NYON. – Cristiano Ronaldo will head back to Old Trafford after Manchester United were drawn in Champions League Group H with Italian champions Juventus.
Aside from Ronaldo and Juventus providing a difficult challenge, United should face easier rides against Valencia and Young Boys, who return to the group stages this year. However Ronaldo’s reunion can’t be dismissed as the 33-year-old tries to win the Champions League for a fourth year in a row. The pressure is only increasing on manager Jose Mourinho as United, after a poor start to the Premier League season, face Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford.
The ties against Juventus are going to be marquee occasions, especially because of the match-up between Mourinho and Ronaldo, who joined the Italian club from Real Madrid for £100million in the summer. They may share the same super agent in Jorge Mendes but the pair had a fraught relationship when Mourinho managed Real Madrid.
Former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel said: ‘’Juventus is probably the hardest team to play against in Europe right now because of the signing of Ronaldo. Everyone sees them as rebuilding the whole Italian football scene again.’’ Last year’s beaten finalists Liverpool were paired with Neymar’s Paris Saint-Germain in yesterday’s draw for the group stage of the Champions League. The Premier League leaders also face last year’s Serie A runners up Napoli and former European champions Red Star Belgrade.
Group A: Atletico Madrid (ESP), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Monaco (FRA), Club Brugge (BEL)
Group B: Barcelona (ESP), Tottenham Hotspur (ENG), PSV Eindhoven (NED), Inter (ITA)
Group C: Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Napoli (ITA), Liverpool (ENG), Red Star Belgrade (SRB)
Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS), FC Porto (POR), Schalke 04 (GER), Galatasaray (TUR)
Group E: Bayern Munich (GER), Benfica (POR), Ajax (NED), AEK Athens (GRE)
Group F: Manchester City (ENG), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Lyon (FRA), Hoffenheim (GER)
Group G: Real Madrid (ESP), Roma (ITA), CSKA Moscow (RUS), Viktoria Plzen (CZE)
Group H: Juventus (ITA), Manchester United (ENG), Valencia (ESP), Young Boys (SUI)
– First round of matches on September 18 and 19. – Mailonline/SuperSport