Chelsea face Barcelona in Champions League

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The Independent Online

The Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has the Champions League draw he wanted after his club was paired today with Spanish league leader Barcelona.

The Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has the Champions League draw he wanted after his club was paired today with Spanish league leader Barcelona.

Other games in the first knockout round see nine-time winner Real Madrid paired with Italian champion Juventus and six-time champion AC Milan facing Manchester United. The Premier League champion Arsenal will face four-time winner Bayern Munich.

The first leg games will be played on 22 or 23 February and the return matches on 8 and 9 March. The final is at Istanbul on May 25.

Mourinho led FC Porto to last season's European title before moving to Chelsea in June. He also had a spell as an assistant coach at Barcelona.

"For emotional reasons and because everyone says they are the best in Europe at the moment, I would like to play Barcelona," Mourinho said on the eve of the draw.

"In football, top people are never scared. We always want to play against the big teams, the big managers, players always want to play big players. We always want these things for our careers."

By contrast, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson got the draw he feared.

"We've played Monaco, Inter Milan and Bayer Leverkusen twice," Ferguson had said. "The only team that we haven't met is AC Milan. I've been here for 18 years and never met them. I think fate will probably throw AC Milan our way. I have that feeling."

Real Madrid-Juventus is a repeat of the 1998 final, which the Spanish side won 1-0 in Amsterdam. The Bayern Munich-Arsenal matchup may bring Germany's top two goalkeepers, Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann, face to face.

The full draw:
Real Madrid v Juventus
FC Porto v Inter Milan
Barcelona v Chelsea
Werder Bremen v Lyon
Liverpool v Bayer Leverkusen
PSV v Monaco
Man Utd v AC Milan
Bayern Munich v Arsenal

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