Greetings from the land of sand. This is the weekly segment here on Managing Madrid where I walk around my international campus and ask random people of different backgrounds and football loyalties questions about the footballing world and Real Madrid.
In case you were unaware, the draws for the Last 16 of the UEFA Champions League were made Friday, so today's question is devoted to your thoughts on the actual draw and the matchups we'll be seeing next year (almost 2012 people!).
A little refresher in case you missed the draw:
The matches we will be treated to in the upcoming round of the Last 16:
Olympic Lyon vs APOEL
Zenit St. Petersburg vs Benfica
Marseille vs Inter Milan
Napoli vs Chelsea
AC Milan vs Arsenal
FC Basel vs Bayern Munich
Bayer Leverkusen vs Barcelona
CSKA Moscow vs Real Madrid
So here's what some other football fans have been saying:
"Whatever happens is going to shape Europe for a while, this round could prove the revival of Serie A or the downfall of the premier league. The "big 3" (Barca, Madrid, Bayern) should easily make it through."
-Yusuf, Ethiopia, AC Milan
"This set has three teams that are almost guaranteed to win: Bayern Munich, Barca, and Madrid. But let's not jinx it. Anything can happen in football. The rest is hard to tell from now."
-Mustafa, Egypt, Barcelona
"Napoli and Chelsea, Lyon and APOEL, AC Milan and Arsenal are the only games that will be nice to watch due to the skill level between [those teams] are fairly similar."
-Saker, Palestine, Barcelona
"Lyon, Bayern, Barca and Madrid are for sure [moving on]. The rest of the games cannot be decided this early on."
-Phillip, Lebanon, AC Milan
"Lyon, Bayern, Barcelona, and Madrid appear to have an easier way into the next round than the rest. Inter and Marseille should be an interesting game due to the fact that Inter isn't as strong. I'm sure the score will surprise all. But the two games I am most excited for are Napoli v. Chelsea and AC Milan v. Arsenal. Both games include big names. It wouldn't surprise me if Napoli beat Chelsea because [although] they are the underdogs, they hustle and work as hard as any of the big teams. And AC Milan [will win] because Arsenal has a similar playing style to Barca but Milan was able to keep up with Barca for the most part and Arsenal is a weaker team. So I expect Milan and Napoli to move on to the Round of eight."
-Omar, Egypt, Real Madrid
"[In] AC Milan and Arsenal, Milan should win. Napoli and Chelsea will be very tight because Napoli overcame Man City who have terrorized the [English Premiere League] this year and we all know the potential of Chelsea, especially because [Andres Villas Boas] stopped playing such a high line."
-Fahad, Pakistan, Liverpool
"I believe that the draws are cool this year even though the two best teams (Barca and Madrid) got weak opponents. I am hoping to see great games between AC Milan and Arsenal, but I think AC Milan will win."
-Nadim, Lebanon, Barcelona
And there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Regardless of the draw, I'm sure I speak for everyone except Manchester United supporters (sorry, I couldn't resist) when I say that we're all looking forward to a great Champions League season come 2012.
And now it's your turn. Leave your thoughts in the comments or simply vote in the poll. Hala Madrid!