NYON - Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid will resume their bid for a first European Cup treble in 42 years against Neymar's Paris Saint-Germain after the big-spending duo were on Monday drawn together in a mouth-watering Champions League last 16 clash.
No club has won the European title three years running since Bayern Munich in the mid-1970s, underlining how big an achievement it would be if Madrid -- 12 times winners overall -- won the trophy again in the final in Kiev in May.
Challenging them for the title will be a record five English clubs through to the last 16, with Chelsea facing the most challenging hurdle in the shape of La Liga giants Barcelona.
Barca's Spanish rivals Real know exactly what it takes to be European champions, and in Ronaldo have the most prolific goal-scorer in the competition's history.
Emilio Butragueno, a Real director and former striker, regretted that one of the favourites would be eliminated so soon in the competition.
“For the potential of the two teams, luck has worked out this way and one of the two teams will be out at the last 16 stage, which we think is a bit soon taking into account they are two of the contenders for the title,” Butragueno told BeIN Sports Spain.
PSG made waves in the transfer market in the close season when they signed Brazilian star Neymar for a world-record 222 million euros ($261.5 million), followed closely by great French hope Kylian Mbappe, who will cost 180m euros when his loan deal becomes permanent next summer.
“Every summer they have signed great players, they get stronger all the time and they have had a nearly impeccable group stage,” acknowledged Butragueno. ”With Neymar and Mbappe they have improved a lot up front, they are a very dangerous team who will demand the best of us. We need to face both games like finals and for the fans it will be a thrilling tie.”
Chance for PSG to atone
PSG ambassador Maxwell said the Real tie threw up the chance for the Parisian club to atone for their 6-1 hammering by Barcelona that eliminated them in the last 16 last season.
“It's a good draw, with two good games to play,” Maxwell said. “Our fans will like it after we were knocked out by Barcelona last season.
“It will be nice. It's a beautiful challenge for the club. I think we're ready for that.”
The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League made on Monday:
Basel (SUI) v Man City (ENG)
Bayern Munich (GER) v Besiktas (TUR)
Chelsea (ENG) v Barcelona (ESP)
Juventus (ITA) v Tottenham (ENG)
Porto (POR) v Liverpool (ENG)
Real Madrid (ESP) v PSG (FRA)
Sevilla (ESP) v Man Utd (ENG)
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) v Roma (ITA)
First legs to be played February 13/14 & 20/21. Second legs to be played March 6/7 & 13/14