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UEFA CL Quarterfinal Draw: What do the players and officials say?

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

The UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal Draw took place at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon earlier on Friday.

The Draw has produced various interesting fixtures [+ click here] which will be played on April 2/3 and 9/10.

Let’s have a look what the various club representatives had to say on the upcoming matches…

Borussia Dortmund (v Málaga CF)

Hans-Joachim Watzke (Chairman)
“There are no easy opponents in the last eight of the elite competition. In the Champions League Malaga have shown to a wide audience what they are capable of. I don´t want to see anyone getting too euphoric! But playing the first game at the Costa del Sol is surely a small advantage for us.”

Jürgen Klopp (Coach)
“With Borussia Dortmund and Malaga two of the surprise teams of the UEFA Champions League are due to meet, so it is already clear that there will be a surprise semifinalist. The way this team has eliminated Porto gives a proof of their enormous quality. And the way the coaching staff and the squad are dealing with the apparent problems inside the club shows a great deal of character.”

Sebastian Kehl (Captain)
“Michael Zorc and I watched the draw together with some BVB employees at the club´s office. When FC Malaga were drawn from the pot, we could already hear some noise from the other floors. Some TV channels were apparently closer to the draw than the one we had on. We are happy about the draw and above all about the fact that we play away first. But we are all aware what Malaga have achieved this season. There is no way that we will underestimate a team of this calibre in the last eight of the Champions League.”

Michael Zorc (Director of Sport)
“The draw is okay, and we are happy that we first have to play in Spain. It is not without reason that Malaga, who have among others Martin Demichelis and Roque Santa Cruz as well as the promising talent Isco in their squad, are fourth in the Spanish league, that they topped the group ahead of Milan and that they eliminated Porto in the last 16. And they achieved this after apparently losing the financial support of the Sheikh. It would be a big mistake to celebrate too soon.”

FC Barcelona (v Paris Saint-Germain FC)

Andoni Zubizarreta (Director of Sport)
“Teams only get to the quarterfinals of the Champions League if they have done well. We’ll only know if we have had a good or a bad draw if we come back to Nyon in three weeks time. We have just gone through an experience in the last round that has taught us to be prudent. We have to be grateful for the fact that we’re playing the second leg at home, in front of our own people. PSG have some great players, with plenty of talent. They have experience and know how to deal with games like these. I’m sure they’ll be battling to the end. They’re very competitive. And we’ll also get the chance to meet up with some players we know. Bayern and Juventus are two great clubs, and both in good form. That’s definitely the game that stands out most … As for the other two, I think there’ll be a lot of football in both. Malaga and Dortmund are two teams that like to play the ball. We all know how strong Real Madrid are, but they’re facing a team with some very experienced players.”

Jordi Alba (Defender/Midfielder)
“We have been drawn against a very complete side in every department, they’re a top class team and will cause us problems. We have to learn from the games against Milan. I’d just be happy for Barça to get to the final and win, I don’t care who against.”

FC Bayern Munich (v Juventus)

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Chairman)
“This is no dream draw. We’ve had contrasting experiences with Juve, we beat them 4-1 last time. We’ll need two good days if we’re to make the semi-finals. This one won’t take care of itself, that’s my warning.”

Matthias Sammer (Director of Sport)
“Both teams are dominating their domestic championships. The Italian league is once again moving in the right direction, and that includes bringing on young players. They’ve long ago climbed out of the trough. Juventus are traditionally strong with good players. Form on the day in both matches will decide who goes through. Mentally and in terms of focus, a top-calibre team like Juventus is just right.”

Jupp Heynckes (Coach)
“I know Juventus Turin very well. They’re the best Italian team at the moment and they have a fantastic new stadium. They’re really high calibre, really tough opponents. They’re extremely strong in defence and have lots of attacking quality. We’ll see great football, two fantastic knockout cup nights. I hope we have our noses in front at the end of the day, but it’s an evenly-matched pairing.”

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Midfielder)
“Juventus are a very, very good team, and a team who are extremely physical. They have excellent players like Andrea Pirlo. It’s always been tough against them in the past. They’re tactically outstanding.”

Manuel Neuer (Goalkeeper)
“Juventus are a big name and a great team. Italian teams are always well organised, but I still think we definitely have a chance of going through. We’re looking forward to both games and we’re delighted to be starting at home.”

Juventus (v C Bayern Munich)

Pavel Nedved (Director)
“We’re very proud to be here as representatives of Italy and above all among the best eight in Europe. It’s the maximum as far as we’re concerned, after plenty of suffering. We’ll be up against a side who are among the most feared in the competition. Bayern are a team with experience in this competition. The Germans are strong and skilled, but above all they’re experts in this situation and that’s their main characteristic. But we’re also aware of our strengths.”

Antonio Conte (Coach)
“Naturally, we knew we’d be faced with a very demanding challenge in the quarter-finals. After playing Chelsea, we now meet Bayern Munich, the second of last year’s finalists. Bayern Munich have always ranked among the true greats in Europe. They’ve gained a huge amount of experience over the last few years, and their 20-point lead in the Bundesliga will definitely allow them to approach the tie free of mental burdens. We’ll prepare for what will certainly be a fiery encounter with absolute calm, concentration and eager anticipation.”

Málaga CF (Borussia Dortmund)

Joaquín Sánchez (Midfielder)
“There are no ‘easy’ teams at this stage of the competition, and Borussia Dortmund are used to playing these sorts of matches. However if we continue with the same level of motivation and determination, and perform as well as we have done up to now, then I think we’re in with a good chance. We’ve got the utmost respect for Borussia Dortmund. They’re a strong team who play excellent football. We’ll have to give it 200 per cent to qualify to the semi-finals. We watched the draw after this morning’s training session. Every team at this level is going to be tough, but we’re pleased with our rival and looking forward to the next stage of the competition.”

Paris Saint-Germain FC (v FC Barcelona)

Leonardo (Director of Sport)
“It is the most difficult draw against the best team in the competition. We play the return leg at their home ground. It won’t be easy, but we are looking forward to it because Paris deserves to be part of what will be a celebration of football. We get the chance to measure ourselves against one of the greatest sides of all time. Barcelona are the red hot favourites, it’s a celebration in which anything can still happen.”

Carlo Ancelotti (Coach)
“It’s magnificent, we are delighted with the draw! We know that it will be very difficult, but this will be a great test for us. We played them in a pre-season friendly in the summer (victory for Barça on penalties). It will be different this time around. Along with Real Madrid, they are favourites for the competition. They have so many qualities. But we will also have our word to say. We will have to play to our full for every single instant of the tie. It won’t be a problem finding motivation. We will need all our players and all our experience. These are two very exciting matches to be playing.”

Real Madrid CF (v Galatasaray AS)

Aitor Karanka (Assistant Coach)
“If a team gets to the quarter finals, they deserve to be there. It would be a mistake for us to think that this is an easy tie. Galatasaray have very experienced players; some have played for us and there are others too like Drogba; it will be a tough tie. But we still have league games to play before the tie. There will be time to focus on that game and weigh up our opponents. Our focus now is on tomorrow’s game because that is our next fixture. The team have hit some form and we are playing genuinely well and we have even managed to pick up results in games where we haven’t been at our best. We are in confident mood, which is important going into the business end of the season, when the Cup final is played and we will be fighting it out in the final stretch of the league season and the Champions League. It is an exciting time and we are working hard.”

(Quotes from official press releases and statements on the club website’s)