Road to Cardiff: Last and Curious 8

By on April 7, 2017

To celebrate the cinematic release of “Fast and Furious 8” and the return of the UEFA Champions League to television screens next week Richard Lewis reviews the “Last and Curious 8” left in this season’s competition. The elite tournament concludes on Saturday 3rd of June 2017 in Wales, with Real star Gareth Bale aiming for a third big-eared trophy in his homeland.

The elite tournament concludes on Saturday 3rd of June 2017 in Wales, with Real star Gareth Bale aiming for a third big-eared trophy in his homeland. Having reached the Last Eight stage this April, there are surprisingly Curious inclusions from England and France, with regular faces from Spain, Germany, and Italy, expect explosions and high-octane action. Not even Hollywood script-writers would believe how some of the sides got this far (Barca avoided one almighty car crash exit last time out). The great eight of Europe are a bit like the Rock and Vin Diesel, as the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid (and new boys Leicester City!) are back again, going hell to leather in the 2016/17 quarter-finals on the Road to Cardiff:

Last and Curious 8:

Atletico Madrid

Quarter-Final Opponent: Leicester City
Key Man: Antoine Griezmann
Manager: Diego Simeone
Driving Force: Koke
Last-16 Victory: 4-2 on aggregate over Bayer Leverkusen

Last Season’s Finish: Runners-Up
Stadium: Vicente Calderon
Captain: Gabi
Fast: Saul Niguez
Furious: Diego Godin


Quarter-Final Opponent: Juventus
Key Man: Lionel Messi
Manager: Luis Enrique
Driving Force: Andres Iniesta
Last-16 Victory: 6-5 on aggregate over Pars St-Germain

Last Season’s Finish: Quarter-Finals
Stadium: Nou Camp
Captain: Andres Iniesta
Fast: Neymar
Furious: Luis Suarez

Bayern Munich

Quarter-Final Opponent: Real Madrid
Key Man: Robert Lewandowski
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti
Driving Force: Arjen Robben
Last-16 Victory: 10-2 on aggregate over Arsenal

Last Season’s Finish: Semi-Finals
Stadium: Allianz Arena
Captain: Philipp Lahm
Fast: Kingsley Coman
Furious: Arturo Vidal

Borussia Dortmund

Quarter-Final Opponent: Monaco
Key Man: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Manager: Thomas Tuchel
Driving Force: Marco Reus
Last-16 Victory: 4-1 on aggregate over Benfica

Last Season’s Finish: N/A – Europa League Quarter Finals
Stadium: Westfalenstadion
Captain: Marcel Schmelzer
Fast: Christian Pulisic
Furious: Ousmane Dembele


Quarter-Final Opponent: Barcelona
Key Man: Gonzalo Higuaín
Manager: Massimiliano Allegri
Driving Force: Sami Khedira
Last-16 Victory: 3-0 on aggregate over Porto

Last Season’s Finish: Round of 16
Stadium: Juventus Stadium
Captain: Gianluigi Buffon
Fast: Paulo Dybala
Furious: Giorgio Chiellini

Leicester City

Quarter-Final Opponent: Atletico Madrid
Key Man: Jamie Vardy
Manager: Craig Shakespeare
Driving Force: Wilfred Ndidi
Last-16 Victory: 3-2 on aggregate over Sevilla

Last Season’s Finish: N/A – no European football
Stadium: King Power
Captain: Wes Morgan
Fast: Demarai Gray
Furious: Robert Huth


Quarter-Final Opponent: Borussia Dortmund
Key Man: Radamel Falcao
Manager: Leonardo Jardim
Driving Force: Joao Moutinho
Last-16 Victory: 6-6 on away goals on aggregate over Man City

Last Season’s Finish: Qualifying Play-off round (lost 4-3 on agg. to Valencia)
Stadium: Stade Louis II
Captain: Radamel Falcao
Fast: Kylian Mbappe
Furious: Tiemoue Bakayoko

Real Madrid

Quarter-Final Opponent: Bayern Munich
Key Man: Cristiano Ronaldo
Manager: Zinedine Zidane
Driving Force: Toni Kroos
Last-16 Victory: 6-2 on aggregate over Napoli

Last Season’s Finish: Winners
Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Captain: Sergio Ramos
Fast: Gareth Bale
Furious: Sergio Ramos

Leicester are the 132nd club to reach the quarter-finals of the European Cup or UEFA Champions League while Real Madrid are there for the 34th time: the Last-8 ties commence on Tuesday 11th April (first legs) and conclude on Wednesday 19th April (second legs).

Homepage photo credit: Ungry Young Man [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

About Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis can relate almost anything to football and quite often does! You may have seen Richard's previous ideas and work in the BBC Match of the Day Magazine, from 2011 to present. He is a Manchester United and England fan, but has gone to see Leyton Orient play with his O's season ticket in the 2013/14 campaign. Aside from football, Richard has written articles on Doctor Who and studies English Language and Linguistics at the University of Westminster. Aspiring sports journalist.