The much anticipated UEFA Champions League draw in Nyon, Switzerland, has given FC Barcelona a familiar opponent. After facing them four times in the 2011-12 edition of the most prestigious club competition in European football, Barça will play Italian side AC Milan twice more this season. The first leg will be played in Milan on 20 February 2013 while the return leg will be played at Camp Nou on 12 March 2013.
With Barcelona finishing the group stages in first place Milan was one of five possible opponents for the Round of 16. But the draw awarded Barcelona last season's Serie A runners-up, Milan. It has been a difficult season for Milan who currently occupy only seventh place in the Italian strongest league with 27 points from 17 games.
And it hasn't been any easier for them in the Champions League. Milan finished the Group Stage action four points behind the Group Winner, the undefeated Malaga CF, and only a single point above third placed Zenit St. Petersburg. Milan won two games, at Anderlecht (1-3) and at Zenit (2-3), and drew two games at home, against Malaga (1-1) and Andrelecht (0-0). The Italians also lost two games, one at home (0-1 to Zenit) and one away (1-0 to Malaga).
The draw for the quarter-finals (and the rest of the competition) will be held after the Round of 16 is completed, on 15 March 2013.
The draw also graced us with some very good pairings, outside of the obviously strong Barça tie. The (on paper) most interesting ties should be Real Madrid vs Manchester United and Arsenal vs Bayern Munich. The remaining two Spanish representatives also have very intriguing opposition with Valencia facing Paris Saint-Germain and Malaga squaring off against Porto.
All Round of 16 pairs:
Galatasaray AS vs FC Schalke 04
Celtic FC vs Juventus
Arsenal FC vs FC Bayern Munich
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Borussia Dortmund
AC Milan vs FC Barcelona
Real Madrid CF vs Manchester United FC
Valencia CF vs Paris Saint-Germain
FC Porto vs Málaga CF