Blog

The knockout stage is set

Our deputy editor Dan Poole was keeping a close eye on proceedings as the draw for the round of 16 was made

There are few finer sights in world football than Pedro Pinto stood next to the European Cup. Their combined presence heralds the excitement and tension of another Champions League draw, this time for the round of 16. What ties would we get this time?

Once Giorgio Marchetti comes out, you know things are getting real; he’s the draw master, the moderator, the arbiter. He’s got the facts too: the group stage offered up 305 goals in 96 matches, he tells us, four short of the all-time record. And how about Bayern München, with their third flawless group stage campaign? Oliver Kahn, the erstwhile Bayern goalkeeper turned club CEO, looked like he approved of that fact from his seat in the audience.

Then out came Hamit Altıntop, ambassador for the final in Istanbul, and the action could get started. As the former Real Madrid player was unfolding the first team name, he uttered a small “Come on!” under his breath. Just because he couldn’t get the bit of paper to unfold, or because he was impatient to decide the match-ups? We like the latter option.

First out was RB Leipzig v Manchester City. These two last played each other only last season, in the group stage; the German side will prefer to focus on the 2-1 home win they secured, rather than the 6-3 hiding they got in Manchester. That said, Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick in that game and is in fine form again this season, so this could end up being a humdinger.

Next came one of those ties where both teams will fancy their chances of progressing but both will need to be on their toes: Club Brugge v Benfica. Both have history in this competition – Brugge were finalists in 1978, Benfica won twice in the 1960s – but have never faced each other in Europe.

That’s not the case for the two sides that were drawn together next: Liverpool v Real Madrid. You only have to go back to last season’s final for their most recent set-to; they also played each other in the 2018 final, of course, and sandwiched in between those was their 2020/21 quarter-final meeting. Real came out on top in every instance, so the Anfield side will have their work cut out. This is a juicy one.

Teams discovered their fate in Nyon, Switzerland at the draw for the knockouts

AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur has a lovely ring to it and if the cool-as-a-cucumber reaction of club ambassador Ledley King in the audience was anything to go by, the London side will fancy their chances. The two sides last played each other at the same stage in 2010/11 – and Tottenham went through. Add in Antonio Conte’s local knowledge and you’ve got a tough test for the seven-time winners.

There was another Italian side among the next two sides to be pulled out: Frankfurt v Napoli. Luciano Spalletti’s side scored 20 goals in the group stage, which is the record for an Italian club; Frankfurt have never appeared in the European Cup knockout stage before. They’ve played each other in a round of 16 tie before though: the 1994/95 UEFA Cup. Frankfurt won both legs 1-0 that time around.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulišić will have been particularly interested to see Chelsea’s opponents emerge from the hat/plastic bowl: their former side Borussia Dortmund. Jude Bellingham, meanwhile, will come up against a side that has supposedly been showing interest in signing him. Intriguing.

Inter and Porto have faced each other at this stage of the competition before: in 2004/05, Inter won 4-2 on aggregate (and Adriano scored a hat-trick). They then faced each other in the following season’s group stage, where it was one win apiece. This time around, it’s a tough one to call.

And that left two teams that you might have heard of: Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern München. Another showpiece repeat, this time the 2020 final, when the Bavarians walked off with the big prize. This one competes with Liverpool v Real for glamour tie of the round – and Mr Kahn had a very serious look on his face when the camera panned to him at the end of the broadcast.  

The serious business of watching these games come to life starts with the first of the first legs on 14 February – romance and passion guaranteed. See you there.

You can pre-order issue 13 of Champions Journal here to read interviews with Jude Bellingham, Sadio Mané, Richarlison, Jorginho, Kalidou Koulibaly and plenty more...

There are few finer sights in world football than Pedro Pinto stood next to the European Cup. Their combined presence heralds the excitement and tension of another Champions League draw, this time for the round of 16. What ties would we get this time?

Once Giorgio Marchetti comes out, you know things are getting real; he’s the draw master, the moderator, the arbiter. He’s got the facts too: the group stage offered up 305 goals in 96 matches, he tells us, four short of the all-time record. And how about Bayern München, with their third flawless group stage campaign? Oliver Kahn, the erstwhile Bayern goalkeeper turned club CEO, looked like he approved of that fact from his seat in the audience.

