This week the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League kick off. 16 teams pursue the same goal: to lift the trophy in Saint Petersburg on May 28th.
A lot of MICPlayers will be shining in each of the round of 16 qualifiers, one more example of the potential of the tournament that will celebrate its 20th edition this Easter from April 12 to 17. The young promises of world football begin their journeys at the Costa Brava.
We review all the #MICPlayers:
PSG – REAL MADRID
The most morbid tie of all the round of 16 of the Champions League. PSG has 4 players with a past in MICFootball. Two of them, top level. Leo Messi and Neymar left their mark on the Costa Brava a few years ago. The Argentine coincided with Cesc Fabregas back in 2005, while the Brazilian star was champion in 2008 together with Casemiro. In addition, wings Juan Bernat and Hakimi Achraf have also been through the tournament. Also the prospect Xavi Simons, although his role in the first team is still testimonial.
In Madrid there are a few players: Dani Carvajal, Casemiro and Marcelo stepped on the pitches of the MIC. More recently, homegrown players Miguel Gutiérrez and Antonio Blanco showed their talent at the tournament.
SPORTING LISBOA – MANCHESTER CITY
With the signing of Ferran Torres for Barça, there are only two MIC representatives left at Manchester City. One is Rodri. The midfielder played the tournament with Atlético de Madrid in 2010. And the other is the young promise Cole Palmer who has already made his debut in this competition scoring a goal against Bruges.
Pablo Sarabia, former PSG player, who came to MICFootball with Real Madrid, is on the Portuguese team.
Two European football classics will face each other in an interesting pairing. Stefano Sensi and Federico Dimarco, players of the Italian club, passed through MICFootball a decade ago. In the English team we have illustrious names like Alisson (he came with the Brazilian National Team along with Neymar, Coutinho and Casemiro), Mo Salah or Curtis Jones.
RB SALZBURG – BAYERN MUNICH
The tie with the least presence of MIC players. Only two, both in the Bavarian team: Lucas Hernández (he came with Atlético in 2010) and Marc Roca, a product of the Espanyol youth academy.
The European champion will face the French team in a knockout with 3 players “Made in MIC”. At Chelsea we find Saúl Ñíguez, who played MICFootball with Real Madrid in 2008. In the French team, for his part, we find Sven Botman and Angel Gomes.
VILLARREAL – JUVENTUS
The yellow submarine keeps the continental dream alive. Unai Emery’s men will face Alex Sandro’s Juventus. The Brazilian came to MICFootball twice, becoming champion in 2010. At Villarreal there are four players with a past in the tournament: Pau Torres, Yeremi Pino, Alfonso Pedraza and Gerard Moreno (two participations, 2008 and 2010).
ATLETICO MADRID – MANCHESTER UNITED
A fast-paced tie that can be offered by two powerhouses who are not having their best season. At Atlético de Madrid we find the Portuguese João Felix, who played for MIC with FC Porto. In the English team we have a wide representation, with Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot (he coincided with João in the tournament), Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata and the young breakthrough Anthony Elanga.
Bailly came in 2013 with RCD Espanyol, Juan Mata at the beginning of the century with Oviedo and Rashford was already wearing the colors of United in the 2010 edition.
BENFICA – AJAX
In the last pairing we also have players with a past in MICFootball. Grimaldo is currently at Benfica. The left back played on the Costa Brava in 2009 with Barça.
On the other hand, in the Dutch team there are up to 6 MIC players: Jay Gorter, Ryan Gravenberch (2nd in the past Golden Boy behind Pedri), Sean Klaiber, Andre Onana (played the tournament with Barça), Daley Blind and Kenneth Taylor.