There will be no Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2021-2022 UEFA Champions League Last-16 round after all. However, the Argentine superstar will meet a well-known rival, as PSG were paired with Real Madrid for the next round of the UCL.
The draw took place on Monday, and soccer fans were excited after Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United were drawn together for the Last-16 round. But something unbelievable happened: right after undergoing the usual procedure and all 16 teams found out about their upcoming rival, all the results had to be void over a technical issue.
"UEFA voided the initial results of Monday’s draw, which had created another matchup between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi after Manchester United was paired with Paris Saint-Germain," reported the Indian Express. After the 'second' draw, Messi, Sergio Ramos and PSG were paired with Real Madrid.
2021-2021 UEFA Champions League Last-16 Format
Manchester City, Liverpool, Ajax, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Lille, Juventus, PSG, Atletico Madrid, Sporting Lisbon, Inter Milan, Benfica, Salzburg, Chelsea and Villarreal met at UEFA headquarters to find out their opponents in the first weeks of February.
It will be the first edition of the Champions League where the famous away goal rule won't be counting and that teams from the same country or teams that have been in the same group cannot be in the same round of 16.
2021-2021 UEFA Champions League Last-16: Ties and Key Dates
February 15, 16, 22 and 23 will be the dates of the first legs, while the second legs will take place on March 8, 9, 15 and 16. Europe is starting to warm up for the second half of the Champions League season, where we will see some great clashes from day one.
RB Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich, Sporting Lisbon vs. Manchester City, Benfica vs. Ajax and Chelsea vs. Lille will be the first four UEFA Champions League round of 16 ties in February 2022. The rest of the ties are: Atletico Madrid vs. Manchester United, Villarreal vs. Juventus, Inter Milan vs. Liverpool and PSG vs. Real Madrid.