‘You must be ready to face the best teams’ – Chelsea boss reacts to possibility of drawing Besiktas
Chelsea finished their Champions League group in second place meaning they can only face Besiktas, Barcelona in the Last 16.
Blues boss Antonio Conte was quick to underlined that all three sides are tough but that playing the ‘best teams’ is part and parcel of competing in the competition.
“When you play this competition, then you go through, you must be ready to face the best teams, in this case we know we could play against Barcelona, PSG or Besiktas,” Conte said.
“We must be ready, because this is the best tournament and for this, if we want to go through or be a protagonist in this tournament you must be ready to face every team.”
Conte is of course no stranger to how unpredictable Champions League games can be in Turkey.
Galatasaray famously knocked Juventus out of the Last 16 in the 2015-16 Champions League.
The Lions beat Juve in Istanbul in a controversial game that had to be abandoned due to snow before being restarted the following day.
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Besiktas and Chelsea have faced just twice in the Champions League, back in the 2003-04 edition.
The Black Eagles beat the Blues 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, the reigning Premier League champions returned the favour beating the Istanbul giants 2-0 in Turkey.
Besiktas cruised past the current group stage undefeated and topped their group with a game to spare.
The reigning Super Lig champions recorded the highest points tally ever for a Turkish side (14), won the highest number of games and scored the highest number of goals.
The Last 16 draw will take place at the UEFA headquarters on Monday in Switzerland.