Sir Alex Ferguson joked he will have to order some fine wine after Manchester United were drawn against Real Madrid, managed by his old adversary Jose Mourinho, in a Champions League contest that will see Cristiano Ronaldo return to Old Trafford for the first time.
The two managers had a tradition of sharing a glass of red after their teams’ encounters in the Premier League when Mourinho managed Chelsea – although Ferguson described the first wine Mourinho provided him as being “like paintstripper”.
Mourinho made amends with a £300 bottle of Portuguese red the next time around, and the last-16 match in the Champions League should be as mouthwatering as the wine.
Ferguson said: “Well, it’s the tie of the round. It’s a great opportunity for our fans to see Cristiano again and also for me to meet up with Jose again – I’ll need to order some good wine.”
United will hope there was a lucky omen in the draw – their one victory over Real Madrid in the European Cup was the year they first won the final, also at Wembley where next year’s final will be held, in 1968.
But United have learned to fear players called Ronaldo from this club in this competition. The Brazilian striker took the honours when the clubs last faced each other in 2003, scoring a hat-trick at Old Trafford as Real went through 6-5 on aggregate.
The other English representative, Arsenal, will face last season’s beaten finalists Bayern Munich while Celtic will take on Italian champions Juventus as they look for a place in the quarter-finals.
In the other matches, Barcelona will take on AC Milan, German champions Borussia Dortmund face Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia play Paris St Germain, Porto encounter Spanish side Malaga and Galatasaray will come up against Schalke.
Arsene Wenger’s Gunners last met Bayern Munich at the same stage in 2005, with the German side progressing 3-2 on aggregate.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon called his side’s draw against Juventus “a beauty” but very tough.
United will play the first leg at the Bernabeu on February 13 with the return at Old Trafford on March 5. Arsenal will play a week later with the first leg at the Emirates Stadium on February 19 and the second at the Allianz Arena in Munich on March 13.
Celtic will take on Juventus at Celtic Park on February 12, with the return leg in Turin on March 6.
UEFA Champions League, Round of 16: Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Celtic v Juventus, Arsenal v Bayern Munich, Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan v Barcelona, Real Madrid v Man Utd, Valencia v PSG, FC Porto v Malaga.
First legs to be played February 12-13 and 19-20.
Second legs to be played March 5-6 and 12-13.
Europa League, Round of 16: Napoli/Plzen v BATE/Fenerbahce, Bayer Leverkusen/Benfica v Dynamo Kiev/Bordeaux, Anzhi Mackhachkala/Hannover 96 v Newcastle/FC Metalist Kharkiv, VfB Stuttgart/Genk v Borussia M’gladbach/Lazio, Tottenham/Lyon v Inter Milan/CFR Cluj-Napoca, Levante/Olympiacos v Atletico Madrid/Rubin Kazan, Basle/Dnipro v Zenit St Petersburg/Liverpool, Ajax/Steaua Bucuresti v Sparta Prague/Chelsea.
First legs to be played March 7.
Second legs to be played March 14.