Liverpool and Real Madrid clash headlines mouthwatering Champions League draw
The two European giants will meet in the round of 16 in a rematch of last season’s final
A repeat of last season’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool was the highlight of Monday’s round of 16 draw, which also pits Paris Saint-Germain against multiple-time winners Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid were victorious over Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in May in a final that took place in Paris after the flagship event was stripped from St. Petersburg as part of the sporting sanctions imposed on Russia over the ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
A 59th minute goal from Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior was enough to overcome Liverpool on that occasion, and Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be confident of repeating that win given Liverpool’s recent patchy form. They are currently languishing in a mid-table position in the Premier League after 13 games.
It will be the fourth time in six seasons that Liverpool and Real Madrid duel in European club football’s most prestigious competition, with Los Blancos coming out on top when they met in the final in 2018 and 2022.
The reigning Spanish champions also eliminated Liverpool from the competition in 2021, though the Reds will be hopeful of triumphing after appearing in three of the past five Champions League finals.
Elsewhere, Lionel Messi’s pursuit of silverware in the colors of PSG will have to come at the expense of six-time champions Bayern Munich in another blockbuster fixture, while Chelsea will also face German opposition after being paired with Borussia Dortmund.
Premier League champions and current Champions League favorites Manchester City will also be traveling to Germany to play RB Leipzig, while Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a tricky test against Italian champions AC Milan.
The full Champions League last-16 draw is:
RB Leipzig v Manchester City
Club Brugge v Benfica
Liverpool v Real Madrid
AC Milan v Tottenham
Frankfurt v Napoli
Borussia Dortmund v Chelsea
Inter Milan v Porto
Paris St-Germain v Bayern Munich
The first legs are due to take place on February 14-15 and 21-22 with the second legs set to commence on March 7-8 and 14-15.
The Europa League draw, meanwhile, has also thrown up some interesting fixtures – not least of which is the dramatic pairing of European giants Manchester United and Barcelona.