December 11 – Real Madrid will have to overcome one of the teams of the moment if they want to achieve a hattrick of Champions League crowns.
The holders and 12-time winners have been handed a mouth-watering clash in the last 16 with big-spenders Paris St Germain, the price for failing to win their group.
“This could have been the final, given the power of the two clubs. The last 16 is a bit early, we could say. Logically we are both challengers for the trophy,” said Emilio Butragueno, Real’s director of institutional relations.
“PSG get stronger and stronger, they had an impeccable group phase and have a lot of power. I don’t think it’s a good draw for them either. It will be a thrilling tie.”
Not that the team who eclipsed Real in their group have had much luck of the draw. Tottenham Hotspur, who surprisingly won the group of death, have to take on last season’s runners-up Juventus, by far the toughest opponent for any of the five English teams apart perhaps from Chelsea who have been paired with Barcelona.
Runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City, who clocked up a record 14th successive victory on Sunday, are now listed as favourites after being handed a last-16 clash with Swiss club Basel. Like City, Bayern Munich, who finished below PSG in their group, also got the luck of the draw against Turkish outsiders Besiktas.
Champions League last-16 draw
Juventus v Tottenham (13 February and 7 March)
Basel v Manchester City (13 February and 7 March)
Porto v Liverpool (14 February and 6 March)
Sevilla v Manchester United (21 February and 13 March)
Real Madrid v PSG (14 February and 6 March)
Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma (21 February and 13 March)
Chelsea v Barcelona (20 February and 14 March)
Bayern Munich v Besiktas (20 February and 14 March)
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