It's Real Madrid vs Man Utd, Barcelona vs AC Milan in Champions League last 16
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Real Madrid will face Manchester United in a mouthwatering Champions League last-16 clash that sends Cristiano Ronaldo back to where he made his reputation, and Jose Mourinho to the club many believe he wants to coach one day.
"It is going to be thrilling for everybody,'' Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno said.
In another blockbuster pairing in Thursday's draw, Champions League favorite Barcelona and Lionel Messi will play seven-time winner AC Milan.
Arsenal will face Bayern Munich, last season's beaten finalist, and big-spending Paris Saint-Germain was paired with Valencia.
Also, it was: Celtic vs. Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Borussia Dortmund, FC Porto vs. Malaga, and Galatasaray vs. Schalke.
First-leg matches are to be played from Feb. 12-20. Return matches are from March 5-13.
The storied history of nine-time European champion Madrid and three-time winner United would be enough to ensure the tie top billing, with the first leg in Spain on Feb. 13.
The friendly rivalries of Mourinho and Alex Ferguson in the dugout, and star forwards Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney on the pitch add an extra dimension.
"(Mourinho) is a fantastic manager, a fantastic coach and of course this tie is going to be a challenge for all of us,'' Butragueno said, declining to discuss speculation that the Portuguese will leave Madrid after the season, and covets the United job.
It was at Old Trafford where Mourinho truly arrived on the international scene with a flamboyant victory sprint down the touchline as his Porto team eliminated United in the last 16 in 2004, the first of Ronaldo's six seasons in England before joining Madrid.
"It is going to be very special for Cristiano,'' said Butragueno of the Portugal forward, who is the competition's top scorer with six goals. "He is an extraordinary professional. I am sure he is going to do his best to help us qualify.''
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