Maybe you can call it karma.
After spending weeks fighting the Olympic call-up of defender Rafinha, Schalke 04 has secured the toughest match-up in the Champions League Third Round draw. The Germans will face Atletico Madrid, who will also be missing an Olympian (some kid by the named of Sergio Aguero).
Barcelona wasn’t punished as badly for its attempts to hold onto Lionel Messi. Barca will have to find away to beat either Beitar Jerusalem or Wisla Krakow without the services of Messi. Let’s just say if they can’t beat either of those teams without Messi then they deserve to be eliminated.
Oguchi Onyewu’s soon-to-be-former club Standard Liege drew Liverpool in what would have been a very interesting match-up if Onyewu wasn’t ready to bolt from the Belgian club (that is what I have heard from multiple sources for months now, though no word yet on just where he might go. If I were a betting man I’d bet on somewhere in France or England).
Speaking of karma, former England manager Steve McLaren and his new club Twente Enschede drew Arsenal. It would be a far more ironic drawing if Arsenal actually had any English players of consequence (well other than Theo Walcott of course).
Here is the full draw for the Champions League third round, which begins play on Aug. 12th and 13th, with second legs being played on Aug. 26th and 27th.
What do you think of the draw? Are there any match-ups you will be especially interested in? Share your thoughts below.