Ex-Middlesbrough midfielder could face Barcelona or Liverpool after reaching Champions League knockout stages

Former Middlesbrough midfielder Marten de Roon was celebrating reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League last night.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 2:03 pm
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21:  Marten de Roon of Middlesbrough during the Premier League match between Middlesbrough and West Ham United at Riverside Stadium on January 21, 2017 in Middlesbrough, England.  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Marten de Roon of Middlesbrough during the Premier League match between Middlesbrough and West Ham United at Riverside Stadium on January 21, 2017 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

The Dutch international, 28, is now a regular for Serie A side Atalanta, the club he rejoined from Boro in 2017.

Atalanta are the first side to qualify for the knockout stages after losing their opening three group games since Newcastle United in 2002/03.

De Roon played the full 90 minutes as the Italian side won 3-0 away at Shakhtar Donetsk to finish second in Group C behind Manchester City.

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After the game, de Roon tweeted: ‘YES YES YES! We reached the last 16 of the Champions League. Unbelievable Jeff!’

Atalanta could now face PSG, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Liverpool, Barcelona, RB Leipzig or Valencia in the round of 16.

De Roon spent just over a year at Boro after signing for the club in July 2016.

The Dutchman scored five goals in 36 appearances the Teessiders.