Then out came Hamit Altıntop, ambassador for the final in Istanbul, and the action could get started. As the former Real Madrid player was unfolding the first team name, he uttered a small “Come on!” under his breath. Just because he couldn’t get the bit of paper to unfold, or because he was impatient to decide the match-ups? We like the latter option.

First out was RB Leipzig v Manchester City. These two last played each other only last season, in the group stage; the German side will prefer to focus on the 2-1 home win they secured, rather than the 6-3 hiding they got in Manchester. That said, Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick in that game and is in fine form again this season, so this could end up being a humdinger.

Next came one of those ties where both teams will fancy their chances of progressing but both will need to be on their toes: Club Brugge v Benfica. Both have history in this competition – Brugge were finalists in 1978, Benfica won twice in the 1960s – but have never faced each other in Europe.

That’s not the case for the two sides that were drawn together next: Liverpool v Real Madrid. You only have to go back to last season’s final for their most recent set-to; they also played each other in the 2018 final, of course, and sandwiched in between those was their 2020/21 quarter-final meeting. Real came out on top in every instance, so the Anfield side will have their work cut out. This is a juicy one.

Teams discovered their fate in Nyon, Switzerland at the draw for the knockouts

AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur has a lovely ring to it and if the cool-as-a-cucumber reaction of club ambassador Ledley King in the audience was anything to go by, the London side will fancy their chances. The two sides last played each other at the same stage in 2010/11 – and Tottenham went through. Add in Antonio Conte’s local knowledge and you’ve got a tough test for the seven-time winners.

There was another Italian side among the next two sides to be pulled out: Frankfurt v Napoli. Luciano Spalletti’s side scored 20 goals in the group stage, which is the record for an Italian club; Frankfurt have never appeared in the European Cup knockout stage before. They’ve played each other in a round of 16 tie before though: the 1994/95 UEFA Cup. Frankfurt won both legs 1-0 that time around.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulišić will have been particularly interested to see Chelsea’s opponents emerge from the hat/plastic bowl: their former side Borussia Dortmund. Jude Bellingham, meanwhile, will come up against a side that has supposedly been showing interest in signing him. Intriguing.

Inter and Porto have faced each other at this stage of the competition before: in 2004/05, Inter won 4-2 on aggregate (and Adriano scored a hat-trick). They then faced each other in the following season’s group stage, where it was one win apiece. This time around, it’s a tough one to call.

And that left two teams that you might have heard of: Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern München. Another showpiece repeat, this time the 2020 final, when the Bavarians walked off with the big prize. This one competes with Liverpool v Real for glamour tie of the round – and Mr Kahn had a very serious look on his face when the camera panned to him at the end of the broadcast.  

The serious business of watching these games come to life starts with the first of the first legs on 14 February – romance and passion guaranteed. See you there.

You can pre-order issue 13 of Champions Journal here to read interviews with Jude Bellingham, Sadio Mané, Richarlison, Jorginho, Kalidou Koulibaly and plenty more...

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

There are few finer sights in world football than Pedro Pinto stood next to the European Cup. Their combined presence heralds the excitement and tension of another Champions League draw, this time for the round of 16. What ties would we get this time?

Once Giorgio Marchetti comes out, you know things are getting real; he’s the draw master, the moderator, the arbiter. He’s got the facts too: the group stage offered up 305 goals in 96 matches, he tells us, four short of the all-time record. And how about Bayern München, with their third flawless group stage campaign? Oliver Kahn, the erstwhile Bayern goalkeeper turned club CEO, looked like he approved of that fact from his seat in the audience.

Then out came Hamit Altıntop, ambassador for the final in Istanbul, and the action could get started. As the former Real Madrid player was unfolding the first team name, he uttered a small “Come on!” under his breath. Just because he couldn’t get the bit of paper to unfold, or because he was impatient to decide the match-ups? We like the latter option.

First out was RB Leipzig v Manchester City. These two last played each other only last season, in the group stage; the German side will prefer to focus on the 2-1 home win they secured, rather than the 6-3 hiding they got in Manchester. That said, Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick in that game and is in fine form again this season, so this could end up being a humdinger.

Next came one of those ties where both teams will fancy their chances of progressing but both will need to be on their toes: Club Brugge v Benfica. Both have history in this competition – Brugge were finalists in 1978, Benfica won twice in the 1960s – but have never faced each other in Europe.

