Following the Champions League draw on Monday, Manchester United will face Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, giving fans another chance to see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo face off in Europe’s top competition.
Messi, who joined PSG before the season began, has struggled in Ligue 1 but has five goals in the Champions League, while Ronaldo, the competition’s all-time leading scorer with 140 goals, has six in five appearances this season.
They’ve won 12 of the last 13 Ballon d’Or awards for player of the year, with Messi leading 7-5 after this year’s triumph.
After numerous encounters in Spain’s ‘El Clasico,’ they last met in 2020, when Messi was with Barcelona and Ronaldo was with Juventus, with the Portuguese captain scoring twice at the Camp Nou in a 3-0 group stage win for the Italian side.
The last time United faced PSG in the last 16, the Premier League side overcame a first-leg deficit to advance, and they shared the group stage with one win each last season.
While United coach Ralf Rangnick prepares to face Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe, all eyes will be on PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino, who has been linked with the Old Trafford job.
Bayern Munich, the six-time champion, was also drawn against Atletico Madrid, a difficult opponent. After finishing second in their group behind Liverpool, the Spanish team had a chance to face a heavyweight match.
Liverpool, managed by Jurgen Klopp, will face RB Salzburg, the first Austrian team to reach the knockout stages.
“They’re very good tactically, and they’re also very good technically. We can’t deny the role of the “favourites,” but we also recognise that it’s a difficult place to visit “Liverpool’s official website quoted Klopp as saying.
Holders Chelsea will play Lille of France, while Real Madrid, the 13-time champion, will face Benfica of Portugal.
After a blunder in the draw, Manchester City were assigned to Villarreal, who had been paired with United in Group F. In the last 16, teams from the same group are ineligible to play each other.
LAST 16 DRAW IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Inter Milan vs Ajax Amsterdam
Atletico Madrid hosts Bayern Munich.
Sporting Lisbon vs. Juventus
RB Salzburg v Liverpool
Chelsea versus Lille
Villarreal vs Manchester City
Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester United
Benfica vs Real Madrid
The second leg will be held at home for the first team. The first legs will be held on February 15-16 and February 22-23, respectively, with the second legs on March 8-9 and March 15-16.