Real given chance to avenge Dortmund humiliation
ZURICH (Reuters) - Real Madrid were given a chance to avenge last season's Champions League semi-final defeat by Borussia Dortmund when the teams were drawn against each other on Friday in the quarter-finals of this year's tournament.
Dortmund, who won the first leg 4-1 on the way to a 4-3 aggregate victory, will visit the Bernabeu for the first leg on April 1/2 with the return a week later.
Titleholders Bayern Munich were paired with Manchester United, a meeting that will inevitably spark memories of their 1999 final when United scored two goals at the death to win 2-1.
Bayern will be at home in the second leg as the teams meet for the first time since the 2010 quarter-final which the Bavarians won.
Paris St Germain face Chelsea and the remaining tie is an all-Spanish affair between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, the teams' first-ever meeting in European competition.
Poland forward Robert Lewandowski, who scored all four goals in Dortmund's 4-1 win over Real last season, will be suspended for the first match against the nine-times champions.
"That's a big big blow. He is a great player. It was a ridiculous decision," said Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke after Lewandowski was booked in the second leg against Zenit St Petersburg for handball.
"We would have liked to get someone else. Real is the world's biggest football club. But there is no easy draw here at this stage. We just have to be as best prepared as possible.
"It will take an enormous effort from everyone to do well. Obviously we had a great team (last year) whether or not we can raise the level of our game we will see."
Real Madrid's sporting director Emilio Butragueno added: "It's true that Dortmund's performances this season haven't been at the same level but they remain a very, very competitive side and we have to be extremely careful.
"Lewandowski is fundamental for them, without doubt, and the fact he will miss the first leg should have a negative effect on them that we can hopefully exploit.
Bayern, who are on course for a Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble for the second season in a row, promised they would not be taking United likely despite their domestic problems.
"We should not be blinded by their current position in the league because they have outstanding players," said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm whose side have won three out of nine meetings.
"We have to perform according to what we can and if we do that we have good chances of reaching the semi-finals."
"Our staff are very thorough and will have done their homework and will be prepared for Bayern," said Manchester United club secretary John Alexander.
"If we can keep them quiet in the first leg and get an advantage then we're more than capable of stealing an away goal."
Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Canal Plus: "Considering the teams that were in the draw I don't know if we would swap for anyone else as they would all be very tough ties.
Atletico director Clemente Villaverde told Spanish television broadcaster Canal Plus that his team would make life uncomfortable for the Catalans.
"We will try to make the most of our weapons against a rival that obviously has incredible potential," he said.
"We are a team whose characteristics are intensity, with everyone working hard together, and that's what makes us an uncomfortable opponent for anyone. I don't think Barcelona will be an exception."
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.