Champions League last 16 draw revealed: Including a mouth-watering clash between Real Madrid and Manchester United
The eagerly anticipated draw of the Champions League is finally out. The last 16 teams remaining in the competition found out on Thursday who they will be facing at the next stage.
The pick of the ties is without a doubt a thrilling encounter between Premier League leaders Manchester United and last year’s La Liga champions Real Madrid. In some sense it is a sad coincidence, to have the two best teams in Europe face each other at such an early stage of the competition, but it is also exciting for football fanatics all across the globe to see former United player Cristiano Ronaldo face his old team this time wearing all white of Los Blancos.
Manchester United, the Champions League winners of 1999 and 2008, both occasions under Sir Alex Ferguson, will play the second leg at Old Trafford, which will play a crucial role for deciding the outcome of the match at their home turf.
Madrid and Mourinho however will be hungry for a satisfying result in the Champions League, as since the Portuguese takeover at the Bernabeu, his side have failed to perform at this competition.
The first leg of this match will be played in Madrid on 13th February with the nail-biting finale between the two giant sides on 5th March.
Arsenal resume their Champions League campaign when they play last year’s finalists Bayern Munich at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners have to make the 90 minutes at home count as the Germans have an outstanding result when they are at home. Munich are already favourites for the domestic league cup as they lead Leverkusen by nine points having played 17 matches so far.
The competition favourites, Barcelona, will face seven times champions AC Milan away and have the advantage of outnumbering the Italian support at the second leg when the draw will be decided at Nou Camp.
Porto will take on Malaga. The Spanish side is unsurprisingly tipped to end their campaign after their encounter with the Portuguese champions of 2011-12 season.
Celtic will have the tough task of taking Juventus out of the competition, especially as the second leg will be played in Turin on 6th March. Neil Lennon’s men must dig deep to progress into quarter finals against the twice winners and current Serie A holders.
The only Turkish side remaining Galatasaray will take on Shalke 04, while Shaktar Donetsk will entertain Borussia Dortmund at home and Valencia will host PSG of France.
Umida Ibrahimova, sports correspondent