It’s Cristiano Ronaldo vs Hamsik in UCL Last 16

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Cristiano Ronaldo - ready for the Champions League. - Wink and Thumbs up

A tricky draw nonetheless but Cristiano Ronaldo fans should remain confident ahead of the Real Madrid-Napoli tie in the 2016-17 Champions League Last 16.

The much awaited Last 16 draw took place on Monday at 6am ET/11am GMT/12pm CET and it was both brief and tantalizing. Real Madrid were the third team to come out of a bowl — the first two being England’s Manchester City and France’s AS Monaco.

This is how the draw turned out for the 11-time European champions:

On Twitter, Napoli reacted in Italian by tweeting: “A fantastic challenge! We are happy to fight against a legend.”

Zinedine Zidane and his men should be glad to have avoided Arsenal, Premier League titleholders Leicester City or Italian giants Juventus.

This doesn’t mean that Napoli are a side to underestimate; after all, they won their UCL group and haven’t recorded a single defeat since going down 2-1 to Juventus in late October. In fact, they’ve scored 10 goals in their last three matches — conceding only once. Internazionale, Benfica and Cagliari are Napoli’s most recent victims.

Marek Hamsik of Napoli
Napoli are in great form in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid were shocked in the group stages. The reigning champions could not get the better of Borussia Dortmund on the last matchday. Despite possessing a 2-0 lead through a brace from Karim Benzema, Los Blancos saw that slip. The 2-2 result saw them miss out on the top spot. Was this a blessing in disguise? Time will tell.

In the meantime, it will be up to Los Blancos to avoid complacency come February and March when they will face Napoli in the UEFA Champions League Last 16. As for Cristiano Ronaldo, he will be looking to drastically improve his goalscoring rate in this season’s European campaign. He counts as many UCL goals (2) as Napoli’s talisman, Marek Hamsik. Hitting a century of UEFA Club goals is still pending on CR7’s to-do list.

Why Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid must NOT underestimate in-form Hamsik and Napoli:

Stats from their latest game — a 5-0 mauling of Cagliari in the Italian Serie A:

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