NYON, Switzerland (AP) – Defending champion Barcelona got the luck of the draw Friday and will play Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16 of the Champions League.
As Barcelona avoided a long trip to Russia in freezing cold February temperatures, that arduous task fell to rival Real Madrid, which will play CSKA Moscow.
''For us, the most important thing is not to play in Russia, for the temperatures and the distance,'' Barcelona director Amador Bernabeu told The Associated Press,
The draw also set up a pair of Italy-England clashes. Arsenal will face AC Milan and Chelsea was drawn to play Napoli.
In other matches, it was: Marseille vs. Inter Milan; FC Basel vs. Bayern Munich; Lyon vs. APOEL Nicosia; and Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Benfica.
The first legs will be played Feb. 14-15 and 21-22, with the return matches scheduled for March 6-7 and 13-14.
With the two Russian teams unseeded after finishing runner-up in their groups, two seeded teams were sure to be sent on the long journey north.
''It will be a key factor. The weather and the temperature, we're not used to that,'' Madrid director Emilio Butragueno said. ''We have to be very careful.''
Milan director Umberto Gandini recalled that Arsenal eliminated the seven-time European champions at the same stage in 2008.
''It's a rematch of Arsenal beating us 2-0 at the San Siro. It will be a great match,'' Gandini said.
APOEL, the first Cypriot club to reach the knockout round, shaped as the weakest of the seeded clubs and was paired with Lyon.
''We must not speak only of luck,'' Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas said. ''APOEL have been exceptional in the first round an drew all three of their away matches.''
Benfica also goes to Russia to play Zenit St. Petersburg, while two matchups are almost local derbies. Bayern has the short journey to Basel on the Swiss-German border and Inter has a short trip to play Marseille.