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Champions League draw: Atlético to meet Feyenoord, Lazio, Celtic in 2023/24 group stage

Atleti have been drawn into Group E with some unfamiliar foes.

FBL-EUR-C1-DRAW Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images

Rubiales, resign!

Atlético Madrid’s Champions League group stage opponents this year will be Feyenoord, SS Lazio, and Celtic FC, it was announced Thursday.

Atlético, with one of the highest coefficients in the competition, were placed in Pot 2 and drawn into Group E, which is headed by the Dutch champions. Last year’s Serie A runners-up Lazio were assigned to the group from Pot 3, and Scottish champions Celtic were the penultimate side drawn during the ceremony in Monaco.

This will be regarded as a kind group stage draw for Atlético, which avoided a “group of death” à la 2021/22 and evaded the draw’s heavy hitters such as FC Bayern or Manchester City. However, it was only last year that Atleti were handed a “favorable” draw against FC Porto, Club Brugge, and Bayer Leverkusen only to finish dead last for the first time in the Diego Simeone era.

Atlético have never faced Feyenoord in an official competition and last met a Dutch side in the Champions League during the 2016/17 group stage. The two teams did meet in an ill-tempered friendly in Rotterdam two years ago, which saw Yannick Carrasco sent off in a 2-1 defeat at De Kuip.

Atlético’s last meeting with Lazio took place during the 2011/12 Europa League, when Los Colchoneros defeated the Italian side 4-1 on aggregate in the round of 32. The two sides have never played one another in the Champions League, and the tie will mark Simeone’s return to Rome — he played for Lazio between 1999 and 2003.

Finally, Atlético and Celtic first met in an infamous 1974 European Cup semifinal tie, which saw the Rojiblancos win 2-0 in Madrid after a violent first leg ended goalless. Atleti won both 2011/12 Europa League group stage meetings with the 53-time Scottish champions, although these occurred before Simeone took over as head coach.

The full schedule with kickoff times will be released no later than Saturday, according to UEFA.

The complete draw

Group A: Bayern Munich, Manchester United, FC Copenhagen, Galatasaray

Group B: Sevilla, Arsenal FC, PSV Eindhoven, RC Lens

Group C: Napoli, Real Madrid, SC Braga, Union Berlin

Group D: Benfica, Inter Milan, RB Salzburg, Real Sociedad

Group E: Feyenoord, Atlético de Madrid, SS Lazio, Celtic FC

Group F: PSG, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Newcastle United

Group G: Man City, RB Leipzig, FK Crvena Zvezda, BSC Young Boys

Group H: FC Barcelona, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Royal Antwerp

Group stage dates

Matchday 1: Lazio-Atlético, Sept. 19

Matchday 2: Atlético-Feyenoord, Oct. 4

Matchday 3: Celtic-Atlético, Oct. 25

Matchday 4: Atlético-Celtic, Nov. 7

Matchday 5: Feyenoord-Atlético, Nov. 28

Matchday 6: Atlético-Lazio, Dec. 13