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the competition, since starting last July in the third qualifying round needing to beat two opponents to reach the group stage. Zenit advanced with just six points in its group, the worst record of the remaining teams.
Arsenal F.C., Milan and Schalke started in the playoff round in August, and the other 12 teams had direct access to the groups, including six current national champions.
Along with the glory and global exposure, teams are also playing for prize money that has become more important to help comply with UEFA's "Financial Fair Play'' rules designed to curb excessive spending.
Each team has already earned up to 14 million euros from UEFA's group-stage payments, and gets an additional 3.5 million euros for playing in the last-16 round. Clubs earn even more when UEFA distributes shares of television rights revenue.
First-leg matches will be played Feb. 18-19 and 25-26, and return matches are scheduled for March 11-12 and 18-19.
The final on May 24 will not have a home team in the Stadium of Light, Lisbon. Benfica finished third in its group, behind PSG and Olympiakos, and transfers across to the Europa League last-32 draw that is also made Monday.