Atlético Madrid to meet Manchester United in the final 16 of the Champions League

After a bungled Champions League draw that directly impacted Atlético Madrid, UEFA opted to suspend the entire event and redo it on Monday afternoon.

Atlético was drawn in this year’s final 16 with Group F champions Manchester United in the second draw.

Atlético will face a Premier League team in the Champions League knockout round for the third consecutive season, following matches with Liverpool (2020) and Chelsea (2021). Atleti and United have met twice previously – in 1991 in the now-defunct UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.

The Rojiblancos won the round of 16 4-1 on aggregate, eliminating the Red Devils.

The apparent storyline is around Cristiano Ronaldo, who has smashed Atlético Madrid in this league throughout the years, first as a Real Madrid player and later as a Juventus player. After so many missed opportunities, it’s natural that Diego Simeone’s players will need to find a way past the Portuguese megastar and whichever club he’s on.

Manchester United fired manager Ole Gunnar Solskjr last month and replaced him with German strategist Ralf Rangnick following a disappointing start to the season. United are sixth in the Premier League, but Ronaldo’s heroics (late goals against Villarreal and Atalanta) helped United claim their Champions League group with a game to spare.


Atlético qualified in second place behind Liverpool after defeating Porto 3-1 on the last day of Group B. This outcome relegated the Portuguese giants to the Europa League (where they would face Lazio) and effectively eliminated AC Milan from European participation.


As group runners-up, Atleti will host the first game on Feb. 23 at the Wanda Metropolitano before heading to Old Trafford for the return match on March 15. Both legs are set to begin at 9 p.m. CET.

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