Monaco - The Bundesliga's four representatives in this season's UEFA Champions League have discovered who will block their path to glory at the group stage draw in Monaco.
Check out the final groups below and stick with bundesliga.com for the clubs' and players' reactions...
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Paris St. Germain||PSV Eindhoven||Benfica||Juventus FC|
|Real Madrid||Manchester United||Atletico Madrid||Manchester City|
|Shakhtar Donetsk||CSKA Moskva||Galatasaray||FC Sevilla|
|Malmö FF||VFL WOLFSBURG||FC Astana||BORUSSIA M'GLADBACH|
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|FC Barcelona||FC BAYERN MÜNCHEN||Chelsea||Zenit St. Petersburg|
|BAYER 04 LEVERKUSEN||Arsenal||FC Porto||Valencia|
|AS Roma||Olympiacos||Dynamo Kyiv||Olympique Lyon|
|FC BATE Borisov||Dinamo Zagreb||Maccabi Tel-Aviv||KAA Gent|
FC Bayern München
Philipp Lahm: "It's nice that when we play Arsenal we'll meet two old friends from the national team in Per Mertesacker and Mesut Özil. They'll be tough away games in great stadiums in Zagreb, Greece and London. It'll be very exciting but we're favourites to win the group and want to reach the knock-out rounds again."
Manuel Neuer: “We’ve played Aresenal a few times in the Champions League. I don’t know the other teams in our group as well just yet as I haven’t played agains them before. But both played well in qualifying and we need to take them very seriously. One thing is clear: our aim has to be to top the group.”
Thomas Müller: “There’s no doubt it’s a strong group and we’ll have to take every opponent seriously. In London in particular I’m sure there’ll be a great atmosphere again, but the other teams have their qualities too. Our objective is clear, though: to reach the last 16.”
Jerome Boateng: “It could have been worse. It’s an interesting group and I’m looking forward to playing against Mesut and Per. Arsenal are a great club and London’s always brought us good luck so far. The other teams are very good too. The stadium in Piraeus will be a real cauldron, while Zagreb will be a new experience. We’ll have to play with confidence and if we do that then I’m not worried at all.”
Xabi Alonso: “We’ll have to face each of the three teams in our group with respect in order to reach the last 16. Bayern know Arsenal very well having played them several times over the years. I played against Dinamo Zagreb with Real Madrid and against Olympiacos with Liverpool. Away from home especially they’ll be tough games as the fans there are very emotional. We’re favourites to win the group and will give our all to reach the knockout stages.”
Medhi Benatia: "A tough group but we can do it!"
Jerome Boateng on facing Arsenal: "Back to London! It's always brought us luck so far!"
Granit Xhaka: “I’m delighted with the draw. These are really strong opponents. Sevilla are the Europa League winners, but we’re looking forward to testing ourselves in this group. Juventus reached the final last season and Manchester City have strengthened over the summer, but we’re ready for the challenges.”
Max Eberl, Gladbach sporting director: “I guess you can say welcome to the Champions League! We’ve got Juventus, who were in the final last year, Manchester City who have one of the best squads in the world and want to win the competition, and Sevilla, who won the Europa League. These are big names in Europe. We want to prove ourselves and learn from our experiences in the competition this year. We’re here to play, not just make up the numbers. I don’t think anyone can predict the future, but we’ll happily accept the role of underdogs.”
What a group 🙈😂⚽️👍— Thorgan Hazard (@HazardThorgan8) August 27, 2015
Klaus Allofs, Wolfsburg sporting director: “First and foremost it’s great to be a part of this again. As for the group, it could have been worse. Manchester United are a big name and the others are well-versed in European competitions as well.”
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Lars Bender, Leverkusen captain: "It's a very attractive group. We'll definitely need more special evenings like the one we had on Wednesday against Lazio in order to prevail. But last season and again in this one we've shown that we should be taken seriously."
Rudi Völler, sporting director: "It's an unbelievably difficult group. We've got one of the most difficult and attractive draws in facing Barcelona. Playing against my former club AS Roma will of course be a special occasion for me. BATE have featured regularly in the Champions League over the last few years and they even managed to beat Bayern, so they're dangerous. But regardless of who we play we'll throw ourselves into every match and want to create fantastic Champions League evenings this season too."
Michael Schade, Leverkusen executive director: “What a draw! For our fans it’ll be a nice opportunity for tourism, but in a sporting sense this is a huge challenge and we don’t need to talk about how good Barcelona are. This is what we’ve come to expect from the Champions League, but we believe in our chances.”
Wolves in Monaco
Wolfsburg have sent some big-hitting delegates to the Mediterranean principality to witness the draw first hand...
Amid all the excitement of the upcoming draw, it shouldn't be forgotten that two of the German representatives will face each other on Bundesliga Matchday 3 this weekend, when Bayern host Leverkusen, who secured their place in the Champions League group stage with a 3-0 victory over Lazio in the play-off second leg earlier this week. Find out what to expect when the two meet in the video below:
New outfit for the Foals
To mark their return to Europe's top table after a lengthy absence, Gladbach have launched a special Champions League kit which they will wear in the competition this season.
Clubs and players alike are eagerly looking forward to finding out which European cities they'll be visiting over the next few months...
Which team do you want ?? 👏⚽️— Thorgan Hazard (@HazardThorgan8) August 27, 2015
In it to win it
Here are the four pots from which the teams will be drawn. At this stage sides from the same national association cannot be pitted against each other.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
|FC Barcelona||Real Madrid||Shakhtar Donetsk||BATE|
|FC Chelsea||Atletico Madrid||Sevilla||Borussia M'Gladbach|
|FC Bayern München||FC Porto||Lyon||VfL Wolfsburg|
|Juventus||Arsenal||Dynamo Kyiv||Dinamo Zagreb|
|Benfica||Manchester United||Olympiacos||Maccabi Tel-Aviv|
|Paris St. Germain||Valencia||CSKA Moskva||Gent|
|Zenit St. Petersburg||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||Galatasaray||Malmö|
|PSV Eindhoven||Manchester City||AS Roma||Astana|