Botched Champions League Draw Leaves Real Madrid Furious as They Face Lionel Messi’s PSG

The much-awaited draw for the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League 2021-22 took place on Monday but due to some technical errors, the initial draw was declared null and void. The confusion arose after Manchester United were drawn against Villarreal, a team they could not face in the round of 16 as they reached the knockout stage of Europe’s elite competition from the same group in the second tie. Subsequently, Villarreal drew against another Premier League side Manchester City.

Later, when the botched draw was redone, Real Madrid ended up paying the highest price as they were drawn against a star-studded Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) led by Lionel Messi. Initially, after the first draw, Real Madrid were set to play against Portuguese side Benfica.

An official statement by UEFA said, “Following a technical problem with the software of an external service provider that instructs the officials as to which teams are eligible to play each other, a material error occurred in the draw for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.”

Of course, Real Madrid aren’t pleased. PSG is one of the teams to avoid in the early rounds of the Champions League. Madrid have labelled the redraw a “scandal”, as per a report.

The report also mentioned that the Spanish club’s president Florentino Perez was unhappy and opposed the decision to redo the draw as soon as the proposal was made.

Villarreal were replaced by Sporting CP as Manchester City’s opponent during the second round of draw as Manchester United drew Atletico Madrid. Chelsea will face French champions Lille while Liverpool will take on Inter Milan in a heavyweight showdown.

Reacting to the news, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp welcomed the tie against Inter Milan, terming it a “proper European tie”. Liverpool were initially meant to face RB Salzburg in the first draw but Klopp had no problems with redo as he said it was the right thing to do.

“I saw it live and I thought, ‘You cannot let it stand like this, there’s no chance.’ Definitely, they had to do it again,” Klopp said.

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