23 Images From The Absurd Ceremony They Use To Decide Who Plays Who In The Champions League

cristiano ronaldo girlfriend irina shayk

Photo: FSC

You’ve seen CBS’s March Madness Selection Show — where a few analysts sit in a studio and slowly unveil the college basketball postseason bracket.If that show had a live audience, two attractive hosts, models everywhere, and a strict formal dress code, you’d get the Champions League Draw.

The draw went down in Monte Carlo today. The 32 teams that qualified from the group stage of the world’s best soccer tournament were eventually separated out into eight groups — but not before a grandiose, absurd ceremony.

We pulled out some fantastic screengrabs to show you how ridiculous it was.

Here we are in Monte Carlo. This tournament generates more than $1 billion in revenue, they can afford it

Maybe you've seen the March Madness Selection Show that CBS does. This is like that, but with a live-audience and a tricked-out, Oscars-style stage

It's also formal attire. Here's one of our multilingual hosts, Melanie Winiger

And her co-host, the distinguished Pedro Pinto

The three players in the running for UEFA's Best Player in Europe are in attendance. They look less than pleased to be there

Seriously, look at this stage

Now let's introduce the most important man of the night, Gianni Infantino

Gianni is basically an in-house commentator. He explains how the draw will work, and walks us through it

Here's how it works: There are 8 different four-team groups. So the teams are divided into four tiers, and the groups consist of one random team from each tier

They're essentially picking out of a hat. But since this is an internationally televised event, they pick mini soccer balls out of fancy bowls

As Gianni explains, the balls are nifty. They break in half to reveal the team

Boom, Real Madrid

It goes on like this for a while, and it's pretty boring. The only good parts are the reaction shots from the team delegations. The Benfica delegation was not happy to get drawn with Barcelona

Gianni kept our spirits up though

But still, picking balls out of a bowl is boring. Just ask Ronaldo

Mercifully, the ball-picking segment ends when Dortmund is drawn into Group D with Real Madrid, Man City, and Ajax

Now the fun begins! Time to hand out the Best Player In Europe award. The candidates (bottom to top): Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo

The engraving guy was on hand to engrave the trophy

The favourite

Ronaldo's girlfriend, Victoria's Secret model Irina Shayk, was there

Iniesta's girlfriend was there too

Surprise! Iniesta wins. His facial expression sums up the night

Overall: An odd evening that probably has no reason to exist

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