Round of 16: Bayern v Beşiktaş!

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Bayern have been handed a challenging but attractive first knockout round tie in the 2017/18 Champions League, as the five-time winners of Europe’s top club competition were paired with Istanbul giants Beşiktaş in Monday lunchtime’s draw for the last sixteen. FCB will play the first leg in Munich with the return in the Turkish metropolis.

The draw ceremony was held at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland from midday CET on Monday and was conducted by UEFA managing director of communications Pedro Pinto, UEFA deputy general secretary Giorgio Marchetti, and former Bayern star Xabi Alonso.

“We know how strong they are. We followed their progress because they were in Leipzig’s group,” said sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic on FC Bayern TV LIVE after the draw. “It’s a difficult draw, we’ll see what happens.” Beşiktaş finished the group stage in first place ahead of FC Porto, RB Leipzig and AS Monaco.

As group runners-up the German record champions will be at home in the first leg (13/14 or 20/21 February). “Obviously it’s a disadvantage to play at home first, but we’re good enough and accept it,” added Salihamidzic. Three weeks later the fans can look forward to a trip to Istanbul’s Vodafone Park (6/7 or 13/14 March). It was because of this that Corentin Tolisso named Beşiktaş as his favoured opponents.

“I played against Beşiktaş with Olympique Lyon last year. The atmosphere there made me want more. It’s fantastic to play in front of that incredible backdrop,” enthused the 23-year-old. “There’ll definitely be an exceptional atmosphere over there, but there will be here in Munich as well. We’re looking forward to it,” commented Salihamidzic.

FCB have met the Turkish side on two previous occasions, in the 1997/98 Champions League group stage. That season, Bayern won both games 2-0. The club’s big target after Istanbul is Kyiv, venue for the final on 26 May 2018.

Champions League Round of 16 draw in full:
Juventus – Tottenham Hotspur
FC Basel – Manchester City
FC Porto – Liverpool
Sevilla – Manchester United
Real Madrid – Paris St Germain
Shakhtar Donetsk – AS Roma
Chelsea – Barcelona
FC Bayern – Besiktas