Give me Barcelona! — Ex-Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri makes UCL Round of 16 draw wish

Maurizio Sarri, head coach of SS Lazio, reacts during the UEFA Champions League football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and SS Lazio. || Image credit: Imago

Give me Barcelona! — Ex-Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri makes UCL Round of 16 draw wish

Faruq Ibrahim 03:19 - 14.12.2023

Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri wishes to get Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw.

Football managers are usually diplomatic when asked about their preferred opposition ahead of draws, not Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri, who publicly expressed his desire to face Barcelona in the second round of the Champions League.

Lazio finished second in their UCL group, behind LALIGA giants Atletico Madrid, and will face one of the first-placed teams from the other groups to be determined during the knockout stage draws set for Monday, December 18, at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland.

What Sarri said 

Barcelona were one of the group winners and Italian manager Sarri revealed his desire to go up against the Catalan giants.

The Blaugrana have been far from convincing in either LALIGA or the Champions League this season. They lost to group menos Antwerp in the final match of the round in disappointing fashion; however, ease did not inspire Sarri’s wish, instead, a desire to face one of the European greats for the first time in his career.

Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri
Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri

“I’d like to face Barcelona at the UCL round of 16, honestly,” Sarri told SkySports, according to Fabrizio Romano.

“It’d be my pick, as I’ve never faced Barça as a coach and it’d be a wonderful experience.”

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Nigerian forward George Ilenikhena scored the winner as underdogs Royal Antwerp defeated Barcelona 3-2.

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