Women’s Champions League holders Barcelona were placed in a pool with four-time winners Eintracht Frankfurt while English champions Chelsea were matched with Real Madrid in the group-stage draw on Friday.
In Group A, Barcelona were also drawn with Benfica and Rosengard, two teams they faced at the same stage last season. Barcelona won all four games, beating Benfica by an aggregate of 15-2 and the Norwegians by 10-1 over the two matches.
Barcelona, European champions in two of the last three seasons and Spanish champions for the last four years, are top of La Liga F after winning their first five matches, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference.
As they won their last match away to Atletico Madrid, their line-up contained six players from the Spain team that won the World Cup Final in August, as well as two members of the losing England side.
The only English representative, Chelsea, Super League Champions the last four seasons but losers in their only European final appearance, to Barcelona in 2021, have been drawn with another club chasing a first title, Real Madrid.
Swedes Hacken, who have not progressed past the quarter-finals, and debutantes Paris FC, who upset twice champions Wolfsburg in qualifying round, fill out Group D.
Group C is also made up of big clubs with their noses pressed up against the glass of the Champions League trophy cabinet — Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Roma and Ajax.
PSG coach Jocelyn Precheur acknowledged the toughness of the draw: “When you get to this stage, the groups are always tight. We fought very hard to qualify (against Man Utd). We can’t wait for the challenge”.
In Group B, Lyon, who have won the competition a record eight times, drew Slavia Prague, Saint Poelten and Brann.
Reacting to the draw, Lyon coach Sonia Bompastor said her team were “kicking off this new campaign with lots of ambition” and aimed to “go all the way to the final”.
The group stage gets underway on November 14.
Draw for the group stage of this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League, made in Nyon, Switzerland, on Friday:
Barcelona (ESP), Rosengard (NOR), Benfica (POR), Eintracht Frankfurt (GER).
Lyon (FRA), Slavia Prague (CZE), St. Poelten (AUT), Brann (NOR).
Bayern Munich (GER), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Roma (ITA), Ajax (NED).
Chelsea (ENG), Real Madrid (ESP), BK Hacken FF (SWE) Paris FC (FRA).
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