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El Barça will be hounoured in Monaco for their fifth Champions League win / GERMÁN PARGA - FCB

FC Barcelona will be one of the main protagonists at this Thursday’s UEFA gala in Monaco. The event will include the draw for the 2015/16 Champions League groups, the Best Player in Europe Award as well as the Best Goal and Save of the Season, plus a special recognition award. UEFA will also pay tribute to Barça for winning their fifth Champions League title in June.

A number of the club’s representatives will travel to the Principality for the gala, which will begin at around 5.45pm CET. Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez are among the candidates for the Best Player in Europe Award, Messi and Neymar are up for the best goal prize while Marc-André ter Stegen is a nominee for the best save.

The Barça team making the journey will be led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu and three players: Messi, Suárez and club captain Andrés Iniesta. Also travelling will be director of professional sports Albert Soler and director of football administration Raul Sanllehí. In addition, Andoni Zubizarreta, Carles Puyol, Éric Abidal and Juliano Belletti will be there as representatives of Barça’s past Champions League successes.

After the gala, the winner of the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award will appear before the journalists from 54 different countries who voted. Finally, the Barcelona team will depart from Nice on a private flight which is expected to arrive in Barcelona at 10.00pm CET.

Here is FC Barcelona’s travel plan for the UEFA gala in Monaco (all times CET):

12.30pm (to be confirmed): Departure of private flight to Nice.

2.00pm: Arrival in Monaco.

From 5.45pm to 7.00pm: UEFA gala at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco and the draw for the Champions League groups.

7.30pm: Press conference with the winner of the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, exclusively for the media that voted.

8.15pm: Return flight from Nice.

10.00pm: Arrival in Barcelona.

Five La Liga teams in Champions League draw

For the first time in Champions League history, the draw for the group stages will contain five teams from the same country after Valencia progressed past AS Monaco in the playoff round. Nuno Espírito Santo’s side will join FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Sevilla, who all qualified directly, in Thursday’s draw in Monaco.


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