UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League - Q1 and Q2 Qualifying Round Draw

Champions League quarterfinal draw: Manchester United face Bayern Munich, as European giants collide


The ‘Elite Eight’ of European soccer are left in the UEFA Champions League, and on Friday some monster ties were drawn out for the quarterfinals.

The four ties see an all-Spanish clash between La Liga title contenders Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona, while Real Madrid will face Borussia Dortmund to try and avenge their semifinal defeat last season. Then the two Premier League teams were drawn out against tough opposition, as Chelsea face reigning French champions Paris Saint-German, while Manchester United face reigning European champions Bayern Munich.

Manchester United have the hardest draw on paper, as Bayern have looked superb throughout the group stages and first knockout round. The Red Devils have won just two of their nine meetings against the German powerhouse in the UCL, but one of those came in their dramatic 1999 final win to lift the famous trophy. As for Chelsea, Jose Mourinho’s men will travel to Paris for the first-leg, then welcome Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co. to Stamford Bridge for the return match.

For the first time in the Champions League era, all eight group winners have advanced to the quarterfinal stage as an incredibly strong competition has played out in 2013-14.

The first legs of the Champions League ties are set to be played on 1-2 April and the second legs on 8-9 April. The team listed first below will play at home in the first leg.

Quarterfinal draw

Atletico Madrid vs. FC Barcelona
Real Madrid vs. Borussia Dortmund
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Chelsea
Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
AP Photo/Martin Rickett/PA
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.