The draw for the group stage of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League took place in Istanbul on Thursday, with Bayern Munich taking on Barcelona, Benfica and Dynamo Kiev, and Borussia Dortmund drawn to face Sporting Lisbon, Ajax and Besiktas. The Bundesliga's other representatives, RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg, were also handed tasty draws, including Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
bundesliga.com runs through the draws for each of the four Bundesliga representatives in this season's competition...
The winner's of the Champions League in 2020, and now winners of nine straight Bundesliga titles, Bayern were drawn in Pot 1 as they embark on their first season under new head coach Julian Nagelsmann. The Bundesliga giants could not be drawn against the likes of last season's winners Chelsea, Manchester City or Atletico Madrid, but that did not spare them a tough challenge against Barcelona.
The record champions have good recent memories of Barca, however, beating them 8-2 in a one-leg quarter-final tie two seasons ago, en route to lifting the title in Lisbon. They will return to the scene of that historic victory, the Estádio da Luz, to face its usual tenants Benfica, with Dynamo Kiev rounding off Group E.
Group E: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica & Dynamo Kiev
The 1997 Champions League winners were drawn from Pot 2 as they look to improve on their quarter-final elimination to eventual finalists Man City. It will be Marco Rose's first season in charge of Dortmund, with Erling Haaland also looking to shine on the European stage once more.
They arguably avoided the worst of the Pot 1 clubs, although Sporting Lisbon will be no pushovers, while a short trip to Amsterdam to face Ajax may be preferred to the longer journeys to Zenit St Petersburg or Shakhtar Donetsk they could have faced from Pot 3, though they do have to travel to Turkey to face Besiktas.
Group C: Borussia Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon, Ajax & Besiktas
Entering the group stages for the fourth time, Leipzig are looking to qualify for the knockout rounds for the third time and build on their semi-final appearance in 2019/20, though they are going to have to be at their very best after being drawn against two of Europe's heavyweights Manchester City, coached by former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, and Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain.
Another new coach is in charge of Leipzig this term with Jesse Marsch - who has experience in the competition with Red Bull Salzburg - at the helm. He will also guide the Red Bulls to Belgium with Club Bruges completing a mouth-watering Group A.
Group A: Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig & Club Bruges
The Wolves are back in the Champions League for the first time since 2015/16 when they reached the quarter-finals and came within minutes of reaching the semi-finals at the expense of Real Madrid.
If they wish to go so far again this term, they will have to get the better of Spanish opposition in the shape of Sevilla, with French champions Lille and Salzburg completing Group G.
Group G: Lille, Sevilla, Salzburg & Wolfsburg
UEFA Cup winners in 1988 and UEFA Champions League runners up in 2002, Leverkusen were in Pot 1 for the UEFA Europa League draw on Friday, a competition they last featured in two years ago.
After his joint-best UEFA Euro 2020 haul of five - alongside Cristiano Ronaldo - Patrick Schick will be looking to fire Die Werkself past Scottish, Spanish and Hungarian opposition in the shape of Celtic, Real Betis and Ferencvaros.
Group G: Bayer Leverkusen, Celtic, Real Betis, Ferencvaros
Frankfurt were European Cup finalists in 1960, UEFA Cup winners in 1980 and got as far as the semi-finals of this competition as recently 2018/19 with their fabled front three of Luka Jovic, Ante Rebic and Sebastien Haller.
In Pot 2, Die Adler could not be drawn against fellow German side Leverkusen in Group G, but Oliver Glasner's first continental task as coach will be to guide Filip Kostic and Co. through tests against Olympiacos, Fenerbahce and Antwerp.
Group D: Olympiacos, Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, Antwerp
Over in the UEFA Europa Conference League, Union Berlin will be partaking in their first European campaign since 2001/02, when they became the first German club from the third division to compete in a continental competition. They got to the second round of the UEFA Cup on that occasion, but are back now as an established Bundesliga club after a 4-0 aggregate win over Finland’s KuPS in the play-off round of qualifying.
Urs Fischer and his team including Max Kruse and Taiwo Awoniyi were in Pot 3 as Germany’s sole representative in UEFA’s new third-tier competition, being assigned to Group E alongside Czech champions Slavia Prague, former European champions Feyenoord of the Netherlands, and Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa.
Group E: Slavia Prague, Feyenoord, Union Berlin, Maccabi Haifa