ENGLISH FOOTBALL

UEFA Champions League official redraws for Round of 16

Bertrand Traore

The UEFA Champions League draws had to be redone because the initial draw was filled with controversy and errors.

When the initial draw had taken place, a mistake happened with Manchester United. They were drawn against Villarreal, their opponents in the group stage. Following this, Villarreal was drawn with Manchester City but then one more mistake happened. Manchester United then drew PSG which would have been a great match solely because of Messi vs Ronaldo.

After realising their mistake that Manchester United could have possibly faced Atletico Madrid as well in the Champions League, the draws had to be redone.

In a statement, UEFA said,

“Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16”

New draws for the UEFA Champions League

After the draws were initiated again, the list was announced with the first match beginning on 16th February 2022.

Manchester City as usual got away with an easy opponent. Even in the old draw, they drew Villarreal and in the new draw, they will face Sporting Club Portugal.

Bayern Munich will face RB Salzburg with The Bavarians having a dominant history over Salzburg in the past. It is certain that Bayern will defeat Salzburg without much difficulty.

In a surprising turn of events, Manchester United will face Atletico Madrid. This is not a normal fixture rather a very eventful one. This is because of Cristiano Ronaldo who has beat Atletico Madrid many times in his past. He has single-handedly turned around the tide twice against Simeone and possibly, Atleti would have won at least one Champions League trophy if it weren’t for Ronaldo.

Whether Cristiano can replicate an exemplary performance like that again is unlikely but if United are down in the first leg, it is Ronaldo who can carry them to a victory.

PSG will face Real Madrid and this is perhaps the most interesting match to watch. Both are great teams with PSG looking to establish history and win their first UCL. Real Madrid on the other hand have won the most Champions League trophies and are currently playing very well. They are first in the La Liga table, they won their UCL group as well. The Los Blancos made it to the semifinals last season.

Messi will face the team which he has beat many times in the past, perhaps Madrid’s biggest hindrance.

The Champions League will resume on 16th February as PSG vs Real Madrid kicks off the knockout stages.

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