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Manchester United chief executive David Gill reveals the club's anticipation of their Champions League defence, and distances himself from the vacant chief executive job at the Football Association.

The defence of Manchester United's Champions League crown begins today as they are now aware of their opponents in the group stage. The Old Trafford side have been pitted into Group E along with Spanish side Villarreal, Scottish champions Celtic, and Danish side Aalborg.

Sharing his reflections of the draw with Sky Sports News Gill said: "We are pretty pleased... we haven’t got far to travel. It’s a great competition, with great teams, but as champions we’re looking forward to it."

The tie against Villarreal will see a return of former striker Giuseppe Rossi. "Yea, he used to be our player and he will look forward to returning to Manchester playing for Villarreal. The British tie [Manchester United vs Celtic] was a great event last time. They qualified when they beat us… the passion was unbelievable."

Regarding watching the videos at the draw of Uefa's summary of the competition last season, Gill said: "It brought back memories from Moscow, its in the past though because the Champions League starts now…"

When asked about a possible swoop for Bulgarian hitman Dimitar Berbatov before the window closes on Monday, Gill added: "I have nothing to report on any transfer for Manchester United. It would be inappropriate to comment on it while it is going on, if it is going on."

Brian Barwick will be leaving his position chief executive of the FA in December, but Gill distanced himself from the job, saying: "I’ve got a great job at Manchester United, I’m happy to work with the FA but I have a full time job here."

Cristiano Ronaldo scooped Uefa Forward of the Year for his performances in the Champions League last season, culminating with a goal in the Final in Moscow. Gill mentioned: "It was a proud moment for both the player and the club, the team did fantastically well, but his 42 goals were great, its good he got the recognition."

Alan Dawson

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