For many football fans, today one of the most important days on the football calendar.
With the qualifier rounds wrapping up yesterday, UEFA held the group stage draw for the 2016-17 Champions League earlier today. 32 members of Europe’s elite were thrown together and matched up at random (or “random,” if you’re a cynic), setting the table for some thrilling contests over six matchdays between now and the end of the year.
Already we’re seeing some fascinating possibilities for drama. Barcelona and Manchester City were drawn together in Group C, marking yet another bittersweet return for Pep Guardiola. Bayern Munich and Atlético Madrid will meet again for the first time since their contentious semifinal tie last season. Leicester City got a reasonably favorable draw for their first ever appearance in the Champions League. And Real Madrid start their quest for #12 in a group shared with occasional tormentors Borussia Dortmund.
Here’s the full draw:
Meanwhile, the Europa League group stage draw will be held early tomorrow (7am EST), so if you’re a committed football hipster or you want to see who gets stuck with Manchester United, set your alarms.