The Champions League last-16 stage is over and we can enter into 8 key, crucial points or details of this match week for 888 Sport.

Never ending Pepe

He’s 41 year old - the same age as Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta - and is still showing his class as a centre back leader in European football, dominating opponents who are 20 years younger. Legend.

Jadon Sancho, present and future

He strongly wanted to return to Borussia Dortmund and he’s scored a crucial goal for the team to advance to quarter finals. Quality, leadership… and sources guarantee he’d love to stay in Dortmund also next year.

Pau Cubarsí, another planet

Not only Lamine, Barça have one more gem and it’s the Spanish centre back. Insane performance against Napoli, not just his blocks but quality passes too. Special talent, as Xavi said. He’s Barcelona’s future.

David Raya, hero and future

He’s been the man of the night for Arsenal on penalties but also, his future will be again under Arteta. Arsenal will pay £27m buy option to get him on a permanent deal from Brentford; zero doubts and well deserved.

Memphis Depay, puro corazón

The lion reacts with crucial goal for Atlético as Griezmann has been excellent again but… Depay, special in special moment. This could also change his future at Atléti in terms of contract. Honorable mention also for Oblak, what a penalty saver!

João Cancelo, priority Barcelona

Key goal against Napoli but also strong desire to stay at Barça beyond this season. He’d love to continue at the club and be part of the project, talks with Man City will be in the summer but meanwhile… he’s doing again really well.

Lautaro Martínez, crucial detail

He’s a top striker and also provided two super assists at the Metropolitano; but he should improve on penalties as his track record with Inter is poor and not at his level, as top striker. It could look like a detail, but… it’s important.

Leandro Trossard, underrated jolly

One more crucial goal for Arsenal but he’s never in the news. What a signing he’s been, a proper bargain as every time he’s called to show his skills… he’s delivering. Excellent move just 14 months ago, the perfect jolly for Arteta.

Fabrizio Romano is an Italian sports journalist. He was born in 1993, he lives in Milan and has over 30 million followers in total on the major social networks.


He collaborates with 888sport, CBS Sports, Sky Sport, The Guardian and has been a transfer market expert since 2011. He will take care of a column dedicated to some "Behind the Scenes" of transfers.