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Champions League Round of 16: The Most Interesting Clashes

Last week, the group stage of the UEFA Champions League has ended, deciding which clubs from all over Europe proceed to the next phase of the tournament. The media and the outlets now have a bit of a break – until mid-February, that is, when the first game of the Round of 16 is played.

It’s already obvious that we’ll have a very interesting time watching the matches, especially some of the most interesting clashes that we can look forward to early next year.

What didn’t happen (unfortunately)

One of the most highly anticipated clashes in this Champions League season was a match involving Lionel Messi (currently at Paris Saint Germain) and Cristiano Ronaldo (currently at Manchester United). And, at first, it seemed that it will happen: the first draw put PSG and Man Utd on the turf at the same time.

But a serious error has caused the first draw to be cancelled and another one to be organized which, as you might expect, threw things off a bit. So, a Messi – Ronaldo clash won’t happen – for now.

What we’ll have instead

The opening match of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 will be played on Tuesday, February 15th, at 20:00 GMT (21:00 local time). It will be a match played by Paris Saint Germain, placed second in Group A, and Real Madrid, winner of Group D, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France.

The rules of the draw make it impossible for the winners of the groups to face each other on the turf, so we’ll have to wait for some of the most interesting matches of the tournament a little longer. But this doesn’t mean that the Round of 16 will be without exciting games – like the opening game we mentioned above.

While in most cases, we don’t expect too many surprises from the most successful clubs in the tournament – think Liverpool, Ajax, and Bayern – there can be games with unexpected turns of events.

One of the matches that look very interesting for this phase of the tournament is the one that will be played by Chelsea FC against Lille on February 22. The Blues have placed second in their group behind Juventus, collecting 13 points in the process and scoring 13 goals. They won four of their group stage matches, finishing one with a draw. Lille, in turn, has won Group G with just three matches won and two draws, only scoring seven times in the process – but conceding four. Besides, Lille won its group with a total of just 11 points.

The truly interesting part of the tournament follows after the Round of 16 when only the best teams remain in the competition. Then, the draw of the matches is completely random, so we can finally have the Messi – Ronaldo clash we’re all so eager to see.