Image courtesy of UEFA.
The premier world football club competition kicked-off on 15 September. The defending champion is FC Barcelona, and the final will take place on 22 May 2010 from el Estadio Bernabeu in Madrid. Matchday 6 will be the last set of fixtures in the group phase of the competition.
Key Matches for Italian Football
For fans of Italian calcio, Juventus, AC Milan, and Internazionale Milano all face key matches that will determine their collective fate. Either qualification to the Champions League elimination round early next year, or a ticket into the new Europa League.
"Matchday 1 takes place on 15/16 September, with fixtures continuing on 29/30 September, 20/21 October, 3/4 November, 24/25 November and 8/9 December. The top two sides from each section will progress to the first knockout round draw on 18 December, which will be held at 12.00 CET in Nyon, while those finishing third will enter the UEFA Europa League Round of 32."Ciro Ferrara,
leads the Old Lady in their crunch match against
FC Bayern Muncheon on Tuesday night in Torino. As
a player, he won the UEFA Champions League in 1996.
Ciro Ferrara, Manager of Juventus FC
"Se la partita contro il Bayern è più importante dell'Inter? Ora ci si gioca la qualificazione, passare il turno è importantissimo per la squadra e la società. E' una finale vera e propria, per noi e per loro. Entrambe le squadre daranno tutto... Come caratteristiche di squadra non possiamo pensare di gestire un pareggio. Non è nella mentalità di una grande squadra come la Juve. Il Bayern ha un solo risultato, la vittoria. Ma ha giocatori che possono creare difficoltà. Non credo che scenderanno in campo spregiudicati dall'inizio. È una grande formazione, abituata a giocare ad alti livelli.".
"If the game against Bayern Munich is more important than the one on Saturday against Inter Milan? Now we are playing for the qualification.Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 7 December 2009.
To pass the turn is extremely important for the team and organization.
It is a real final for us and them. Both teams will give everything...
As a characteristic of the team, we can't think of playing for a tie. It is not in the mentality of a great team such as Juventus. Bayern Munich has only one result: the victory. But Bayern has players that can create problems. I don't believe that they will come on the pitch unbiased from the beginning.
They are a great side, and are accustomed to playing at the highest levels."
There are 8 new teams, along with 16 domestic title holders.
Here are the 32 teams divided into 8 groups:
Bayern Munich (qualifed)
Manchester United (qualified)
CSKA Moscow (qualifed)
AC Milan (qualifed)
Real Madrid CF (qualifed)
Chelsea FC (qualified)
FC Porto (qualified)
Atletico de Madrid
Apoel FC Nicosia
Olympique Lyon (qualified)
ACF Fiorentina (qualified)
FC Barcelona (qualified)
Internazionale Milano (qualified)
FC Rubin Kazan
Vfb Stuttgart (qualified)
AFC Unirea Urziceni
Olimpiakos FC (qualified)
Standard de Leige
UEFA Awards for 2008/2009
UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year: Erwin van der Saar of Manchester United.
UEFA Club Defender of the Year: John Terry of Chelsea FC.
UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year: Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona.
UEFA Club Striker of the Year: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona.
Paolo Maldini of AC Milan received a Special Achievement Award from UEFA President, Michel Platini, during the draw ceremony in Monaco.
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