In a nail-biting turn of events, 2021/22 UCL Champions and Spanish giants, Real Madrid CF, are set to play the very team they beat last year in the finals – Liverpool FC, in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, 2022/23.
The UEFA Champions League 2022-23 Round of 16 draws were conducted at 12:00 CET at the House of European Football today, i.e., 7th of November 2022. The proceedings were hosted by Mr. Giorgio Marchetti. The draw itself was conducted by Mr. Hamit Altintop, the UCL Final Ambassador and retired Turkish footballer.
It’s worth noting that Real Madrid defeated Liverpool by a margin of 1 in last year’s final to clinch the trophy for a record-shattering 14th time. Liverpool also holds an impressive track record of 6 Champions League Titles with the last one being as recent as 2019.
At the end of the proceedings, the draws stand as below –
RB Leipzig v. Manchester City FC
Club Brugge v. SL Benfica
Liverpool v. Real Madrid CF
AC Milan v. Tottenham Hotspur
Eintracht Frankfurt v. SSC Napoli
Borussia Dortmund v. Chelsea FC
Inter Milan v. FC Porto
Paris Saint-Germain v. FC Bayern Munchen
Of these teams, the group winners of the group stage will play the 2nd leg of the 2 fixtures at their home stadium. The Round of 16 matches are set to begin in 2023 with the 1st legs to be played in February 2023 and the return legs to be played in March 2023.
With fixtures like this, the knockout round of the Champions League 22/23 is bound to be an adrenaline-charged affair.
Europa League draws
The UEFA Europa League 2022/23 draws were also conducted alongside the Champions League draw and the fixtures are just as compelling as the Champions League fixtures. However, the most awaited fixture in the tournament is easily FC Barcelona vs. Manchester United.
The last time that United played Barcelona in the Champions League Quarter Finals, the Spanish club thrashed them by 4 goals on aggregate and a clean sheet. In fact, in the 9 times that the two teams have gone up against each other, the English side has only emerged victorious once.
The draw of these two teams, in particular, is a fixture of interest also because of Frenkie De Jong’s presence on the Barcelona squad. De Jong was furiously courted by United over the summer break, but he instead chose to continue at Barcelona.
All said and done, the Europa League playoff draws are as follows –
Barcelona vs Manchester United
Juventus vs Nantes
Sporting Lisbon vs Midtjylland
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Stade Rennais
Ajax Amsterdam vs Union Berlin
Bayer Leverkusen vs AS Monaco
Sevilla vs PSV Eindhoven
Salzburg vs AS Roma
The Europa League 2022/23 looks set to thrill football enthusiasts as much as, if not more, than its top-tier counterpart. With teams like United, Ajax, Juventus, Barcelona, and Roma, the Europa League is bound to be a compelling watch for all.