Chelsea could face Barcelona or Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last 16 but Antonio Conte insisted no one would be happy to play his side in the knockout round.
Chelsea lost their grip on top spot in Group C after being held to a 1-1 draw by Atletico Madrid as Roma leapfrogged the Premier League champions with a 1-0 win over Qarabag.
As it stands, Chelsea’s only possible last-16 opponents are La Liga leaders Barca, Ligue 1 pacesetters PSG and Turkish giants Besiktas due to English teams leading four of the other seven groups.
However, Conte is not daunted about what lies ahead for Chelsea in Europe.
“When you go through to the next round in this competition, you must be prepared to face the best teams,” Conte said.
“We could play against Barcelona, PSG or Besiktas, but we must be ready. This is the best tournament. That’s why you want to go through and try and be a protagonist in this tournament.
“At the same time, our opponents won’t be happy to play against us. We’ll see what happens.
I remember during the European Championship with the national team we finished first in our group and played against Spain, then Germany and, if we’d beaten Germany, we’d have to play France. Sometimes it’s not so important [to finish first].
“We reached the next round and we must be happy with this. After a performance like this, the coach must be [happy].”
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