The 2017 Champions League quarterfinalists are now all set. Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Leicester City, Monaco and Real Madrid are all through to the next round, and now all that remains is to pair them up.
But what matchups would be the most aesthetically pleasing, exciting, and set the rest of the tournament up for the best possible run-in? We've picked the four ties we think are ideal in terms of those factors.
Note: The quarterfinal draw will take place at 7 a.m. ET on FS1.
AFP/Getty ImagesTOBIAS SCHWARZ
Monaco vs. Dortmund
The battle of the young guns.
Think about the excitement! Monaco's squadron of incredible wunderkinds up against the Dortmund incubator would undoubtedly result in goals, goals, and also probably a healthy dollop of goals. Kylian Mbappe, Christian Pulisic, Bernardo Silva, Ousmane Dembele, the list stretches on and on for these two teams. These kids can play, but let's not forget the old heads like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Joao Moutinho, Marco Reus and Falcao, who are pretty decent themselves. It's really the ideal matchup.
Juventus vs. Leicester
It's tough to place Leicester. They're the tournament's Cinderella team, but they look overmatched against any of the other seven teams on offer. Still, they've got to play someone, and Gianluigi Buffon's comments to Juventus' website probably summed up the feelings of just about everyone else in the tournament: “I would like to avoid Leicester City. They’re a dangerous side, there’s a feelgood factor around the place and they have the ability to hurt you if you take the game to them. You have everything to lose against them.”
Still, the Old Lady vs. the Champions League newbies? Delicious. Plus, Buffon's comments make it that much more interesting of a matchup.
Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid
Madrid derby alert!
A final rematch would be incredibly intriguing, and the idea of these two going head to head in the semifinals also sounds extremely appealing. A quarterfinal matchup still leaves a possibility for a two-legged Barcelona-Real Madrid semifinal, and that just seems ideal. You hate to see either of these teams go out in the quarters, but someone has to go home, right?
Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich
Yes. We know. It's too early.
But think about the drama.
As a neutral in this, the problem with a Barcelona-Bayern final is you only get to see it once. So for selfish reasons, why not bring this together in the quarterfinals and let these two behemoths battle it out over two legs?