A fiery summit between Real Madrid, City, and Paris Saint-Germain faces Barcelona

March 30, 2024
A fiery summit between Real Madrid, City, and Paris Saint-Germain faces Barcelona

The Spanish Real Madrid, the record holder for the number of titles (14), will face the English club, Manchester City, the champion of last season, in the quarter-finals of the European Champions League, according to a draw drawn on Friday in Nyon, Switzerland, which will be the second most prominent confrontation in this tournament. The role between Paris Saint-Germain of France and Barcelona of Spain.

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The lottery drawn on Friday in Nyon, Switzerland, resulted in a confrontation between… real madrid The Spaniard, the record holder for the number of titles (14), and a club Manchester City The English champions last season are in the quarter-finals of the competition Champions League for football.

It will be the second most prominent confrontation in this round between… Paris Saint-Germain French and Spanish Barcelona, ​​while Arsenal, currently the leader of the English Premier League, plays with Bayern Munich German club, Spanish club Atletico Madrid and German club Borussia Dortmund.

The quarter-final matches are scheduled to be held between April 9-10 and 16-17, while the semi-finals will be held between April 30 and May 1, and May 7-8.

Wembley Stadium will host the final match on Saturday, June 1.

Against the winner of the match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich

The draw for the semi-finals was also drawn, which resulted in Real Madrid or City being pitted against the winner of the match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich. Certainly, the most prominent confrontation will be in the quarter-finals between Real and City, a repeat of last season’s semi-finals, when they tied in the first leg in Madrid 1-1 before the English club achieved a sweeping victory in the return leg at home with a clean score, on its way to winning the first title in its history at the expense of Italian Inter. .

Last season’s confrontation was not the first between the two teams, as they faced each other in the group stage of the 2012-2013 season, when City was at the beginning of its rise with its Emirati owners, and Real won 3-2 in the first leg and then tied 1-1.

They then clashed in the semi-finals of the 2015-2016 season, when Real won 1-0 on aggregate, and again in the eighth-final of the 2019-2020 season, and City won back and forth with the same score, 2-1, then the semi-finals of the 2021-2022 season, when Real achieved the “Remontada.” Brilliant return leg in the fatal time and won 3-1 after extra time thanks to a brace from Brazilian Rodrigo and a goal from Frenchman Karim Benzema, compensating for his loss in the first leg away from home 3-4.

City director of football: “We face them several times”

In response, City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, said about facing Real for the third season in a row: “We have faced them several times in the past few seasons. We all remember when we beat them in the semi-finals last year. It was a wonderful thing.”

Begiristain added: “When we faced them last season at home in the return leg, we presented a classy, ​​very classy performance. We know how strong they are. They are at the top of the Spanish League. They have good players, they play good football, and they have one of the best players in the world,” referring to Englishman Jude Bellingham.

In response to a question about City’s ability to retain the title, the former Barcelona player replied: “Why not? We are doing well in this competition and winning our matches. We are mentally strong and our confidence is very high.”

Former Real star Emilio Butragueño, who serves as the club’s director of institutional relations, told the Spanish “Movistar+” network: “They (City) are the champions and we know each other very well, so I do not need to explain City’s advantages. Two great matches await us.”

After reaching the quarter-finals for the first time since 2020 when it lost 2-8 to Bayern in a match held in Lisbon due to the repercussions of the Corona virus, Barcelona, ​​in its confrontation with Paris Saint-Germain and its star Kylian Mbappe, returns to the memories of the historic “Remontada” in the eighth final in 2017, when it won. The French team won the first leg at home 4-0 before the Catalan club turned the tables on them in the return leg with a 6-1 victory, led by Argentine Lionel Messi and Brazilian Neymar, who later moved to play at the Parc des Princes.

The two teams returned to face each other in the 16-final in 2021, and Saint-Germain then emerged victorious from Catalonia 4-1 before a 1-1 draw in the return leg.

Xavi Hernandez confronts his former teammate and coach, Luis Enrique

The confrontation carries an additional special flavor, as Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez gathered with his colleague and former coach in Barcelona, ​​Luis Enrique, who led the Catalan giant to their fifth and final title in the continental competition in 2015. It was then Xavi’s last season as a player at Camp Nou before moving to play with Al-Sadd, Qatar. He became his coach in 2019.

Barcelona Vice President Rafael Yuste predicted, in an interview with Movistar+, “It will be a wonderful confrontation. Paris Saint-Germain has a young team and a coach that we know very well. But we also have a great team and that will help us qualify.”

Arsenal, which leads the English Premier League, will face a mission of revenge against Bayern Munich, which eliminated the London club in its last appearance in the knockout rounds, sweeping them 10-2 in the two-legged group stage in 2017.

Bayern’s new top scorer, Englishman Harry Kane, returns to north London, where he played for rivals Tottenham from 2009 until 2023, after passing through Arsenal in particular during his start in the age groups between 2001 and 2002.

The final confrontation in the quarter-finals will be open between Atletico, which eliminated Inter, last season’s runner-up, from the eighth final, and German Dortmund, which remains without a win in this round in three attempts, specifically since it skipped Spanish Malaga in the 2012-2013 season on its way to losing the final to its compatriot and rival. Bayern (1-2).

After their first continental confrontation in the 1965-1966 season in the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners’ Cup, where Dortmund won 2-1 on aggregate, the two teams met twice in the Champions League: the first was in the 1996-1997 season during the group stage, when the German team won 1-0 and then lost 1. -2 in a journey that led him to win the title at the expense of Italian Juventus, and the second was in the 2018-2019 season in the group stage when they exchanged wins (4-0 for Dortmund and 2-0 for Atletico).

Dortmund coach Edin Terzic said in a press conference: “We are looking forward to our trip to Madrid,” setting his team’s goal of beating Atletico in the Spanish capital “before our return to our stadium, where we want to experience a magical evening in Dortmund.”

France 24/AFP

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