Champions League First Round Draw
It's getting close to that time of year again. That's right; UEFA Champions League knockout round football is not too far away. In anticipation of Europe's greatest club footballing competition, UEFA has completed it's draw for the first knockout stage, and there are a couple of headline matchups.
Firstly, two time defending champions Inter Milan will take on Portuguese powerhouse SL Benfica, with the first leg taking place at the Estadio da Luz in Portugal. The Nerazzurri, led by their talisman midfielder Rogerio and fiery Italian managerial legend Giuseppe Bergomi, are looking to be the first team since Bayern Munich in '74, '75, and '76 to win the competition three times in a row.
Two time runner up Arsenal will look to break their duck of winning the UEFA Champions League. Led by Bergomi's archrival Antonio Conte, the Gunners from London have twice come so close to winning, only to be thwarted int he final. They will take on Dutch side FC Twente in what should be a relatively easy set of victories to see them into the next round.
The tie with the two biggest names, however, is between French moneybags PSG and England's historical powerhouse Manchester United. The Parisians have won four straight Ligue 1 titles but have failed to impress themselves into the European game. Manchester United, on the other hand, are fresh off of winning the Premier League last season under Luciano Spalleti and are led by Brazilian superstar Neymar.
All 16 of the teams remaining in this prestigious competition will foster hopes of reaching the Stade de Gerland final and taking home the great trophy. However, first they must advance past this stage. The group stage is over, but the excitement and drama of the knockout round is just around the corner.