The Champions League round of 16 has thrown up a mouth-watering tie between Manchester United and Real Madrid. The draw will see Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford for the first time since he left in 2008.
Even though United won their group, the Champions League has handed them a team that they surely would not have wanted to face in the early stages of the competition in Real Madrid. The clash, in addition to offering a spectacular couple of football matches, will have many interesting storylines. The friendly rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson will resume at a competitive level. Mourinho made his name by winning the Champions League with Porto, knocking United out in the process. The Portuguese master is also constantly tipped to one day take over at Old Trafford after Ferguson decides to step down.
Ronaldo will also be making his return to the club that made him a star before leaving for the Spanish capital. Ferguson helped shape Ronaldo into the player he is today and the two share a special father/son relationship to this day. Ronaldo will also have many friends on the United team and will no doubt be a special occasion for the Portuguese midfielder.
It is slightly unusual for a Champions League tie such as this to occur at such an early stage but, with Real Madrid finishing runners up from Group D behind Borussia Dortmund and United topping Group H, the pair meeting in the second round was always a possibility. The matches, played over two legs, will take place on February 13th and March 5th with the second leg at Old Trafford.
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