|Real Madrid will have to travel to Russia in freezing conditions to face CSKA Moscow [GALLO/GETTY]|
Defending champions Barcelona got the luck of the draw on Friday and will play Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16 of the Champions League.
As Barcelona avoided a long trip to Russia in freezing cold February temperatures, that arduous task fell to rival Real Madrid, who will play CSKA Moscow.
“For us, the most important thing is not to play in Russia, for the temperatures and the distance,” Barcelona director Amador Bernabeu told The Associated Press.
The draw also set up a pair of Italy-England clashes. Arsenal will face AC Milan and Chelsea were drawn to play Napoli.
With the two Russian teams unseeded after finishing runner-up in their groups, two seeded teams were sure to be sent on the long journey north.
“It will be a key factor. The weather and the temperature, we’re not used to that,” Madrid director Emilio Butragueno said.
“It’s a rematch of Arsenal beating us 2-0 at the San Siro. It will be a great match”
Milan director Umberto Gandini
“We have to be very careful.”
Milan director Umberto Gandini recalled that Arsenal eliminated the seven-time European champions at the same stage in 2008.
“It’s a rematch of Arsenal beating us 2-0 at the San Siro. It will be a great match,” Gandini said.
APOEL, the first Cypriot club to reach the knockout round, shaped as the weakest of the seeded clubs and were paired with Lyon.
“We must not speak only of luck,” Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas said.
“APOEL have been exceptional in the first round and drew all three of their away matches.”
Benfica also go to Russia to play Zenit St. Petersburg, while two match-ups are almost local derbies. Bayern have the short journey to Basel on the Swiss-German border and Inter have the fewest possible kilometers to travel to face Marseille.
February 14-15 and February 21-22
Lyon (France) v APOEL Nicosia (Cyprus)
Napoli (Italy) v Chelsea (England)
AC Milan (Italy) v Arsenal (England)
FC Basel (Switzerland) v Bayern Munich (Germany)
Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) v Barcelona (Spain)
CSKA Moscow (Russia) v Real Madrid (Spain)
Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia) v Benfica (Portugal)
Marseille (France) v Inter Milan (Italy)
March 6-7 and March 13-14
APOEL Nicosia (Cyprus) v Lyon (France)
Chelsea (England) v Napoli (Italy)
Arsenal (England) v AC Milan (Italy)
Bayern Munich (Germany) v FC Basel (Switzerland)
Barcelona (Spain) v Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
Real Madrid (Spain) v CSKA Moscow (Russia)
Benfica (Portugal) v Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia)
Inter Milan (Italy) v Marseille (France)