Following the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw held on Monday in Nyon, Switzerland, three Super Eagles stars are up for a tough battle as they will be hoping to fire their clubs to the quarter-final stage of the competition.
The biggest clash featuring Nigerian stars will be the contest between Victor Osimhen’s Napoli against Barcelona, Sadiq Umar Real Sociedad will slug it out against French giant Paris St-Germain and Saidu Yusuf will be hoping for his Porto side to upset Arsenal.
Osimhen faces Barcelona’s tough test
Nigeria striker and newly crowned African Player of the Year Osimhen will face Xavi’s Barcelona men and five-time champions Barcelona.
Osimhen scored his first Champions League goal of the season in Napoli’s 2-0 win over Sporting Braga and hopes to fire the Italian champions beyond the round-of-sixteen finish.
Napoli were first up at UEFA’s Champions League Round of 16 draw in Nyon, being paired up with Xavi’s Barcelona, setting up a tough round for Walter Mazzarri and his squad.
Napoli, who finished in second place in their group, drew Barcelona. A double challenge that already existed in 2020.
The first leg will be played at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Fuorigrotta, while the return match will be played in Spain at the Camp Nou in Barcelona.
Porto vs Arsenal
Super Eagles defender Zaidu Sanusi has a tough job as his Portuguese side, Porto, battles Premier League table toppers Arsenal in one of the tricky contests.
Porto finished runners-up in their group behind Barcelona, level on points with the Catalan club having won four and drawn two of their group games.
It is the fourth time Arsenal will be drawn against Porto in the competition. In the 2006/07 season, the Portuguese side has never eliminated the Gunners.
PSG vs Real Sociedad
Nigeria striker Sadiq Umar, who has been inspirational for his La Liga side, will have the opportunity to add to his brilliant performance when his side takes on PSG in the Round of 16 games of the UEFA Champions League.
Sadiq, who has yet to register a goal for his La Liga side in this season’s campaign, will be able to do so when his side comes up against Ligue 1 champions.
Real Sociedad finished top of Group D ahead of Inter Milan and are playing in the Champions League last 16 for the first time since 2003/04. It will be the first time PSG faces a Spanish side since being knocked out of the competition by Real Madrid in round 16 in March 2022.
PSG finished second in their group as Luis Enrique’s side will hope to have an easy run against Sociedad.
In the other draw, defending champion Manchester City was handed a fair opponent, FC Copenhagen.
Serie A leaders Inter Milan have been drawn against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid men.
Bayern Munich will be up against Lazio, and RB Leipzig will take on record 14-time European champions Real Madrid.
Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund will tackle Dutch side PSV Eindhoven.
The first legs will be played on 13-14 and 20-21 February 2024, while the return matches will be played on 5-6 and 12-13 March. The final will be staged at Wembley in London on June 1, 2024.