Tonight Galatasaray’s glamorous experiment will have to justify itself.
The Turkish giants spent heavily to bring in Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder in the hope that they would drive them into the deeper stages of the Champions League.
But a 1-1 draw in their home first leg of the last 16 tie with Schalke 04 means that they need a good result tonight in Gelsenkirchen to reach the quarter-finals. This will not be easy – Schalke beat German champions and Ruhr-valley rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-1 last weekend.
This, though, was precisely what Sneijder and Drogba were bought for.
"These investments will pay off," club president Unal Aysal said when the prestigious pair were signed. "The revenue from the Champions League will cover the costs."
Galatasaray have only once reached this competition’s quarter-finals during the Champions League era. They reached the European Cup semi-finals just once.
It clearly means a lot to one of the best-supported teams in Europe. But they will need to mine the full extent of Drogba and Sneijder’s years of experience tonight to achieve a surprise victory in the Veltins Arena.
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- Borussia Dortmund
- Galatasaray SK
- UEFA Champions League
- Wesley Sneijder