An entire constellation of footballing stars descended on Monaco as UEFA once again laid it on unnecessarily thick at the draw for 2018/19 Champions League group stage on Thursday evening.
On a night that began with David Beckham picking up the prestigious UEFA President’s Award (?), the big-wigs of European competition gradually – oh so gradually – learned of their fate.
After what felt like bloody hours of glossy, massively unnecessary faffing, the draw for the group stage was then conducted at glacial pace inside the Grimaldi Forum.
This be that…
Group A: Atletico Madrid, Dortmund, Monaco, Club Brugge.
Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham, PSV, Inter Milan.
Group C: Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade.
Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow, Porto, Schalke, Galatasaray.
Group E: Bayern Munich, Benfica, Ajax, AEK Athens.
Group F: Man City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Hoffenheim
Group G: Real Madrid, Roma, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen.
Group H: Juventus, Man Utd, Valencia, Young Boys.
Bloody hell. We got there in the end.
Roll on 18-19th September, or ‘Matchday 1’ as we’re supposed to call it these days.