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What To Make Of Champions League Draw

So, it had to happen sooner or later, didn’t it? Manchester United have been drawn against Real Madrid in the Round of 16.

These are the games that the European Cup is all about, playing against massive clubs, with great history and cracking players. Our fans will get a night at the Bernabéu and Sir Alex Ferguson will get to see if he can outmaster the self-proclaimed Special One.

For some reason or another, Jose Mourinho has struggled to get the best out of his superstars this season, with them 3rd in the league and already a massive 13 points behind league leaders Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored an impressive 14 goals in 16 games but that hasn’t been enough to carry Real Madrid through. They’ve won just 10 of their 16 games and Mourinho has already conceded the title.

Ferguson has squared up to a Mourinho team in Europe twice before. On the first occasion, we were absolutely robbed by the officials, and were unjustly knocked out by Porto. Then we played against Inter Milan who were the current Italian champions at the time and who went on to win Serie A by 10 points that season. We drew 0-0 away and comfortably beat them 2-0 at home.

Being entirely honest, I always hope for the easiest draw possible. These days our first XI just isn’t up there with the very best in Europe and I’d much rather the easiest route possible. But of course there is appeal in playing a side like Real Madrid. It will nice to see Ronaldo again for the first time since he left us for Madrid in 2009. It will be a good test for the manager to see if he can outwit Mourinho.

And whenever you may feel nervous about our next game, remember that if the 6th best team in England can win the Champions League, anything is possible…

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. NBI Red Onion says:

    We will beat Madrid, we usually win when we play second leg at home. Then ofcourse its Ronaldo’s “home” too. But Valencia and Rafael are quick, he will waltz past Carrick though, Smalling and Rio on form are the only CB who may handle him. In MF only a very on form Ando.

  2. FrancTheManc says:

    Real are defensively frail, their attack carries them most times.
    We’re defensively dodgy too, but I think it’ll be down to how Fergie wants to line up in both games.
    I see us going through though; unless we dip in form by then.

  3. wayne says:

    f.I.t.b hi mate Glaziers have 2 good qualities stay out of all football matters and make money avaiable when Sir Alex asks for it.63 quid is probably the cheap seats some seats cost over 100 per game

  4. NBI Red Onion says:

    Kagwa cd be the pass master here linking mf and attack.

  5. Marq says:

    Why should we cheer Ronaldo? He is the freaking enemy for 180mins. That said, why is it that people are so polar? Not cheering for someone doesn’t mean you have to hate him. Towards Ronaldo you can just be neutral and keep quiet, treat him like any league 1 player that you know nothing about. He operates best with lots of love or hate, so I say give him none of any

  6. NBI Red Onion says:

    Agree with @ KE – one thing I can not forgive Ronaldo for is saying Mourhinio is the BEST manager in th world.

    Err hang on lad – Who made you into the player you are? Who was like a father to you so you say? You went from nobody to best in the World under SAF, Mourhinio has not improved Ronnie as a player, in fact I think part of the problem is while Ronnie is a goal machine his defensive game and assists have tailed off with Mourhinio and he will be punished for that by United’s attack. Screw you Ronnie, till you shafted SAF for that eye poker I would have applauded you on. Also you just comment about United to wind up Madrid and get more money. Great player ledgend wanker. Two fingers to you Sir.

  7. Proverb says:

    How Can we the viruses
    Stifle Marcelo and Arbeloa. The side’s full-backs,
    Marcelo and Arbeloa, like to push forward as much as
    possible down the flanks, often overlapping with the
    likes of Angel di Maria, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano
    Ronaldo in midfield.
    Cut off the Team’s Creativity at the Source(Xabi
    Alonso) the playmaker averages more than 70 passes a
    game—over a dozen more than any of his teammates.
    He is the spine of the Real midfield, the source of the
    great river.
    Patience Is a Virtue
    Force Cristiano Ronaldo out Wide. If the Red Devils can
    push him out wide, they stand a far better shot at
    containing his explosive presence. Of course there’s
    always the increasingly creative Karim Benzema and
    the deft Mesut Ozil, but one problem at a time.

    Wayne rooney thrives on this sort of encounters so do van the man aswell as the club
    Bring in on indeed!

  8. Proverb says:


  9. Louis says:

    Winner takes Ronnie?

  10. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    Ah its all going to be so so exciting, I can’t wait. It is going to be massive massive encouragement if we defeat Real Madrid. And we have all the chance of doing that! Got a lot of confidence on us, and we’ve got the RVP cherry to top it all up.

    I wonder if we’ll sing Viva Ronaldo, ha. My my its going be mushy but I’m excited to see Ronaldo come back. Not excited to see the stuff he’s gonna do on the pitch though, damn that heck of player. :)

  11. CR9 says:

    @King- well I love RM more than Utd to be honest mate, Utd being the team in the premier league that is, but when these 2 are meeting now, of course I will be for RM and its players instead of Utd… if it was Utd vs Barcelona or any other one I would be rooting for Utd, simples…

  12. CR9 says:

    well insult me as much as u want, but CR will score in both legs, and with the current Utd defense and keeper it could turn out to be a humiliation for Utd if the lad really puts everything in and Benzema is fit as well

  13. tom c says:


    defense AND keeper? defense yes we’re all over the shop but in two months we’ll tighten up. keeper? de gea has been growing from strength to strength and in the time it takes between now and the two legs he’ll get even better.

  14. Costas says:


    Good point about Ronaldo thriving when he’s hated on. And there’s no need to do it anyway. He deserves a good response from the crowd before the game, but that’s as far as it should go. During the games he will be as much of an enemy as that twat Ramos is. Of course, if United end up getting a secure aggragate lead, I wouldn’t mind the OT crowd cheering for him like they did with Beckham 3 years ago. :D

  15. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Looks like our 19 year old Chilean striker Angelo Henriquez will go on loan to Wigan. Roberto Martinez seems to be a fan and they didn’t do to badly with Tom Cleverley a couple years back.

    Wigan will play all the top sides and it would be a treat if Angelo helped knock a couple points off that lot.

    Good deal if it is finalized as Angelo needs games.

  16. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    I may be viewing things with rose-tinted specs, but imo, we have the best squad in the league. The best set of players, no ego, play for team, warriors, awesome team spirit. No other team, and really no, has this combination. I just love these players we have, just everything. We may be complacent at times with some below par performances but we’re improving and going from strength to strength. We have it in our means to beat real. We have the strength and capability, and all we have to do is to step up our game. We will rise to the occasion. I do not see how real is that much superior, we have it in our means to beat them.

    Maybe its just the Christmas mood. I’m so thankful that I love Manchester United. :D

  17. wayne says:

    Then you should fuck off to a Real blog if their the team you love the most you fucking twat

  18. CR9 says:

    @tom c : provided DDG plays regularly and builds up his body, and commands the defense like Van Der Sar did or a Schmeichel…he’s too afraid to come out to pick the ball in the air, and with players like CR and Benzema who are at ease with headers he will have a difficult time

  19. Jay says:

    Over the years I’ve learned that when players leave it is not always black and white, so when they leave and come back to play against us I respect them apart from Tevez when he started acting like an oaf. There is no loyalty in football none whatsoever, not from clubs, managers or even supporters. Supporters can be very fickle so why do you expect players to be loyal, the Rooney saga taught me that. Ronaldo gave us 6 good years and was very influential in our trophy haul so when he comes back I will cheer him, but when he plays just boo him like we did to Beckham.

  20. lordrt says:

    Wow a madrid fan on our thread… Believe in saf and the lads we’ll surely get past madrid and give mourinho something to cry on :-)


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