That’s not the case for the two sides that were drawn together next: Liverpool v Real Madrid. You only have to go back to last season’s final for their most recent set-to; they also played each other in the 2018 final, of course, and sandwiched in between those was their 2020/21 quarter-final meeting. Real came out on top in every instance, so the Anfield side will have their work cut out. This is a juicy one.

Teams discovered their fate in Nyon, Switzerland at the draw for the knockouts

AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur has a lovely ring to it and if the cool-as-a-cucumber reaction of club ambassador Ledley King in the audience was anything to go by, the London side will fancy their chances. The two sides last played each other at the same stage in 2010/11 – and Tottenham went through. Add in Antonio Conte’s local knowledge and you’ve got a tough test for the seven-time winners.

There was another Italian side among the next two sides to be pulled out: Frankfurt v Napoli. Luciano Spalletti’s side scored 20 goals in the group stage, which is the record for an Italian club; Frankfurt have never appeared in the European Cup knockout stage before. They’ve played each other in a round of 16 tie before though: the 1994/95 UEFA Cup. Frankfurt won both legs 1-0 that time around.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulišić will have been particularly interested to see Chelsea’s opponents emerge from the hat/plastic bowl: their former side Borussia Dortmund. Jude Bellingham, meanwhile, will come up against a side that has supposedly been showing interest in signing him. Intriguing.

Inter and Porto have faced each other at this stage of the competition before: in 2004/05, Inter won 4-2 on aggregate (and Adriano scored a hat-trick). They then faced each other in the following season’s group stage, where it was one win apiece. This time around, it’s a tough one to call.

And that left two teams that you might have heard of: Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern München. Another showpiece repeat, this time the 2020 final, when the Bavarians walked off with the big prize. This one competes with Liverpool v Real for glamour tie of the round – and Mr Kahn had a very serious look on his face when the camera panned to him at the end of the broadcast.  

The serious business of watching these games come to life starts with the first of the first legs on 14 February – romance and passion guaranteed. See you there.

You can pre-order issue 13 of Champions Journal here to read interviews with Jude Bellingham, Sadio Mané, Richarlison, Jorginho, Kalidou Koulibaly and plenty more...

The knockout stage is set
Blog

The knockout stage is set

Our deputy editor Dan Poole was keeping a close eye on proceedings as the draw for the round of 16 was made

There are few finer sights in world football than Pedro Pinto stood next to the European Cup. Their combined presence heralds the excitement and tension of another Champions League draw, this time for the round of 16. What ties would we get this time?

Once Giorgio Marchetti comes out, you know things are getting real; he’s the draw master, the moderator, the arbiter. He’s got the facts too: the group stage offered up 305 goals in 96 matches, he tells us, four short of the all-time record. And how about Bayern München, with their third flawless group stage campaign? Oliver Kahn, the erstwhile Bayern goalkeeper turned club CEO, looked like he approved of that fact from his seat in the audience.

Then out came Hamit Altıntop, ambassador for the final in Istanbul, and the action could get started. As the former Real Madrid player was unfolding the first team name, he uttered a small “Come on!” under his breath. Just because he couldn’t get the bit of paper to unfold, or because he was impatient to decide the match-ups? We like the latter option.

First out was RB Leipzig v Manchester City. These two last played each other only last season, in the group stage; the German side will prefer to focus on the 2-1 home win they secured, rather than the 6-3 hiding they got in Manchester. That said, Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick in that game and is in fine form again this season, so this could end up being a humdinger.

Next came one of those ties where both teams will fancy their chances of progressing but both will need to be on their toes: Club Brugge v Benfica. Both have history in this competition – Brugge were finalists in 1978, Benfica won twice in the 1960s – but have never faced each other in Europe.

That’s not the case for the two sides that were drawn together next: Liverpool v Real Madrid. You only have to go back to last season’s final for their most recent set-to; they also played each other in the 2018 final, of course, and sandwiched in between those was their 2020/21 quarter-final meeting. Real came out on top in every instance, so the Anfield side will have their work cut out. This is a juicy one.

Teams discovered their fate in Nyon, Switzerland at the draw for the knockouts

AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur has a lovely ring to it and if the cool-as-a-cucumber reaction of club ambassador Ledley King in the audience was anything to go by, the London side will fancy their chances. The two sides last played each other at the same stage in 2010/11 – and Tottenham went through. Add in Antonio Conte’s local knowledge and you’ve got a tough test for the seven-time winners.

