African players in UEFA Champions League Last 16
Africa Football Shop breaks down the African players whose teams will play at the round of 1/16 stage of UEFA Champions League.
The return of the knock-out stage has brought about some major clashes among some established African players around Europe.
One of the eagerly anticipated matches is the tie between Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea. Cote d’Ivoire defender Serge Aurier, who plays for the Paris side, will battle it out with Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel. Mikel hasn’t been an essential part of Jose Mourinho’s team this season but maybe he will get the chance to feature in this crucial duel.
Reigning Italian champions Juventus and Borussia Dortmund will also test their strength in the knock-out stage. Ghana’s playmaker Kwadwo Asamoah isn’t yet fit and was not registered by the Old Lady for the knock-out stage. Asamoah will be hoping Juventus get one over Gabon’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
The game between FC Basel and FC Porto is the match that could have the most Africans participating in. The Switzerland-based team will parade the Egyptian duo of Mohamed El Nenny and Ahmed Hamoudi. They recently lost Ivory Coast’s Serey Die to the German Bundesliga. The Portuguese champions will also show off Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar and Algeria’s maestro Yacine Brahimi.
Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure will steer the midfield for Barclays Premier League side Manchester City when they play against FC Barcelona. Toure would be hoping for better results this time round as his team lost to his former employers during their last encounter.
German giants Bayern Munich are paired with Ukrainian side Shaktar Donetsk in a game in which the Bundesliga team are tagged as favourites to win. Morocco captain Mehdi Benatia will be in the heart of defence for Bayern.
English side Arsenal will battle it out with French team AS Monaco for a slot to the quarter-finals stage of the competition.
Monaco boast of Ivory Coast’s Lacina Traore, Nigeria defender Elderson Echiejile, Tunisia’s Aymen Abdennour and Morocco’s midfielder Nabil Dirar.
Reigning UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid would be hoping to continue their impressive streak as they play against German side Schalke 04. Schalke can boast of Cameroonian pair Joel Matip and Eric Choupo Moting, Ghana’s Kevin-Prince Boateng and Nigeria attacker Chinedu Obasi.