Reaction to Champions League draw

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The Independent Football

The draw for the quarter-final stage of the Champions League draw has been made. We round up the reaction...


Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay

"The draw has thrown up an exciting fixture against Manchester United - a team we know well and that we have a good recent record against. We will approach this game the same as we will the meeting we have left against them in the Premier League.

"Playing anyone at this point in the world's top club competition is always a challenge - if we want to succeed in getting to the final at Wembley and winning this trophy then we have to beat the best Europe has to offer."

Chelsea secretary David Barnard

"We've got a great rivalry domestically but the Champions League is something different. It's not about revenge (for losing the 2008 final to United in a penalty shootout) but we know each other well enough. Whether the players want to put a wrong right is a bit of a cliche but it's a great motivation."

Manchester United secretary John Alexander

"It's a very exciting prospect with both teams still in with a chance of winning the Premier League and the Champions League. The second leg at home is an advantage but European football is sometimes different in how it's played to domestic competitions."


Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola

"We know them and they know us. We have had very tight games with them. They are physically very strong, with experienced players. We found it very hard to beat them in the Super Cup (in 2009 when Barca won 1-0 in extra time).

"Playing the return leg away is a handicap."

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta

"Shakhtar are a good, emerging team. They are a very fast side and they are in the quarter-finals on merit.

"This is what the draw has given us so we will have to take advantage of the first 90 minutes at home in front of our fans and try to take a positive result while all the time being aware that there will be a tricky game waiting for us in Donetsk.

"We are only going to think about Shakhtar and not (a possible semi-final against) Real Madrid. We certainly don't want to get ahead of ourselves."

Sergei Palkin, general director of Shakhtar Donetsk

"I think that none of the clubs taking part in the draw wanted Barcelona as their opponent. Everybody understands well that today Barcelona has more chances of winning the Champions League than any other team.

"In football anything can happen. I think this (Barcelona team) is a very strong competitor, the No. 1 opponent. It will give us more concentration, more strength. I think we must show that our football is of the right level, which we will always demonstrate.

Shakhtar Donetsk's former Barca defender Dmytro Chygrynsky

"The games against Barcelona will be thrilling. Our opponents need no introduction. They have got weaknesses but it's not that easy to expose them. Today I will probably call Maxwell, my former Barca team mate, and advise him to be very well prepared for our visit."


Former Inter forward and club ambassador Luis Figo.

"I think that all the so-called big teams would have liked to play Schalke. I'm certainly happy with the draw but at this level in football you can't really prefer one opponent over another because each game has to be won on the pitch.

"Schalke are a quality side, they have a very good group of players and they knocked out Valencia (in the last 16), who are an excellent team. But as I said, considering all the teams we could have been drawn against, we were lucky."

Inter captain Javier Zanetti

"We have to show respect to Schalke because it will be a tough game like all the others. We must be careful because nobody reaches the quarter-finals through luck."

Schalke goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer

"We got a really tough draw playing against the holders. But maybe it's a good omen that Schalke in 1997 were successful in the San Siro (beating Inter on penalties in the second leg of the UEFA Cup final). It may also be an advantage that we are playing away the first leg. Everything else points to a hugely difficult tie for us."

Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder

"This will be a real challenge but also a very attractive opponent. Strangely enough when Schalke won the UEFA Cup in '97 there was both Valencia (who they beat in the last Champions League 16 this month) and Inter on the way to the title. I am also looking forward to facing Wesley Sneijder whom I know from my days at Real Madrid."


Real Madrid sporting director Miguel Pardeza

"Should ourselves and Barcelona reach the semis it would mean many encounters between us in such a short space of time.

"We will have to make sure we are in top form should that be the case. It's an exceptional situation. I certainly don't have any experience of it in my time here. We must take advantage of our strengths; we've got a very big squad."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp

"It's a fantastic draw. What a game to look forward to against one of the greatest clubs in world football. To play Real Madrid at this stage of the Champions League is fantastic for us and we're all looking forward to it.

"(Real) are pushing Barcelona all the way for the (Spanish) championship with big players and a fantastic manager (in Jose Mourinho)... one of the all-time greats.

"We'll go there and give it a real go. You couldn't have a more exciting or tougher game. But... we feel we can play against anyone and give them a game."

Rafael van der Vaart, Tottenham Hotspur forward

"It's a big game, first leg away which is good for us, so I'm happy. We don't have pressure, we can play our game and we have a chance I'm sure.

"The Bernabeu is fantastic. It's a great pitch, the stadium holds 90,000 and it's a fantastic feeling to play there. I played there for two years and had a great time there, so it's a dream to be going back."