UEFA Champions League: Chelsea book Barcelona, PSG face Real Madrid

UEFA Champions League: Chelsea book Barcelona, PSG face Real Madrid

The Union of European Football Associations, UEFA, has made the draws for the Round of 16 with English champions Chelsea paired with Barcelona.

Shakhtar Donetsk will face AS Roma, while defending champions, Ronaldo’s Real Madrid booked a titillating face-off with Neymar’s Paris Saint Germain.

Sevilla got Manchester United, while Porto will face Liverpool.

The UEFA draw for Round of 16

Swiss Club FC Basel will face Manchester City and 2017 runners-up, Juventus will face Tottenham Hotspur.

Bayern Munich will play Beşiktaş of Turkey.

First legs will be played on February 13/14 and 20/21, with second legs on March 6/7 and 13/14.

Special guest for the draw at the UEFA headquarters in Nyons, Switzerland, was former Real Sociedad, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich player Xabi Alonso.

All the matches beginning from February promise exciting moments.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid will seek to beat big-spending PSG to pursue a third successive championship title.

No club has won the European title three years running since Bayern Munich in the mid-1970s, underlining how big an achievement it would be if Madrid — 12 times winners overall — won the trophy again in the final in Kiev in May.

PSG made waves in the transfer market in the close season when they signed Brazilian star Neymar for world-record 222 million euros ($261.5 million), followed closely by great French hope Kylian Mbappe, who will cost 180m euros when his loan deal becomes permanent next summer.

PSG ambassador Maxwell said the Real tie threw up the chance for the Parisian club to atone for their 6-1 hammering by Barcelona that eliminated them in the last 16 last season.

“It’s a good draw, with two good games to play,” Maxwell said. “Our fans will like it after we were knocked out by Barcelona last season.

“It will be nice. It’s a beautiful challenge for the club. I think we’re ready for that.”

Bayern’s director of sport Hasan Salihamidzic said the Germans would not be underestimating Besiktas, who should enjoy some raucous support from the city’s Turkish community.

“We know how strong they are after we followed their games against Leipzig. It will be a difficult task, but we are looking forward to the unusual atmosphere in their stadium,” he said.

“One always says that it is a disadvantage to play at home in the first-leg, which is right – it certainly won’t be an advantage – but we are strong enough to accept that and we will give our all.” A record five English clubs were in the draw.