Yes, it was the media's matchup for the ages, at least from a storyline perspective. Real Madrid and Manchester United have all the ingredients of an extremely heated encounter. José Mourinho facing and old nemesis from his days at Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo comes back to the club that launched him into superstardom. Those are very interesting. Then there are the clashes of the past that no one can forget mixed with names that many forgot or are blocked out in the darkest reaches of collective memory (i.e. Mark Bosnich).
The collective and extended "woooooo" that emerged in Nyon after those two megaclubs were matched up in the Champions League knockout stage tended to take up all the headlines. Rightfully so. Yet to say this is the best matchup would be unjust to what always promises to be one of the most exciting moments in world sport- and delivers.
Last year and the year before and the year before many must have uttered the words "it can't get better than this". This year it did. Every single tie in the knockout stage is intriguing and you can honestly say can go to anyone. Save for the Celtic-Juventus encounter, which will be a tough one despite what many people might think,
Arsenal and Bayern Munich is a matchup of orgasmic football, but in the end it will be the biggest test for Jupp Heynckes' men if they want to erase the memories of last May. Arsenal also might look at this as a building block to find some silverware for the first time in almost eight seasons.
Barcelona once again face Milan after having done so in the group stage in last year's edition. After their struggles at the beginning of the Serie A season, Milan seemed to have righted the ship led by the current pole sitter in the race for the Capo Cannoniere in Stephan El-Sharaawy
The Forgotten Matchup
One matchup that many don't talk about is the encounter between Shakhtar and two-time Bundesliga champs Borussia Dortmund. Shakhtar Donetsk might be the most disliked team after what Luiz Adriano did in the group stage will face a team that has emerged amongst as contender from the group stage in Borussia Dortmund. Although Jürgen Klopp's side have their troubles domestically, in Europe they have captivated audiences and would be a side many would like to see at Wembley in May.
Galatasaray vs. Schalke
Celtic vs. Juventus
Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Borussia Dortmund
AC Milan vs. FC Barcelona
Real Madrid vs. Manchester United
Valencia vs. Paris St.- Germain
Porto vs. Málaga
WHAT MATCHUP INTRIGUES YOU MOST IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE KNOCKOUT STAGE? LET US KNOW.