Champions League draw: Wayne Rooney admits 'anything can happen' as Manchester United striker targets unlikely cup success
United join Chelsea in the last-eight draw later today and believes that they still have a chance of success despite being the bookmakers' rank outsiders
Friday 21 March 2014
Wayne Rooney is adamant “anything can happen” as Manchester United wait for Friday's Champions League quarter-final draw.
United joined Premier League rivals Chelsea in the last eight after they overturned a two-goal deficit against Olympiacos thanks to Robin van Persie's hat-trick on Wednesday.
Three-time winners United are 18-1 shots to lift the trophy but are more than capable of upsetting the odds against a strong field.
As well as the Blues, the quarter-final draw contains reigning champions Bayern Munich and their Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund, Spain's title-chasing trio Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid and big-spending French champions Paris St Germain.
England striker Rooney said: "I think in cup football anything can happen. We're in the quarter-final so you never know what can happen from there.
"You look at the three Spanish teams left in the competition, they're all good teams. Chelsea are probably playing the best football this season and obviously you've got Bayern Munich.
"PSG are playing well. It's a talented group of teams so whoever we get I'm sure it will be tough."
Chelsea's Premier League campaign faltered at the weekend when they lost to Aston Villa, but they bounced back with a 2-0 win over Galatasaray on Tuesday.
Manager Jose Mourinho's hunger for success in the competition cannot be doubted either. If Chelsea win the Champions League, he will be the only manager other than Bob Paisley to lift the trophy three times.
Despite all the bravado from both camps, perhaps the best way for England to have a team in the last four is if United and Chelsea draw each other in the quarter-finals.
The other six teams left in the hat have won 19 European Cups between them and those that have not won the competition are certainly capable of doing so this time around.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice with Barcelona, has some of the best players in the world at his disposal.
The Germans, who are unbeaten at the top of the Bundesliga, are favourites for the trophy, just ahead of Real Madrid and Barca.
United or Chelsea would have trouble shackling Real star Cristiano Ronaldo, who needs two goals to break Lionel Messi's record of 14 in one Champions League campaign.
Messi helped Barca to a 4-1 aggregate win over Manchester City in the previous round while Atletico beat AC Milan 5-1.
Last year's beaten finalists Dortmund have some of the most exciting players on the continent and with hundreds of millions of pounds' worth of talent at their disposal, PSG would also be formidable opponents.
The first legs of the quarter-finals will take place on April 1 and 2, and the return fixtures will be played the following week as teams bid to reach May 24's final in Lisbon.
Latest in Sport
Sky Sports and BT Sport announce Premier League live matches for 2015/16 with Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in action
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Arturo Vidal to Real Madrid: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United, Lukas Podolski to leave Arsenal
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
Wimbledon 2015: 'Heather Watson deserved to win the match,' concedes world No 1 Serena Williams after gruelling contest
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture