakhtar Donetsk, coming up against the latter for the second year running.

Group A: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Club Brugge.

Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, PSV Eindhoven, Inter.

Group C: Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade.

Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow, FC Porto, Schalke 04, Galatasaray. 

Group E: Bayern Munich, Benfica, Ajax, AEK Athens.

Group F: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Hoffenheim.

Group G: Real Madrid, Roma, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen.

Group H: Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia, Young Boys.

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Ronaldo set for Old Trafford return with Juventus

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