Champions League draw: Teams discover their fate in the last 16

By Matias Grez, CNN

Updated 10:03 a.m. ET, December 16, 2019
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10:03 a.m. ET, December 16, 2019

Until next time ...

Matias Grez

That's all for today's Champions League draw coverage.

We'll be back in 2020 to cover these mouth-watering round of 16 fixtures, which take place on the 18th/19th and 25th/26th of February.

Can Manchester City get the better of 13-time European Cup winner Real Madrid to win its first Champions League trophy?

Will Atletico Madrid upset the odds and eliminate defending champion Liverpool?

You can read a roundup of today's live draw action here.

9:12 a.m. ET, December 16, 2019

Barca vs. Napoli

John Sinnott

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has been assessing the La Liga club's last-16 tie against Napoli.

Describing Napoli as a "tough opponent," Valverde told the Barca website that "Napoli are having a great Champions League" and that in the San Paolo he expects an "incredible" atmosphere. 

CNN graphic
CNN graphic

Arguably the two clubs' greatest connection remains Diego Maradona's transfer from Barca to Napoli in 1984. You can read more about Maradona's time at Napoli here.

Spanish newspaper Marca says Lionel Messi will be going to "Maradona's home."

In the eternal struggle, the recurring debate about the best in history, Leo Messi will visit the house of his countryman, his reference, the sweet abode of Diego."
8:49 a.m. ET, December 16, 2019

Liverpool's Madrid connection

By John Sinnott

Jurgen Klopp has been reflecting on Liverpool's last-16 draw with Atletico Madrid. The Liverpool boss is predicting a difficult tie, but doesn't think the La Liga side will be thrilled at drawing the Champions League holder.

“Madrid is the place where we only have fantastic memories, all of us, so that’s great, but this time we play Atletico there and it’s their home ground," Klopp told the Liverpool website, referring to the club's 2019 final success which was played at Atletico's home ground.

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp attends a training session at Melwood in Liverpool, December 9, 2019.
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp attends a training session at Melwood in Liverpool, December 9, 2019.

“It’s a tough one, but if you go through all of the draws, there are pretty much four or five potential finals already in the last 16," added Klopp.

“So, really, really good; a good draw, a difficult game like it should be, but how we most of the time think and say, I don’t think Mr Simeone is running through his living room and is happy that he got Liverpool.

“It will be a tough game. Two teams who are used to playing intense football, different styles and slightly different organization of course, but both are ready for intensity and that makes it pretty tough for both.”

8:42 a.m. ET, December 16, 2019

Another Greek tragedy for Arsenal?

Matias Grez

8:07 a.m. ET, December 16, 2019

'A morbid clash'

Matias Grez

The Spanish papers have been having their say on the tricky ties facing their teams.

Given the bad blood between Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid from the Catalan's time as Barcelona, Marca says the tie will appeal to those with a morbid curiosity; you know there will be ugly scenes, but you can't help but watch.

The daily sports paper says the tie will have "cut Real Madrid to the bone."

It (the draw) was difficult for Zidane's team, which will have to face Guardiola's City with the second leg on English soil. A morbid clash that will once again take Pep to the Bernabeu."

They were no more upbeat about Atletico Madrid's chances after Diego Simeone's side was paired with defending champion Liverpool.

Atletico got the big one in the last 16 draw. The champion from last season and the team nobody wanted to face after watching exhibitions like that at Anfield against Barcrelona, a match that still keeps Culés awake at night. If there is one thing Klopp's team has no rival in, it's belief."

Rival newspaper Diario AS was similarly pessimistic about the two Madrid clubs' draw ... but clearly don't think much of Atalanta and Napoli.

Bombs for Madrid and Atleti; Barca and Valencia, lucky. The Madrid teams came out worst from the last 16 draw in which there will be a double battle of Spanish against English and Italians."

Finally, Sport says this is one of worst scenarios for Atletico boss Simeone, who is enduring a turbulent season so far as his side now face a "fearsome" Liverpool.

It has not been a simple season for the team or for 'Cholo' Simeone, who has even been questioned due to the serious problems of his Atleti. The Madrid team faces a very tough round against probably the most in-form team in Europe. Without a doubt, Simeone’s men have had the worst luck of the draw.
8:03 a.m. ET, December 16, 2019

Europa League draw

Matias Grez

Here's your Europa League round of 32 draw in full.

An under fire Arsenal faces a tricky tie against Olympiacos, which qualified after finishing third in its Champions League group.

There's also a tasty match-up between Champions League regulars Bayer Leverkusen and Porto.

7:37 a.m. ET, December 16, 2019

2012 memories

John Sinnott

Chelsea's draw with Bayern Munich will allow the London club's fans the chance to return to the scene of its only Champions League final victory in 2012.

It's fair to say Chelsea won that year's tournament against all the odds.

Former midfielder Roberto Di Matteo had taken over first-team managerial duties on a caretaker basis following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas in March 2012.

In a remarkable second-leg semifinal against Barcelona, Chelsea went down to 10 men after John Terry's sending off and and were losing 2-1 on aggregate after Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta scored for the La Liga team.

Somehow Chelsea rallied and Ramires' clever chip and Fernando Torres' late goal sent the Premier League side through to the final.

Without the suspended Terry in the final, which was played in Munich, Chelsea went behind before Didier Drogba's late goal took the game against Bayern into extra-time and eventually penalties.

Chelsea won the shootout 4-3 -- current coach Frank Lampard captained the team on that historic night -- with David Luiz scoring one of the penalties. That the Brazilian was playing was incredible given he was suffering from a serious hamstring injury.

“I was out for 35 days and came back to training," said Luiz at the time. "But two days before the final I had a bad pain again in my hamstring and it meant that maybe I wasn’t going to be fit to play in the game.

“On Friday I had to have a fitness test to see if I could play but even in the game, after 20 minutes I could feel it again, feel it bad, and then I ended up playing 120 minutes."

“But I told myself I was not going to let it make me come off. I said, ‘I have worked all my life for this. This was the dream I had as a kid, to play in this game.'"

7:13 a.m. ET, December 16, 2019

A familiar foe

Matias Grez

Pep Guardiola will once again travel to the Santiago Bernabeu to face bitter rival Real Madrid.

But Manchester City will take heart from the Catalan's coaching record against Los Blancos.

7:06 a.m. ET, December 16, 2019


Matias Grez

Liverpool will return to the site of last season's Champions League triumph with a trip to face Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.

It is certainly one of the trickier ties Jurgen Klopp's side could have expected in the last 16, though Atletico has struggled both domestically and in Europe this season.

While its defense remains almost as tight as ever, goals have been particularly hard to come by since Antoine Griezmann's departure in the summer.

Only five teams in La Liga (five of the current bottom six) have a worse goalscoring record than Diego Simeone's side.

Diego Forlan celebrates his winning goal against Liverpool in 2010.
Diego Forlan celebrates his winning goal against Liverpool in 2010. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

So much has changed in the decade since these two sides last met.

Now consistently forces in the Champions League, both were then familiar faces in Europe's second-tier competition, the Europa League.

In 2010, Liverpool had to travel to Madrid for its first leg via train after the Iceland ash cloud wreaked havoc on flights around the world.

After a 1-0 defeat, Rafael Benitez's side looked to have turned things around at Anfield after taking a 2-0 lead ... but an extra-time winner from the golden-haired Diego Forlan -- once of arch-rival Manchester United -- condemned Liverpool to defeat.