There was another Italian side among the next two sides to be pulled out: Frankfurt v Napoli. Luciano Spalletti’s side scored 20 goals in the group stage, which is the record for an Italian club; Frankfurt have never appeared in the European Cup knockout stage before. They’ve played each other in a round of 16 tie before though: the 1994/95 UEFA Cup. Frankfurt won both legs 1-0 that time around.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulišić will have been particularly interested to see Chelsea’s opponents emerge from the hat/plastic bowl: their former side Borussia Dortmund. Jude Bellingham, meanwhile, will come up against a side that has supposedly been showing interest in signing him. Intriguing.

Inter and Porto have faced each other at this stage of the competition before: in 2004/05, Inter won 4-2 on aggregate (and Adriano scored a hat-trick). They then faced each other in the following season’s group stage, where it was one win apiece. This time around, it’s a tough one to call.

And that left two teams that you might have heard of: Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern München. Another showpiece repeat, this time the 2020 final, when the Bavarians walked off with the big prize. This one competes with Liverpool v Real for glamour tie of the round – and Mr Kahn had a very serious look on his face when the camera panned to him at the end of the broadcast.  

The serious business of watching these games come to life starts with the first of the first legs on 14 February – romance and passion guaranteed. See you there.

You can pre-order issue 13 of Champions Journal here to read interviews with Jude Bellingham, Sadio Mané, Richarlison, Jorginho, Kalidou Koulibaly and plenty more...

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

There are few finer sights in world football than Pedro Pinto stood next to the European Cup. Their combined presence heralds the excitement and tension of another Champions League draw, this time for the round of 16. What ties would we get this time?

Once Giorgio Marchetti comes out, you know things are getting real; he’s the draw master, the moderator, the arbiter. He’s got the facts too: the group stage offered up 305 goals in 96 matches, he tells us, four short of the all-time record. And how about Bayern München, with their third flawless group stage campaign? Oliver Kahn, the erstwhile Bayern goalkeeper turned club CEO, looked like he approved of that fact from his seat in the audience.

Then out came Hamit Altıntop, ambassador for the final in Istanbul, and the action could get started. As the former Real Madrid player was unfolding the first team name, he uttered a small “Come on!” under his breath. Just because he couldn’t get the bit of paper to unfold, or because he was impatient to decide the match-ups? We like the latter option.

First out was RB Leipzig v Manchester City. These two last played each other only last season, in the group stage; the German side will prefer to focus on the 2-1 home win they secured, rather than the 6-3 hiding they got in Manchester. That said, Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick in that game and is in fine form again this season, so this could end up being a humdinger.

Next came one of those ties where both teams will fancy their chances of progressing but both will need to be on their toes: Club Brugge v Benfica. Both have history in this competition – Brugge were finalists in 1978, Benfica won twice in the 1960s – but have never faced each other in Europe.

That’s not the case for the two sides that were drawn together next: Liverpool v Real Madrid. You only have to go back to last season’s final for their most recent set-to; they also played each other in the 2018 final, of course, and sandwiched in between those was their 2020/21 quarter-final meeting. Real came out on top in every instance, so the Anfield side will have their work cut out. This is a juicy one.

Teams discovered their fate in Nyon, Switzerland at the draw for the knockouts

AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur has a lovely ring to it and if the cool-as-a-cucumber reaction of club ambassador Ledley King in the audience was anything to go by, the London side will fancy their chances. The two sides last played each other at the same stage in 2010/11 – and Tottenham went through. Add in Antonio Conte’s local knowledge and you’ve got a tough test for the seven-time winners.

There was another Italian side among the next two sides to be pulled out: Frankfurt v Napoli. Luciano Spalletti’s side scored 20 goals in the group stage, which is the record for an Italian club; Frankfurt have never appeared in the European Cup knockout stage before. They’ve played each other in a round of 16 tie before though: the 1994/95 UEFA Cup. Frankfurt won both legs 1-0 that time around.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulišić will have been particularly interested to see Chelsea’s opponents emerge from the hat/plastic bowl: their former side Borussia Dortmund. Jude Bellingham, meanwhile, will come up against a side that has supposedly been showing interest in signing him. Intriguing.

