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Sports News of Friday, 31 August 2018

Source: Goal.com

C.K Akonnor shares thoughts on Uefa Champions League draw

Former Ghana midfielder C.K Akonnor believes this season's Uefa Champions League will be full of excitement following the draw for the group stage held in Monaco on Thursday.

The 44-year-old insists that Group B, which is composed of Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, PSV and Inter Milan, appears to be the most difficult.

"I have been impressed with the final grouping. I believe we'll have a good season to enjoy following the excitement which surrounded the draw in Monaco and Group B is my pick," Akonnor told Goal.

"That group will have a lot of top crackers and it's the group of death as compared to Group C. Barcelona, Tottenham, PSV and especially Inter Milan who are making a return after several years away have a lot to prove so it will be difficult to choose who to qualify.

"All the clubs are now warming themselves into the season so by the time the Champions League group stage kicks off, they will be ready for the showdown. I'm expecting some surprises at the end of the day," he added.

Furthermore, the former Wolfsburg player believes Luka Modric deserved the 2017-18 Uefa Men's Player of the Year award after beating off competition from former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.

"Modric is the right winner. He really deserves the award than Ronaldo and Salah because he was very consistent," Akonnor said.

"He did very well in the year under review. Looking at club level, he won the Uefa Champions League same as Ronaldo and guided his country (Croatia) to the final of the World Cup.

"Ronaldo and Salah also did well but Modric was outstanding and must be encouraged to continue the fine performance he exhibited last season," he added.

The Champions League final will take place on June 1, 2019 at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, home to Atletico Madrid.

Akonnor, who recently vacated his role as head coach of Ghana Premier League side Ashanti Gold, boasts of 41 caps and 12 goals with the Black Stars.