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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Since 2004 Real Madrid have had tougher rivals than Barcelona

Since 2004 Real Madrid have had tougher rivals than Barcelona

FABRICE COFFRINI

AFP


Valencia - Juventus live: Champions League 2018/19

Every time a Champions League draw takes place, whether for the group stages or the latter rounds of the knock-out competition, the debate in Spain (and further afield) arises on which of LaLiga's 'Big Two', Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, has been given the easier opponent.

Hot and cold balls theory: Madrid vs Barça

Opinions vary, conspiracy theories abound, and strong partisan views are shared on social media. In Monday's draw for the Last 16, both sides were handed tough tasks - Madrid facing PSG and Barça up against Chelsea. We look back at the previous 14 seasons and compare their 'fortunes' or otherwise in the knockout phases where both clubs have coincided.

Madrid with tougher Uefa draw record

The value used in this comparison of the opponents is that of Uefa rankings which is based on a club's coefficient points. That quantification takes into account performances in European competitions over the previous five seasons. From this, it is clear that the Catalan giants have had the better of the draws in recent times. Looking back as far as the 2004-05 campaign (when Uefa returned to the round of 16 and discarded the second group phase) Madrid and Barça have both been in the same draw 21 times.

Out of all those pot selections, Los Blancos have been paired with a perceived tougher opponent on 12 occasions, with Barça having less 'luck' in nine of those draws.

Real Madrid and Barcelona Champions League opponents since 2004-05

Season              vs Real Madrid (rank/coefficient)    vs Barcelona (rank/coefficient)

04-05

                               Juventus (12) (93.191)*          Chelsea (20) (68.864)

05-06

                               Arsenal (7) (101.950)*             Chelsea (14) (79.950)

06-07

                               Bayern (18) (73.640)                Liverpool (3) (112.618) *

07-08

                               Roma (16) (81.394)*                Celtic (41) (52.013)

08-09

                               Liverpool (3) (118.899)*          Lyon (10) (91.033)

09-10

                               Lyon (10) (96.748)*                  Stuttgart (37) (52.841)

10-11

                               Lyon (13) (92.735)                    Arsenal (6) (108.157)*

                               Tottenham (18) (78.174)           Shakhtar (14) (87.766)*

11-12

                               CSKA (18) (80.566)*                B. Leverkusen (33) (60.037)

                               Apoel (62) (33.599)                   Milan (12) (89.996)*

12-13

                              Man Utd (5) (130.592)*             Milan (14) (93.829)

                             Galatasaray (41) (51.400)          PSG (19) (71.800)*

13-14

                             Schalke (14) (95.328)*              Man City (22) (72.949)

                             Dortmund (15) (82.328)             Atlético (7) (119.542)*

14-15

                             Schalke (7) (111.883)*               Man City (17) (87.088)

                             Atlético (5) (120.999)*               PSG (11) (100.483)

15-16

                            Roma (51) (41.587)                    Arsenal (10) (104.956)*

                            Wolfsburg (36) (53.778)             Atlético (4) (136.142)*

16-17
                            Napoli (17) (74.00)                     PSG (6) (115.000) *
                            Bayern (2) (139.000)*               Juve (5) (126.000)
17-18
                            PSG (6) (109.00)*                     Chelsea (12) (81.000)


* teams highlighted are those with a higher ranking and coefficient at the time of the draw.

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