UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Draw

By  Umair Asif - 13 December 2016

Despite finishing at the top, Arsenal is tied against Bayern Munich in the round of 16. That clearly sums up why Arsenal always fails to qualify for the next round. Anyhow, Cristiano Ronaldo is now the greatest European player of all-time with four Ballon d’Or. It is an unprecedented achievement for the Portuguese and an ode to his picture-perfect last season, where he won the Champions League with Real Madrid and then went on to clinch the Euro Cup for Portugal.

Last night, the fate of 16 clubs from all across Europe was decided. It did not come as a surprise to see Arsenal once again paired against Bayern. That’s the 3rd time in four seasons, and on the last two occasions, the Gunners were eliminated. Twitter exploded with memes and hilarious reactions after the pick was made. Well, only time will reveal how lucky Bayern are but assessing their current form, Arsenal has a real chance to change history.   

The other English club, Manchester City, will face Monaco in the last 16. Pep Guardiola will be more than pleased to find a seemingly easy opponent but taking the French giants lightly is not in the mind of Citizens. Monaco is playing exceptionally well this season and with Falcao firing at full force, Pep and Co. will have to be cautious.

Leicester will have to pay a visit to Spain in their debut season as they will take on Sevilla. Sevilla has proven its fine form and attacking mentality during the group stages but the way Leicester has dominated the group is outstanding.

Real Madrid will have to face another Italian opponent this time as they will take on Napoli is this eliminator. Napoli is a tough ask to be honest, but the Galacticos have been unbeaten this season. Does Napoli have an answer to that? Well, we’ll have to wait until February to see that. 

Benfica will host the German giants, Broussia Dortmund, in an all-important fixture. The Portuguese side earned a hard-fought spot in the round of 16. Well, Dortmund topped the group with Real Madrid in it. Is there anything else left to explain?

Bayern Leverkusen is tied against last season’s runner-up, Atletico Madrid. You don’t want your day to get any worse than this. Diego Simone has guided Atletico to the finals two times in the last three seasons and he is eying the accolade this year. The side was beaten just once in the group stage by Bayern Munich and that too with a narrow margin. This clearly sums up the going in this one.

Two of the finest goalkeepers will be up against each other when Porto takes on Juventus. The two sides have been impressive throughout the group stage and played extremely exciting football. Juventus, despite looking strong on paper, cannot afford a mistake by taking Porto for granted. This can be a fixture to look up to with no certain pick.

In the end, PSG will take on Barcelona and the only one thing Edison Cavani and Co. will be aiming at is vengeance, sweet revenge. However, MSN is in exceptional form and are focused on ending their Champions League drought.

The night concluded with Cristiano Ronaldo being handed his fourth Ballon D’Or. He is only the second player to the five-time winner, Lionel Messi, but Real Madrid’s main man is now the most decorated European footballer of all time. Cristiano has left the likes of Platini, Cruyff, and Van Basten behind. This is a matter of opinion, but if taking Ballon d’Or as a barometer, the Maderian is clear.

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