Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid stand in the way of Neymar’s Paris Saint-Germain after the big-spending duo were on Monday drawn together in the tie of the round in the UEFA Champions League last 16.
However, there were mixed fortunes for England’s five representatives, a record number of clubs from one country to make the last 16, with Chelsea handed a daunting clash with Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur getting Juventus.
Emilio Butragueno, the former Real striker who is now a club director, regretted that one of the favorites would be eliminated so early.
“Luck has worked out this way and one of the two teams will be out at the last-16 stage, which we think is a bit soon taking into account they are two of the contenders for the title,” Butragueno told beIN Sports Spain.
The first leg is to be on Feb. 14 at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Real beat PSG 1-0 in the group stage two years ago.
Chelsea, the only Premier League club not to win their group, were drawn against a Barcelona side who have been familiar foes in the competition down the years.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, the Premier League leaders, were handed a favorable draw in the shape of Basel.
However, the Swiss champions have enjoyed some fine results against English sides in recent years, and defeated Manchester United last month.
Jose Mourinho’s United drew Sevilla, while Liverpool and newly crowed African Player of the Year Mohamed Salah will take on Porto, but last season’s runners-up Juventus were Tottenham’s reward for topping their group ahead of Madrid.
“Wembley awaits us, one of the sacred temples of this sport,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Twitter, with the second leg in London on March 7. “Spurs are young and talented, but if we [play like] Juve, we will make it.”
The other Italian club to qualify were AS Roma, who topped Group C ahead of Chelsea and were handed a tie with Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, five-time winners and current Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich avoided some of the bigger names as they were paired with Besiktas.
“We know how strong they are after we followed their games against [RB] Leipzig. It will be a difficult task, but we are looking forward to the unusual atmosphere in their stadium,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamdzic said.
This season’s final takes place in Kiev on May 26.
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