Premier League champions Manchester City have been handed a tough assignment after they were drawn in Group D alongside Real Madrid, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund.

In a throwback to the old European Cup, all four sides are the champions of their respective leagues in what is already being called the 'Group of Death'.

Roberto Mancini
Mancini would have prayed for an easier Champions League group [Reuters]

The three other English sides in the competition will be happier with their draws as Arsenal will play Schalke, Olympiacos and Montpellier. Manchester United face Braga, Galatasaray and CFR Cluj, while Chelsea have Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus and Nordsjælland in their group.

Celtic were also handed a difficult task of qualifying after they were drawn in Group G alongside Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon was quick to respond to the draw as he relayed the fact that they have an incredibly tough task in trying to progress to the last 16.

"We are familiar with the three teams, and have recent history with all three under [former manager] Gordon Strachan.

"We've played Barca and Benfica, and knocked out Spartak Moscow in the play-offs. It's a tough, tough group but all the teams play good football, so they will be attractive games to watch."

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was quick to give his opinion on the draw as he looks to help the club make up for last season when they exited at the group stage.

"Decent CL draw. Braga looked decent vs Udinese, Great atmosphere to look forward to in Galatasaray + Cluj will be looking to cause an upset," tweeted Ferdinand.

Manchester City players also took to the social networking site to reveal their excitement at getting drawn in an incredibly tough group.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany said "Looks like we're not going to get any easy games again this year but it is certainly a good group for the fans. I'm looking forward already!"

While fellow centre-back Jolean Lescott wrote: "Group D highlights the fact why it's called Champions League. #TitleWinnersOnly"

After the draw had been completed it was announced that Andreas Iniesta has won the 2011/12 Best Player in Europe Award. The Barcelona midfielder finished ahead of team-mate Lionel Messi, while Cristiano Ronaldo was named in third place.

The 28-year-old helped Spain defend their European title in Ukraine and Poland in the summer and is the second player to win the award after Messi won the inaugural vote last year.

2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage

Group A

FC Porto (POR)

FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)

Paris Saint-Germain FC (FRA)

GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Group B

Arsenal FC (ENG)

FC Schalke 04 (GER)

Olympiacos FC (GRE)

Montpellier Hérault (FRA)

Group C

AC Milan (ITA)

FC Zenit St Petersburg (RUS)

RSC Anderlecht (BEL)

Málaga CF (ESP)

Group D

Real Madrid CF (ESP)

Manchester City FC (ENG)

AFC Ajax (NED)

Borussia Dortmund (GER)

Group E

Chelsea FC (ENG)

FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)

Juventus (ITA)

FC Nordsjælland (DEN)

Group F

FC Bayern München (GER)

Valencia CF (ESP)

LOSC Lille (FRA)

FC BATE Borisov (BLR)

Group G

FC Barcelona (ESP)

SL Benfica (POR)

FC Spartak Moskva (RUS)

Celtic FC (SCO)

Group H

Manchester United FC (ENG)

SC Braga (POR)

Galatasaray AŞ (TUR)

CFR 1907 Cluj (ROU)