Modric is player of the year over Ronaldo, Salah

Saturday, 01 Sep, 2018

In a protracted draw ceremony in Monaco, Europe's elite 32 teams learned their fate in this season's Champions League group stage, as the European club season slowly begins to take center stage once more.

The midfielder beat his former teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, to win the prestigious award while Mohamed Salah finished third behind the former teammates.

Defending champions Real Madrid were given what looks to be an easy route to the knockout phase, facing AS Roma, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen.

Valencia and Young Boys are also in Group H with United and Juventus. "He scored 15 goals, and carried Madrid on his back to win another Champions League".

Pogba played for Juventus in its 2015 final loss against Barcelona and won four straight Italian titles before moving back to Manchester, here he was first recruited as a teenager for a then-world record fee in 2016.

Ronaldo, who has won the same award for three of the previous four seasons, didn't emerge empty-handed from the ceremony however, as he was adjudged the victor of the prize for the best striker as selected by judges and coaches last season.

He was however not in attendance for the Champions League draw, where Modric picked up his award.

"I would like to dedicate this to my coaches and my team-mates, " said Modric.

They will kick off their quest for European glory at Anfield on September 18 against PSG, and it will see two of the world's best attacking lines do battle in what should be a spectacular goal-fest on Merseyside.

Shakhtar Donetsk coach Paulo Fonseca has admitted neither his side, Lyon or Hoffenheim, have much chance of winning Group F in this year's Champions League ahead of Manchester City.

There was also an award for David Beckham, the former Manchester United, Madrid and England star collecting the UEFA President's Award for his achievements in the game and his work since retiring as a player.