Last week, UEFA released its eight matchups for the Champions League round of 16 play, which starts next February.
Among the matchups were several marquette matchups, including Barcelona v AC Milan, Bayern Munich v Arsenal and Manchester United v Real Madrid.
These matchups between these six European giants were not expected to happen until the quarterfinals or later. However, these fixtures alone do not fully represent what is arguably the greatest round of 16 in Champions League history.
Other contests like Borussia Dortmund v Shakhtar Donetsk and Malaga v Porto will provide us with a great opportunity to watch four fascinating stories about these clubs emerge.
Another circumstance which could emerge from these fixtures could be rivalries. In some of cases with these clubs, a rivalry already exists. This provides us a greater chance to witness a memorable moment in what is football's greatest club tournament.
This precedent is the reason behind this ranking of the eight best matchups of next year's knockout stage.
Although some of these clubs have never met before, my ranking of their matchup will be based upon the likelihood of a strong rivalry emerging from their respective contests.