FC Barcelona will take a starring role in the Champions League for the groups stages and for the awards ceremony for the best UEFA male and female player which will take place in Monaco on 27 August. The blaugranes will be recognised by Europe’s governing body for having become part of the ‘Badge of Honour’ on winning their fifth Champions League title. The triumph in Berlin in June allowed Barça to join a select band of clubs, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, who have the trophy on a minimum of five occasions, and in the case of Ajax, won the trophy on three successive occasions.
To receive this recognition there will be a representative for each of the five Champions League won by Barça. The former and current players who will take part in the ceremony are Andoni Zubizarreta (1992), Juliano Belletti (2006), Carles Puyol (2009), Éric Abidal (2011) and Andrés Iniesta (2015).
The current blaugrana captain, who was man of the match in Berlin, will be the man who will bring the trophy out on the stage and after that each of the four former lpayers will be in charge of drawing the teams out of the pot for the draw for this season’s Champions League group stage. The draw will also see Paolo Maldini and Javier Zanetti present as representatives of the venue for the next final, which will be the Italian city of Milan.
After the draw will come the awards ceremony for best UEFA male and female player. In the male category, Barça have two candidates, Leo Messi and Luis Suárez, who will contend for the title along with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
The FC Barcelona delegation, led by President Josep Maria Bartomeu, who will take part in an ECA meeting in the morning, will travel to Monaco on the day of the event and return to Barcelona later that evening.