Beşiktaş to face French, Portuguese German rivals in Champions League group
Beşiktaş, Turkey's sole team in the UEFA Champions League, has welcomed an intriguingly competitive draw in the group stage of Europe's top football competition.
In the draw held in Monaco late on Aug. 24, the Turkish defending champion was placed in Group G along with Monaco, Porto and RB Leipzig. The first round of fixtures will take place on Sept. 12 and 13, with the Black Eagles playing away against Porto on Sept.. 12.
In an ironic coincidence, former Beşiktaş striker Vincent Aboubakar will not be able to appear for Porto in the first game as he was sent off in the group stages of last year's campaign while playing for Beşiktaş against Olympiakos and suspended for three games. He also did not appear in Beşiktaş's two Europa League games against Olympic Lyon.
Porto has won three of its four games against Beşiktaş up until today, with the last match taking place in the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2010 and ending in a 1-1 draw.
Beşiktaş's final game in the group will be against Germany's Leipzig, a first timer in the Champions League, away on Dec. 6. Monaco and Beşiktaş have never before played against each other.
Elsewhere in the draw, Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid, the record 12-time European champion that is chasing its third successive European title and fourth in five season, will take on Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham Hotspur and APOEL of Greek Cyprus. The tough Group H will see Gareth Bale face Spurs for the first time since leaving for Real in a then world record deal in 2013.
"We are the holders so there is always an extra motivation for the teams you face. It won't be easy at all, we'll need to play well and find our best form," said Real spokesman and former striker Emilio Butragueno.