UEFA Champions League draws for the Round of 16 have been completed this afternoon in Nyon, Switzerland, UEFAs headquarters with eye-catching match ups between European football heavyweights.
English Premier League table-toppers, Chelsea were drawn against French champions, Paris Saint-Germain, PSG, following an unbeaten run in the group stage. Chelsea secretary, David Barnard, spoke after the draws: “PSG are known to us as we played them in the quarters last year and they’ve got David Luiz playing for them too. It’s a good draw logistically too for our supporters. Both sides have very different squads from last year, so if it was PSG or anyone else, it would’ve been the same situation.” The fixture also features the possibility of Chelsea old boy, David Luiz, squaring up against his former team.
In other match-ups, Real Madrid, the current champions, will trade tackles with German side, Shalke 04 while Atletico Madrid, last season’s finalist, will do battle against Bayer Leverkusen. Borussia Dortmund will come up against the Old Lady, Juventus while German champion, Bayern Munich will play Shakhtar Donetsk.
Bayern Munich’s marketing director, Andreas Jung who bared his mind about Bayern’s opponent said, “Our goal is to reach the next round, but in Adriano, they (Shakhtar) have the best goal scorer in the group stages. You can’t underestimate this team in any case.”
Arsenal fans will be smiling as Arsenal will take on Arsene Wenger’s former team, Monaco in what appears to be a favorable draw. David Miles, Arsenal secretary, reflected on the draw saying that, “As the draw came out, it was evident a lot of the big teams had gone, so we’re pleased to have avoided them. We’re certainly not taking anything for granted though against Monaco. It’s the first time we’ve played them in a competitive match, so Arsene Wenger will be delighted to go back to one of his former clubs.”
The biggest match up however, will be the crunch tie between Barcelona and Manchester City. It was at this stage last season that Barcelona overpowered Manchester City. About this game of familiar foes, Manchester City director of football, Txiki Begiristain said, “We have plenty of confidence with the way we qualified beating Bayern Munich at home and Roma away, so the players will be working hard to get fit and arrive in confidence for those games. We have improved our squad from last season and we have some real quality up front.”
Andoni Zubizarreta, Barcelona’s representative said, “It is the same draw we had a year ago, it was a very difficult game and we are going to look forward to it. Manchester City have an outstanding squad with a very good coach, a very good team and are very competitive.”
Giant killers, Basel FC, will square up against Porto, rounding off the fixture list for the last 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League.
The first leg of the games will come up on February 17 and18 as well as February 24 and 25 while the second leg comes up between March 10 and 11 as well as March 17 and 18 as the tournament builds up to the final in Berlin on June 6, 2015.
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