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CL Draw Takes Mourinho, Ranieri Back To England
Guardian, December 19th, 2008 2:31PM

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The draw for the round of 16 in the European Champions League will take former Chelsea managers Jose Mourinho and Claudio Ranieri back to England. Mourinho's Inter Milan team will play Manchester United, while Ranieri will take his Juventus team back to Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool will meet Real Madrid in a repeat of the 1981 European Cup final, a game that the English team won 1-0, while north London club Arsenal has to get past Roma.

"Mourinho told me yesterday that he wanted Manchester United" said Inter Director Ernesto Paolillo. "Against Manchester United we can find the right motivation and the right concentration to play a very good game. Mourinho is experienced in English soccer, and he knows United very well."

United's Communications Director Phil Townsend was suitably on message. "It's a very exciting draw," he said. "We've only met Inter once before in the Champions League and we got through then, and maybe it's a good omen because it was in 1999 and we ended up winning the tournament." Good omens, of course, have a scientifically proven track record of success in international club soccer, as elsewhere.

Villarreal and Jozy Altidore have it relatively easy with a tie against Greek champion Panathinaikos. Barcelona faces French title-holder Olympique Lyon, which has been in patchy form lately. Germany's last representative, Bayern Munich, takes on Sporting Lisbon, while Portugal's other club, Porto, will meet Atlético Madrid.

Champions League round of 16 draw
Chelsea vs Juventus
Villarreal vs Panathinaikos
Sporting Lisbon vs Bayern Munich
Atlético Madrid vs Porto
Lyon vs Barcelona
Real Madrid vs Livserpool
Arsenal vs Roma
Inter Milan vs Manchester United
(Home-and-away ties to be played February 24/25, and March 10/11.)

 

 

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