Published Thursday, 29 August 2013
Neil Lennon's team beat Barca in Glasgow last season. (© Getty)
Neil Lennon's side progressed in dramatic fashion after coming from two goals down to beat Shakhter Karagandy in extra time at Parkhead on Wednesday night.
However they will face a tough task if they are to come through a difficult Group H.
In the most eye-catching of Thursday's draws in Monaco, the Hoops were once again picked alongside Spanish giants Barca, who they famously beat in last year's competition. Milan and Ajax add further glamour to a group which collectively holds 16 European Cups.
Lurgan-born manager Lennon said: "I think it is the best and the worst draw we could have got.
In terms of glamour I don't think it comes any better than Barcelona, Ajax and AC Milan
"In terms of football it is probably the most difficult group we could have got. But I think the hard work was really done last night and we can go and enjoy the tournament now."
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who scored Barca's goal in the 2-1 loss in Glasgow, said he is looking forward to returning to Celtic.
He continued: "It looks an even group and there are some very nice games.
"You don't get any easy groups in the Champions League. We played Celtic last season and know AC Milan very well and Ajax have a great history.
"It's a beautiful group and I'm looking forward to some great games in the competition."
Celtic winger James Forrest, whose goal in injury time secured Celtic's place in the tournament, said: "It could have been easier - three big teams so we know it is going to be difficult.
"The teams are really strong in their leagues so they will definitely be tough games, and Barcelona and Milan will be favourites."
The first matches are to be played on 17-18 September.
Champions League draw
Group A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad.
Group B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, FC Copenhagen.
Group C: Benfica, Paris St Germain, Olympiacos, Anderlecht.
Group D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, Viktoria Plzen.
Group E: Chelsea, Schalke, Basle, Steaua Bucharest.
Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli.
Group G: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, Austria Vienna.
Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic.
© UTV News