The men have been separated from the boys as far as UEFA Champions League is concerned.
From the multitude of teams that started the journey, only 16 teams are left in the race for Europe’s most-prized club silverware.
The roster of 16 teams for the knockout phase was filled on Wednesday night with Atletico Madrid and Atlanta sealing their qualification on the final day unlike some others who had long secured their berths with one or two games to spare.
Holders Liverpool qualified for the last 16 as group winners, as did Manchester City. The other table-toppers were Paris-Saint Germain, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Barcelona , RB Leipzig and Valencia.
London teams, Chelsea and Tottenham went through in second place in their respective groups, along with Real Madrid, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and Lyon.
Group winners will be drawn against runners-up in the round of 16, although they cannot face teams from the same country or those who were second in their group.
No known Nigerian player is left in the hunt for glory in the Champions League. While the majority have dropped aside, a few still have the chance in the lesser fancied Europa League.
Next Monday, December 16, at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, the draw for the Round of 16 will be conducted as teams will be battling for places in the quarterfinals scheduled for February 18-19 and February 25-26 (first legs) and March 10-11 and March 17-18 (second legs).
As a pretty straightforward process, the eight group winners are seeded, while the second-place teams are unseeded.
Those groups of teams are in separate bowls, with each seeded team paired with an unseeded team.
The only restrictions are the ones that prevent a team from facing someone from either its group or its domestic league – so no Liverpool-Napoli rematch, yet.
Staying in the EPL, no Liverpool-City, either, at least not this round.
Round of 16 teams
Teams who finished second
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...