August 24, 2006
CL Group Stage Draw Live
UEFA streams this live on their official website
11:03: President Leinart Johansson crawls up to the stage after finishing something horribly unhealthy I’m sure. His speech doesn’t really reveal anything so it’s a relief when he stops to go back to his dinner.
11:05: Montage of last season’s Champions League featuring the Highbury Squirrel among other things. Not a very good montage to be honest.
11:07: Some guy talks money and hopes not to upset the G-14, and there are some awards for last season’s competition as well.
11:08: They are doing the goalkeeper award with Lyon’s Gregory Coupet, Serie B starlet Gianluigi Buffon and Jens Lehmann up for the award.
11:09: And the mad German takes the prize for UEFA Club Goalkeeper and gives a vanilla acceptance speech thanking his club. I could use some boasting
11:10 The heads of the club competitions arrive on stage to participate with a couple of people clapping. Real fanfare there. Now time for an explanation which might be necessary for Levski Sofia and FC Kobenhavn who are making their debuts in the Champions League.
11:12 Expecting applause after the explanation there’s a good amount of dead air. It’s also time for another montage of the teams in Pool 1; Barcelona, Milan, Real Madrid, Inter, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Valencia are those clubs.
11:14 Milan are first to be drawn and the six time winners go into Group H
11:15 Liverpool are next and go into Group C and the presenters remininsce about that night in Istanbul.
11:16 Last year’s runners-up Arsenal begin their ninth consecutive season in the Champion League in Group G. Valencia are then put in Group D.
11:17 Real Madrid, the nine-time winners go to Group E while two-time winners Inter go to Group B while the presenters point out they last won in 1965.
11:18 Barcelona go into group A by default which means Manchester United get put into Group F. Lehmann awkwardly walks off the stage while the defender award is presented.
11:19 Barcelona legend Michael Laudrup gets to open the envelope but they need a montage to show the nominees; Fabio Cannavaro, Emmanuel Eboue of Arsenal and Carles Puyol of Barca. I would guess its Puyol.
11:21 And unsurprisingly I was right. And after a delay because Puyol is doing the acceptance interview in Spanish they finally move on.
11:23 Yet another video montage for the second Pool; Lyon, Porto, PSV, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Roma, Celtic and Lille.
11:25 Uninspiring montage and Roma is first out and the 1984 finalists get put in Group D with Valencia. Bayern Munich, four time champions get put into Group B with Inter.
11:26 Lille are third out go into Group H with Milan. Porto are fourth and the two times winners go into Group G with Arsenal.
11:27 PSV Eindhoven are fifth out of the bowl and the 1988 Champions go to Group C with Liverpool. Chelsea go to Group A with Barcelona, this will be awesome.
11:28 Celtic, the 1966 winners go to Group F with Manchester United a good tie that. Lyon get Real Madrid in another good matchup.
11:30 The rumbling after Chelsea was quite loud.
11:31 Club Midfielder of the year now being presented the nominees; Deco from Barca, Juninho from Lyon and Riquelme of Villarreal.
11:32 It goes to Deco, although Riquelme would have gotten it had he converted that penalty against Arsenal I’m sure. After saying something in English he gives the acceptance speech in Portugese. Why didn’t they make Lehmann speak German? Deco takes on the most cliched question of the night and replies with a chiche of his own.
11:34 The pool 3 montage features Sporting Lisbon, Benfica, Bordeaux, Steaua Bucharest, Werder Bremen, Olympiakos, CSKA Moscow and AEK Athens.
11:36 Werder Bremen are first picked and they get placed in Group A with Barca and Chelsea. More grumbling afterwards.
11:37 Sporting joins Bayern and Inter in group B. Steaua Bucharest is third and goes to Group E with Real Madrid and Lyon.
11:38 AEK Athens, weakest team in this pool arguably go to Group H with Lille and Milan. Benfica goes in with Manchester United and Celtic by default.
11:40 Olympiakos goes to Group D with Valencia and Roma. CSKA Moscow go to Arsenal and Porto to Group G and Bordeaux go with Group C by default.
11:41 Now the award for Club Forward of the Year the nominees; Samuel Eto’o of Barcelona, Thierry Henry of Arsenal and Ronaldinho of Barca. I don’t give Henry a shot of winning this.
11:43 And the award goes to the Cameroonian striker, well deserved in my opinion.
11:44 And he gives his acceptance in Spanish and he is then forced to talk about his family in the audience. Just get on with it please…
11:46 Finally the Pool 4 montage, and they almost forgot to do it. The clubs; Anderlecht, Dynamo Kiev, Levski Sofia, Shakhtar Donetsk, Galatasaray, Hamburg SV, Spartak Moscow, FC Kobenhavn.
11:49 Levski Sofia, the first Bulgarian team ever in the Champions League goes into Group A and they get the massive group of Barca, Chelsea and Werder Bremen. Anderlecht, perennial qualifiers who never seem to win, go into the group with Real Madrid
11:50 Spartak Moscow are third and they go into Group B. Dynamo Kiev are next and the three time semifinalists go into Group E.
11:51 FC Kobenhavn get to start in Group F with some applause from their representatives.
11:52 Shakhtar goes to Group D, Hamburg to Group G and the last team Galatasaray to Group C
It’s finally over, so a little recap.
UEFA leaves nothing to surprise in their award presentations while also making terrible video montages.
And the groups:
Group A: Barcelona, Chelsea, Werder Bremen, Levski Sofia
Group B: Inter, Bayern Munich, Sporting Lisbon, Spartak Moscow
Group C: Liverpool, PSV, Bordeaux, Galatasaray
Group D: Valencia, Roma, Olympiakos, Shakhtar Donetsk
Group E: Real Madrid, Lyon, Steaua Bucharest, Dynamo Kiev
Group F: Manchester United, Celtic, Benfica, FC Kobenhavn
Group G: Arsenal, Porto, CSKA Moscow, Hamburg SV
Group H: Milan, Lille, AEK Athens, Anderlecht