Final 16 UEFA Champions League Matchups Announced

I like to keep this blog as Southern California focused as possible, but is there any soccer fan locally not looking forward to the beginning of the knockout rounds of the best club competition in the world?

Thought not. Purists will tell you that this is when the real competition begins anyway.

Today’s draw.

It means Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson and Inter Milan’s Jose Mourinho will resume hostilities.

It means Liverpool’s Spanish Coach Rafael Benitez faces former club Real Madrid, who are now coached, of course, by former Tottenham gaffer Juande Ramos (and yes, I just like writing gaffer).

And former Chelsea Manager Claudio Ranieri returns to his old club as Inter Milan coach.

Landon Donovan may also be interested to know Bayern Munich got Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon.

Who drew the short straw? French club Lyon, which faces Barcelona.

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