Official: Barcelona to face off against Napoli in the UCL Round of 16

Date:

HAMBURG, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 07: Head coach Xavi Harnandez of Barcelona looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League match between FC Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Barcelona at Volksparkstadion on November 07, 2023 in Hamburg, Germany.
Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

FC Barcelona finally arrive at the big point of the UEFA Champions League. The Catalan giants have long awaited the opportunity to take part once again in the knockout stages of Europe’s Premiere competition and now finally have the opportunity. However, it was known that Barcelona will not have it easy.

Leading up to the official UEFA Champions League draw for the Round of 16, Barcelona had a possible seven different opponents that could have been drafted. Ultimately, the Catalan club now knows the rivals that they will have to face off against in the Round of 16 in February of 2024.

Amidst the suspenseful draw, FC Barcelona’s fate was unveiled, pitting them against the Italian powerhouse Napoli in the Round of 16. La Blaugrana could have had any opponent picked out of seven different options, but it is ultimately the Serie A side that they will encounter.

Other possible opponents included Paris Saint-Germain from France, RB Leipzig from Germany, PSV from the Netherlands, Lazio from Italy, FC Copenhagen from Denmark, and Inter Milan from Italy as well.

As it stands over in Italy, Napoli currently sit at 5th place in Serie A. With 27 points to their name, the Italian club currently sits behind Inter Milan, Juventus, AC Milan and Bologna. Over in the Champions League, Napoli finished second in their Group C behind Real Madrid with 10 points.

The opponents for FC Barcelona have suffered two defeats in the European competition during the group stage. Both losses came at the hands of Barça’s eternal rivals, Real Madrid. Now, Napoli will also have to face off against the other half of the El Clasico rivals.

Stars like Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will definitely be threats to look out for. On the other hand, this could be the opportunity that Xavi Hernandez needs to truly redeem himself in Europe. Barcelona have long since been awaiting for a chance like this, and they would do well not to squander it.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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