Old Trafford return for Ronaldo

Manchester United will play Real Madrid in the first round of the knockout stages

Manchester United will play Real Madrid in the first round of the knockout stages

First published in National Sport News © by

Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford to face Manchester United after Real Madrid were drawn against his old side in the last 16 of the Champions League.

It will also pit Jose Mourinho against Sir Alex Ferguson in the most mouthwatering tie of the first knock-out round of Europe's top club competition. The only other English side Arsenal will face last season's beaten finalists Bayern Munich while Celtic will take on Italian champions Juventus as they look for a place in the quarter-finals.

Barcelona will take on familiar foes AC Milan with the first leg at the San Siro. Their most recent encounter was in the quarter-finals last season, when Barca prevailed 3-1 on aggregate with Lionel Messi scoring twice in the second leg.

German champions Borussia Dortmund face a tricky clash with Shakhtar Donetsk while local rivals Schalke take on Galatasaray.

Big-spending Ligue 1 outfit Paris St Germain will fancy their chances of beating Valencia, whose form has been patchy this season, and Malaga, who are performing better in the Primera Division, meet Portuguese champions Porto.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for United, but it was another Ronaldo - the Brazilian striker - who took the honours when the clubs last faced each other in 2003, scoring a hat-trick at Old Trafford as Real went through 6-5 on aggregate.

The clubs first met in the European Cup in April 1957, when Real triumphed 5-3 in the semi-final. Ronaldo's last match for United was in the Champions League final defeat by Barcelona, after which he moved to Madrid for a world record £80million transfer fee.

United defender Rio Ferdinand played in the 2003 match against Real Madrid, as did Ryan Giggs, while Darren Fletcher was an unused substitute. Ferdinand welcomed the draw on Twitter saying: "Oh yes, Madrid!! What a great couple a games that'll be!! @Cristiano see u soon bro!!"

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson told the club's official website: "Well, it's the tie of the round. It's a great opportunity for our fans to see Cristiano again and also for me to meet up with Jose again - I'll need to order some good wine!"

United will play the first leg at the Bernabeu on February 13 with the return at Old Trafford on March 5. Arsenal will play a week later with the first leg at the Emirates Stadium on February 19 and the second at the Allianz Arena in Munich on March 13. Celtic will take on Juventus at Celtic Park on February 12, with the return leg in Turin on March 6.

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