5 team milestones to look forward to in the 2019-20 Champions League knockout stage
The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League knockout round commences with the Round of 16 fixtures in February 2020. Six teams qualified for the knockout stage of this season's competition after going unbeaten in their respective six group-stage games.
Among the eight group winners were Bavarian giants Bayern Munich, who became only the sixth team in the history of the Champions League to win all their group-stage games. In the process, they also registered the best goal-difference (+19) by a group winner in the competition.
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Champions League debutants Atalanta belied their indifferent Serie A form this season by becoming the first team to qualify for the Champions League knockout round after losing their first three games.
Meanwhile, three-time winners and last season's surprise semi-finalist Ajax failed to negotiate the group-stage following a home defeat to Valencia on Matchday 6 - when a draw would have sent the Eredivisie side through to the Round of 16. Such misfortune, however, did not befall the Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid and Barcelona.
On that note, let us have a look at five possible team records that could be achieved in the knockout round of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League.
#1 Real Madrid could become the 1st team to play 100 knockout stage games
Record 13-time champions Real Madrid have successfully negotiated the Champions League group-stage for a record 23rd consecutive time. They are the only team to grace the second group-stage / knockout round of the competition every year in this century.
Not surprisingly, the seven-time winners in the Champions League era have also played the most knockout stage games (95) in the competition since the knockout stage replaced the second group stage in 2003-04.
If the Spanish capital side reach the semi-finals for the first time since lifting their most recent title in the competition in 2017-18, they would become the first team to play 100 Champions League knockout stage games.