Halfway through Friday’s Champions League quarterfinal draw, the reality of facing one of the big boys left in the competition became an incredibly fast reality.
It was just a matter of who would be it.
The last two mini footballs left to be unscrewed in the the bowl had our utmost of interest. We knew the teams that were going to be announced. The first one was Juventus. The second one was Barcelona. And just like that, the rematch of the 2015 Champions League final in Berlin was going to be taking place in the 2017 Champions League quarterfinals.
The first leg will be on Tuesday, April 11, at Juventus Stadium. The second leg will be at Camp Nou on Wednesday, April 19.
And thus continues the constant theme of a current Juventus player facing a team from his not-so-distant past. Dani Alves already faced one in Sevilla. Now he’ll get to meet a Barcelona club where he won oodles of trophies both domestically and in this same Champions League competition.
Also, Leonardo Bonucci said the following Thursday:
Leicester have been the surprise package of the tournament so far but personally I would want to meet Barcelona next. Facing off against the side that beat us to the trophy two years ago would be a huge incentive for all of us.
On Friday, Juventus did indeed get Barcelona. There you go, Leo.
There will be two major themes surrounding this matchup. At least, two that immediately pop into my head as I sit here and type this out. For one, it will be the talk of the 2015 final in which Barca beat Juve 3-1. The second will be how two of the best teams going in the Champions League are playing against each other and will not be around the next time there’s a draw happening in Nyon in the middle of April.
One would think the last time these two teams met would be the No. 1 go to talking point for a lot of people. Or maybe it’s the fact that Barca had to make history to get to the quarterfinals to begin with. I assume a lot of us don’t want to hear about that day back in June a couple of years ago. It wasn’t all bad, I guess. Don’t forget, though, there was also this in that game, too...
Well, at least the guy who put that shot on goal is now wearing a Juventus jersey, so we’ve got all of that going for us, which could turn out to be nice.