These are Bayern's 2022/23 UCL group stage opponents
FC Bayern's opponents in this year's Champions League group stage have now been determined! In the draw for the preliminary round on Thursday, the German record champions were assigned exciting tasks: The six-time winners of Europe's most prestigious club competition will face Barcelona from Spain, Serie A runners-up Inter Milan and Czech Republic champions Viktoria Plzen in the short group stage from September to early November.
With all the high-profile names, there is great anticipation at FC Bayern: "This is a very attractive group. In Barcelona and Inter Milan, we'll face two big clubs of European football. We'll be fully challenged in this group, but we must not underestimate Plzen, who are a big club steeped in tradition. We're hoping for some great nights of football in the Champions League. FC Bayern's goal can only be to reach the round of 16," said CEO Oliver Kahn: "Above all, we at FC Bayern are all looking forward to seeing Robert Lewandowski again. Borussia Dortmund vs. Man City with Haaland and FC Bayern vs. Barcelona with Lewandowksi - only football can write this kind of story." fcbayern.com takes a brief look at the Group C rivals for a place in the round of 16.
This reunion will come sooner than expected: Not only were Barcelona Bayern's group stage opponents in the Champions League last season - the German record champions won both matches 3-0 - but the Munich side will also come up against an old acquaintance in Robert Lewandowski, who only just moved from the Isar to the La Liga runners-up in the summer. Barça are real CL heavyweights, who are participating in Europe's premier club competition for the 27th time (record alongside Real Madrid) and who have triumphed five times. However, Bayern are a bit of a bogey team for the Catalans: the Reds have won no less than eight of the 11 Champions League encounters - more than against any other team in the competition, except Real Madrid. The men from Munich also beat Barcelona on the way to the UEFA Cup title in the 1995/96 season. The 26-time Spanish champions are coached by club legend Xavi Hernández. After a disappointing season, in which Barça lost to Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, among other things, the Catalans have now significantly strengthened their squad. In addition to Lewandowsi, Raphinha was signed from Leeds United, Jules Koundé from Sevilla and Andreas Christensen from Chelsea.
FCB's last meetings with Inter Milan were a while ago, but it's not just positive memories they trigger among Bayern fans: In 2011, the Munich side were defeated by the Italians in the Champions League round of 16, and the year before that they even lost in the final of Europe's most important club competition. Overall, however, the European record against last year's Serie A runners-up is balanced - in seven games, both teams have won three times (one draw). Julian Nagelsmann's men will have to be particularly wary of the Nerazzurri's front line led by returnee Romelu Lukaku and Argentine Lautaro Martínez. Simone Inzaghi's team are competing in the Champions League for the 16th time this year and have already won the domestic championship three times.
From pot four, FC Bayern were also drawn against Viktoria Plzen, a club steeped in tradition. After winning the domestic championship last season, the Czechs qualified for the group stage of Europe's premier club competition via the play-offs. Plzen progressed with a 2-1 win at home against Qarabağ and a 0-0 draw away from home, and have former Czech Republic coach Michal Bílek at the helm. FC Bayern and Plzen met in the 2013/14 group stage, with the Munich side winning both matches (5-0 at home, 1-0 away). Bayern also triumphed in the first round of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1971/72 with wins in both legs.
Check out the Bayern players' and officials' reaction to their group stage opponents: