Basel and Young Boys draw tough opponents

FC Basel will face one of Portugal’s top teams, FC Porto, as the draw for the final 16 in the Champions League football playoffs was unveiled on Monday.

Basel and Young Boys draw tough opponents
Basel coach Paulo Sousa faces an adversary from his home country. Photo: AFP

pbSwiss champions Basel, who advanced after coming second in Group B to Real Madrid, will play the Portuguese side at home on February 18th before the return match at Porto on March 10.

Swiss media have noted with irony that Basel’s coach Paulo Sousa is Portuguese and a former player for Benfica and Portugal’s national team, although he never played for or managed Porto.

The playoffs will lead to the final game set for Berlin’s Olympiastadion on June 6th 2015.

Here’s the full draw for the last 16, announced by Swiss-based European governing football body UEFA:

Paris Saint-Germain — Chelsea

Manchester City — Bareclona

Bayer Levrkusen — Atletico Madrid

Juventus — Borussia Dortmund

Shalke — Real Madrid

Shakhtar Donetsk — Bayern Munich

Arsenal — Monaco

Basel — Porto

Meanwhile, in the lower-tier Europa League, Switzerland’s BSC Young Boys team from Bern will tackle England’s Everton on February 19th and 26th under the draw for that league’s final 32 announced by UEFA at its headquarters in Nyon in the canton of Vaud.

The playoffs lead up to the Europa Cup final game set for May 27th at Warsaw’s National Stadium in Poland.

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‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said.