The last time we saw Juventus playing a German opponent in the Champions League, Bayern Munich were storming through the competition en route to winning the trophy with the lovely big ears. They were a machine, demolishing everything in sight — including Juventus in the quarterfinals.
Two years and a managerial change, later Juventus are headed back to Germany with the chance to advance in the Champions League.
Once the usual video montages were over and done with and the bad jokes completed, the mini footballs rattled around the plastic bowls on stage. First came Juventus, thus perking up all of our ears. Then came their opponent in the Round of 16, German side Borussia Dortmund. And with just a few seconds of legitimate Champions League draw watching, Juventus' first task after the new year in Europe was already known.
It could have been better, it definitely could have been a lot worse. I mean, we knew there was a rematch with Bayern floating out there until we heard Dortmund's name called.
At least we can sit back and watch all of the European heavyweights play some other team not named Juventus in the Round of 16. That's a nice little thing to have happen.
But there's one huge thing to consider when thinking of Borussia Dortmund.
Is this the team that has been hanging around the bottom of the Bundesliga table all season? Or is this the Dortmund side that has gotten the job done in Europe, finishing atop their group and is two years removed from making the Champions League final? It's hard to tell these days because the way things have gone for them are so night and day.
At this point, as Dortmund currently sits 16th and just barely out of an automatic relegation spot, who really knows.
And then there's also this...
Immobile few days back "I'm a granata & I have the Toro in my heart so I hope that my Borussia Dortmund eliminates Juventus from the CL."— Tarek Khatib (@ADP1113) December 15, 2014
Like the first knockout round of the Champions League wasn't already interesting, right? Well, with Immobile's past at Juventus, the fact that Dortmund has been two completely different clubs domestically and in Europe and the fact that Juve are out to prove they belong with the big boys.
The first step is trying to get around Dortmund. And maybe a little revenge for what went down in 1997 along the way, too.
- Open UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Draw Thread
- Juventus 1-1 Sampdoria: Manolo Gabbiadini holds Juventus to disappointing draw
- Juventus 1 - Sampdoria 1: Initial reaction and random observations
- Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Sampdoria
- Juventus vs. Sampdoria Preview: Round 15 — Enjoying a Sunday matinee with Doria