Munich - The four Bundesliga teams in the UEFA Champions League last 16 draw were handed ties of varying difficulty. The one thing they all have in common though, is the intrigue which surrounds them - the prestige of playing at this level guarantees that.

Having played for both FC Schalke 04 and Real Madrid FC, who will be locking horns in February and March, as well as Borussia Dortmund, few are in a better position to offer an opinion on the Bundesliga sides' chances than former Germany defender and Sky pundit Christoph Metzelder. The 33-year-old gave bundesliga.com his rundown of the match-ups...

bundesliga.com: Christoph Metzelder, we now know who the Bundesliga teams will face in the last 16 of the Champions league. What was your first reaction to the draw?

Christoph Metzelder: You know what? I was actually sad for the first time since my retirement. Schalke against Real Madrid is sure to be a fantastic game. The rest of the draw is just as attractive - but really tough for the sides who finished in second place in their groups.

bundesliga.com: You spoke about your former clubs - Schalke and Real Madrid - facing each other. Looking at Real’s top scorers, there’s clearly only one name to focus on: Cristiano Ronaldo. Do Schalke need to take him out of the game in order to stand a chance?

Metzelder: Yes, but they’ve got plenty of other players who can score. In this game of all games every single player - including those on the bench - has to give 100 per cent. Complete passion, desire and focus are absolute necessities. Then you’ve also got to have luck on your side. Whatever happens it’s a great match-up and the atmosphere for the game in Schalke will be a real highlight of the round.

bundesliga.com: With the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Motta and Edinson Cavani, Paris St Germain also have several big names in their ranks. Would you say the star-studded French outfit are an insurmountable hurdle for Bayer Leverkusen?

Metzelder: With Ibrahimovic, they’ve got a player who belongs to the same sort of category as Cristiano Ronaldo or Franck Ribery - players who can decide a game on their own. Leverkusen picked up a bit of experience against FC Barcelona a couple of seasons ago and know they’ve got to give everything. It’ll be pretty tough for them.

bundesliga.com: Would you back either of the two sides to make it into the quarter-finals?

Metzelder: I’d rate the chances as fairly slim for both teams but, because of Real Madrid's poor record against German sides, I think Schalke are most likely to qualify for the next round.

bundesliga.com: Borussia Dortmund, who face FC Zenit, have avoided a really tough draw. How do you rate their chances of qualification?

Metzelder: Of the remaining sides in the competition, and with all due respect, Zenit were probably the best draw after Olympiacos FC. They’ve got strong players like Hulk and Axel Witsel, but they weren’t great in the group stages. For that reason, I’d have Dortmund as clear favourites to qualify.

bundesliga.com: Just like last season, Bayern face Arsenal FC in the last 16. Do you still consider Bayern as favourites against a revitalised Arsenal side?

Metzelder: Last year, things were completely different. Looking at Arsenal this season, it seems a completely new side. The signing of Mesut Özil has enabled them to rediscover their style of play, but then again, looking at Bayern, there’s a sense that they’ve developed even more. They’re definitely favourites, but not as overwhelmingly as last year.

bundesliga.com: At the moment, the Bundesliga, the Premier League and the Spanish Primera Division are the dominant forces in European competition - will that carry on?

Metzelder: Yes, I’d say due to various reasons Italy and France are a bit behind. England, Spain and Germany will provide a three-way fight as in the previous few years.

bundesliga.com: What are the positives to have emerged from the group stages for the Bundesliga sides?

Metzelder: Well, all four teams qualifying was great. It’s a novelty, even if it was close at the end. Schalke, Leverkusen and Dortmund all came through pressure situations on the final Matchday. It’s a question of quality and shows how far they’ve come over the last few years.

bundesliga.com: Finally, Eintracht Frankfurt - the only Bundesliga side left in the tournament - have been drawn against FC Porto in the UEFA Europa League. Do you think they can keep using European competition as a method of building confidence in the Bundesliga?

Metzelder: Well, the team really seem to enjoy the European nights - and for the fans things are always fun. From now though, it gets harder by the round.

Interview by Michael Reis