UEFA Champions League Knock Out Draws Announced
Manchester City brought in Txiki Begiristain to implement a Barcelona-like sporting model in Manchester. As part of this process, he anointed Manuel Pellegrini as the man to replicate the Catalan club's style of play. The Champions League last 16 will offer a litmus test as to how well the project is progressing.
Drawn by none other than Luis Figo, the hotly awaited clash between Barça and City will see two heavily fancied teams duke it out. The pair have never met before in competitive action.
To add extra spice to the occasion, the fixture will feature two key reunions. While Begiristain will come up against the board he left three years ago, on the pitch two close friends will lock horns: Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero.
The first leg will be played on 18th February at the Etihad, with the second leg, at the Camp Nou, scheduled for 12th March.
While there has never been a competitive meeting between the two sides, they have played one another some six times in friendlies. The first encounter came in 1952, while the most recent took place in the 2009 Gamper Trophy. Coincidentally, the Catalan club also featured in the Citizens' inaugural game at their new ground, then known as the City of Manchester Stadium, back in 2003.
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