NYON: Real Madrid will take on Manchester United in one of the oldest rivals in European club football in the second round of the Champions League.
The draw, at European federation UEFA headquarters today, produced a high-profile clash which will see Cristiano Ronaldo return to Old Trafford for the first time since his £80m departure for Spain in the summer of 2009.
In other ties Celtic will face Juventus while Arsenal take on last year’s beaten finalists Bayern Munich. Four-times winners Barcelona face seven-times champions AC Milan, while Valencia face Paris St Germain.
Borussia Dortmund have been drawn against Shakhtar Donetsk and Porto take on Malaga, while Galatasaray will play Schalke.
But the undoubted tie of the round sees nine-times winners Real take on United for the first time in nine years. The sides last met in the 2002-03 semi-final with the Spaniards triumphing 6-5 on aggregate.
Real won the first leg of that tie 3-1 and went through after a virtuoso second-leg performance from the Brazilian Ronaldo, who scored a hat-trick and was applauded off the Old Trafford pitch, as United won 4-3.
The clubs met first in Europe in the second season of the orginal Champions Cup when Madrid won 3-1 at home and forced a 2-2 with the pre-Munich Busby Babes in Manchester with a team starring all-time greats such as Alfredo Di Stefano, Paco Gento and Raymond Kopa.
Jose Mourinho’s renewal of his managerial rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson will be complicated further by the scheduling concidence that Madrid face Barcelona in La Liga immediately before their trip to Manchester.
United club secretary John Alexander said: “Out of several stand-out ties, I think this is the one. If history has anything in our favour our one [aggregate] victory against Real Madrid in this competition was in the season when we won the final at Wembley [in 1968].”
As group winners, United will again play the second leg of the tie at home.
Celtic and Arsenal, as group runners-up, will play their first legs at home.
Hoops manager Neil Lennon is looking forward to a “beauty” of a tie against Italian champions Juventus. He said: “In terms of glamour it’s a beauty. Juventus are one of the great traditional European teams. So in terms of glamour it’s great, in terms of qualification it is going to be very tough.”
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is optimistic his side will see off Arsenal, saying: “We enter this match as the slight favourites but we can make the mistake of underestimating them. Arsenal have struggled at times in the league over the last few months, which a look upon the standings in the Premier League will tell you.
“We want to set the foundations with a good performance in London, that would make things easier for us in our home game.”
Champions League second round
Galatasaray v FC Schalke
Celtic v Juventus
Arsenal v Bayern Munich
Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund
AC Milan v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Manchester United
Valencia v Paris St Germain
FC Porto v Malaga
** First legs on February 12/13 or 19/20, with returns on March 5/6 or 12/13.
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