Barcelona, Real Madrid Avoid ‘Giants’ in Champions League


Friday was the official announcement for the Champions League Round of 16, and with the many upsets in the first round (including the elimination of the Manchester powerhouses), some of the European giants were due to have an easy draw.

The draw ultimately was accessible, but not a cake walk, for two of the most marketable teams in Europe: Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Both of the teams will face "smaller" teams in Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow.

The reactions by both teams to the draw have been completely different. While not underestimating their opponents, the Barcelona players have stated their excitement to get to play in Germany, which always provides a great environment.

Real Madrid, on the other hand, is dreading the away game in Moscow, where temperatures are expected to be below freezing.

The upsets has generated a Round of 16 that will be characterized by routs or more shocking results. 

Bayern Munich, considered by many the best in Europe behind Barcelona, has another easy draw against Basilea of Switzerland. Olympique Lyon faces an inexperienced Apoel team, while Inter Milan faces Olympique Marseilles.

There are only two "marquee" matchups between large European clubs: Milan versus Arsenal and Napoli versus Chelsea.

The European tournament could continue to be turned on its head, and except for the fans of the "big" clubs themselves, it could be one of the most exciting tournaments in years.

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