Inter and Porto have faced each other at this stage of the competition before: in 2004/05, Inter won 4-2 on aggregate (and Adriano scored a hat-trick). They then faced each other in the following season’s group stage, where it was one win apiece. This time around, it’s a tough one to call.

And that left two teams that you might have heard of: Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern München. Another showpiece repeat, this time the 2020 final, when the Bavarians walked off with the big prize. This one competes with Liverpool v Real for glamour tie of the round – and Mr Kahn had a very serious look on his face when the camera panned to him at the end of the broadcast.  

The serious business of watching these games come to life starts with the first of the first legs on 14 February – romance and passion guaranteed. See you there.

You can pre-order issue 13 of Champions Journal here to read interviews with Jude Bellingham, Sadio Mané, Richarlison, Jorginho, Kalidou Koulibaly and plenty more...

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

There are few finer sights in world football than Pedro Pinto stood next to the European Cup. Their combined presence heralds the excitement and tension of another Champions League draw, this time for the round of 16. What ties would we get this time?

Once Giorgio Marchetti comes out, you know things are getting real; he’s the draw master, the moderator, the arbiter. He’s got the facts too: the group stage offered up 305 goals in 96 matches, he tells us, four short of the all-time record. And how about Bayern München, with their third flawless group stage campaign? Oliver Kahn, the erstwhile Bayern goalkeeper turned club CEO, looked like he approved of that fact from his seat in the audience.

Then out came Hamit Altıntop, ambassador for the final in Istanbul, and the action could get started. As the former Real Madrid player was unfolding the first team name, he uttered a small “Come on!” under his breath. Just because he couldn’t get the bit of paper to unfold, or because he was impatient to decide the match-ups? We like the latter option.

First out was RB Leipzig v Manchester City. These two last played each other only last season, in the group stage; the German side will prefer to focus on the 2-1 home win they secured, rather than the 6-3 hiding they got in Manchester. That said, Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick in that game and is in fine form again this season, so this could end up being a humdinger.

Next came one of those ties where both teams will fancy their chances of progressing but both will need to be on their toes: Club Brugge v Benfica. Both have history in this competition – Brugge were finalists in 1978, Benfica won twice in the 1960s – but have never faced each other in Europe.

That’s not the case for the two sides that were drawn together next: Liverpool v Real Madrid. You only have to go back to last season’s final for their most recent set-to; they also played each other in the 2018 final, of course, and sandwiched in between those was their 2020/21 quarter-final meeting. Real came out on top in every instance, so the Anfield side will have their work cut out. This is a juicy one.

Teams discovered their fate in Nyon, Switzerland at the draw for the knockouts

AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur has a lovely ring to it and if the cool-as-a-cucumber reaction of club ambassador Ledley King in the audience was anything to go by, the London side will fancy their chances. The two sides last played each other at the same stage in 2010/11 – and Tottenham went through. Add in Antonio Conte’s local knowledge and you’ve got a tough test for the seven-time winners.

There was another Italian side among the next two sides to be pulled out: Frankfurt v Napoli. Luciano Spalletti’s side scored 20 goals in the group stage, which is the record for an Italian club; Frankfurt have never appeared in the European Cup knockout stage before. They’ve played each other in a round of 16 tie before though: the 1994/95 UEFA Cup. Frankfurt won both legs 1-0 that time around.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulišić will have been particularly interested to see Chelsea’s opponents emerge from the hat/plastic bowl: their former side Borussia Dortmund. Jude Bellingham, meanwhile, will come up against a side that has supposedly been showing interest in signing him. Intriguing.

Inter and Porto have faced each other at this stage of the competition before: in 2004/05, Inter won 4-2 on aggregate (and Adriano scored a hat-trick). They then faced each other in the following season’s group stage, where it was one win apiece. This time around, it’s a tough one to call.

And that left two teams that you might have heard of: Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern München. Another showpiece repeat, this time the 2020 final, when the Bavarians walked off with the big prize. This one competes with Liverpool v Real for glamour tie of the round – and Mr Kahn had a very serious look on his face when the camera panned to him at the end of the broadcast.  

The serious business of watching these games come to life starts with the first of the first legs on 14 February – romance and passion guaranteed. See you there.

You can pre-order issue 13 of Champions Journal here to read interviews with Jude Bellingham, Sadio Mané, Richarlison, Jorginho, Kalidou Koulibaly and plenty more...

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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