Americans aren’t the only ones going mad over brackets in March. Soccer fans around the world are busy doing the same thing. On Friday, UEFA held the draw to determine the matchups for the final rounds of the UEFA Champions League.
The Round of 16 concluded Wednesday, and eight teams were left standing. They include traditional powers FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and AC Milan. They are joined by surprise inclusions like APOEL, Benfica, Olympique Marseille and even Chelsea FC.
Their names were placed in pots and drawn one-by-one by UEFA bigwigs. Matchups are set, and the road-map to the final of club soccer’s most prestigious competition (on May 19 in Munich, Germany) has been plotted.
Fans are busy filling out their Champions League brackets, but they can certainly use some help. Every year produces shocks, and 2012 will be no different.
Luckily for them, NESN.com has a surprise of its own. Soccer editor Marcus Kwesi O’Mard convinced the Dean (emeritus) of soccer analysts in the U.S., Seamus Malin, to temporarily end his retirement and analyze Friday’s draw. The National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee tells us what to expect from the latter stages of the Champions league.
Listen to the podcast or download it in the player below.