Monday morning saw the draw for the Champions League Round of 16 take place at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon.
With the 2022 final taking place in St Petersburg, UEFA’s Giorgio Marchetti was joined by former Arsenal star, Andrey Arshavin, born in the city.
The draw wasn’t without its mistakes, however.
Somehow, the Manchester United ball was initially put in the wrong bowl and Arshavin paired them with their group stage opponents, Villarreal.
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As the draw unfolded, perhaps all of those connected with United would’ve preferred the mistake to have stood, with respect to the Yellow Submarine.
That’s because the Red Devils ended up being pulled out last, with their opponents, Paris Saint-Germain, already known.
What that has produced is yet another tantalizing Messi v Ronaldo clash, perhaps even the last ever, as the two giants of the game come towards the end of their respective careers.
Messi and Ronaldo
It will also see Sergio Ramos line up against his former Real Madrid team-mate.
United’s big domestic rivals, Man City, were paired with Villarreal and will feel confident of progressing to the last eight.
The standout tie of the round sees Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich paired together again, with Diego Simeone no doubt hoping to replicate their semi-final win from 2015/16.
Full Draw as follows:
Benfica v Real Madrid
Villarreal v Manchester City
Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich
Salzburg v Liverpool
Internazionale v Ajax
Sporting v Juventus
Chelsea v Lille
Paris Saint Germain v Manchester United
All first leg ties are to be played on February 15/16 and 22/23, with the second legs to take place on March 8/9 and 15/16.
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