Media playback is not supported on this device Ancelotti’s words of encouragement for Barca
As the Champions League group stage draw takes place, a look at what lies ahead for both Barcelona and Bayern Munich
Barcelona – the new name for the champions
Like reigning champions Real Madrid, Barca have escaped an earlier group phase by default.
But unlike Los Blancos, who were jeered off at kick-off, Barca received a warm response from fans at Celtic Park, despite being eliminated on the away goals rule.
It had been claimed they could struggle to adapt to the group stage, given their heavy fixture schedule in Spain, and the number of World Cup winners in their squad.
However, in England they had all 11 members of their squad starting in the 2-1 win at Celtic Park in the group stages, and Zinedine Zidane, the man who led them to La Liga last season, insisted: “The quality of this group of players is clear.”
In fact, Barca’s 29 points in the group stage is their second-highest tally for a Champions League campaign – having reached the semi-finals on three occasions – and they beat English champions Manchester City twice.
There are many fans hoping Barca – nicknamed “La Masia” – can repeat that feat, particularly in a division that has only produced one Champions League winner (Rangers), since they started.
As part of that season, the majority of players in Barca’s Champions League squad – although they leave European football as the holders – went on to win league titles.
Barcelona will hope to do the same in Spain.
Germany’s glory stirs Bayern dreams
Germany’s first Champions League victory since 2013 – and first under Carlo Ancelotti – has completely changed the mentality of Bayern, one of Europe’s powerhouses.
After winning the German League and Cup double last season, the Bayern captain opted not to go for silverware this time. He said: “It was a dream come true and I have nothing to complain about. This means we now have to be more efficient. We have to go on the offensive.”
Gianluigi Buffon, who had never won the Champions League in nine previous attempts before this season, was at the heart of the Italians’ defence, while Julian Draxler, the striker bought as much for his attacking talent as he is for his defensive ability, assisted a penalty in Bayern’s 4-0 thrashing of Dutch side PSV Eindhoven.
Bayern boss Ancelotti says his side can be the first Bundesliga side to win Europe’s elite competition since Borussia Dortmund in 1997.
“For one club, a club like Bayern, it is possible. We have shown it, and now we need to do more,” said Ancelotti.
But with World Cup winners such as Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and David Luiz, Bayern are equipped for the challenge as always.
Only Manchester City managed to prevent them from scoring at Signal Iduna Park this season, when they held the Bavarians to a 0-0 draw at the start of the campaign.
And the champions will no doubt be eyeing up their match with Paris St-Germain in the last 16. A win here would represent Bayern’s first away triumph against them.
Media playback is not supported on this device Ancelotti ‘cannot complain’ over draw
Chelsea, Tottenham better travellers in 2018-19
Chelsea, on the back of their first Premier League title since 2016-17, will be among the European heavyweights in the last 16 and could be contenders to take away silverware.
The Blues already have a good record against English sides in their campaign – they were beaten by Leicester in the quarter-finals last season – and took Crystal Palace to extra time in their second Group C match this term.
New manager Maurizio Sarri, who replaced Antonio Conte in the summer, is based in Italy so has received no problems coping with the travelling involved in England.
Atletico Madrid, Bayern and Tottenham are their most likely opponents, although Tottenham may drop into the Europa League in the second leg of the group stage tie after drawing 1-1 at Real Madrid.
Tottenham’s victories over Juventus and Inter Milan gave them serious hope of finishing in the top four, but Real and Barcelona now sit pretty in third and fourth place, and only the top two qualify automatically for the next stage.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino was disappointed to lose in the last minute against Madrid, but their European record suggests they will travel much better if Spurs are able to get to the latter stages.
They have reached the last 16 on four occasions, winning it twice, and reached the semi-finals on one occasion.