Sergio Ramos equalised in the dying minutes in Lisbon last year to send the final to extra-time before Real prevailed 4-1 over Diego Simeone’s Atletico for their 10th European crown.
Former German player Karl-Heinz Riedle (right), ambassador for the UEFA Champions League final in Berlin, draws the balls containing the names of the clubs, next to UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino in Nyon. — AP
Nyon: Holders Real Madrid will have to overcome city rivals Atletico in the Champions League quarterfinals, in a repeat of last year’s final, while Barcelona face familiar opponents in Paris Saint-Germain after the draw made Friday in Nyon.
Portuguese giants Porto host Bayern Munich of Germany in the first leg of their last eight matchup while Italian champions Juventus welcome the Monaco side who knocked out English side Arsenal in midweek. Sergio Ramos equalised in the dying minutes in Lisbon last year to send the final to extra-time before Real prevailed 4-1 over Diego Simeone’s Atletico for their 10th European crown.
Real’s legendary striker and current director of institutional relations at the club Emilio Butragueno thinks the tie is finely poised.
“Atletico are a competitive side and we have faced each other a lot this season and know each other well,” said the Spaniard in reference to the six matches the two clubs have played with Real yet to register a victory since last year’s final.
“They’re a side who know how to compete, they let in few goals, are good from dead balls and get the best out of each situation. We will see if we can beat them and come back for the draw for the semifinals.
“The Champions League is a different competition altogether. You never know if it’s an advantage playing the second leg at home. We have to be at our best because we know exactly the difficulties that we’re going to face. We need to be right on it if we want to go through.” Atletico are the Spanish champions and currently fourth in La Liga with Barcelona top of the league and one point above Carlo Ancelotti’s glamour side led by Cristiano Ronaldo. “Football doesn’t have a memory. It would be a big error to think about the recent results we have had against Real Madrid,” said Atletico director Clemente Villaverde. Barcelona and PSG met in the group stages with both teams winning their respective home ties while they also met in the 2013 quarter-finals when the Spaniards prevailed on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate draw.
The French champions will be without suspended star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the first leg after the Swede was given a one-match ban following his sending off in the last-16 victory over Chelsea. Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre knows the two sides are familiar foes.
“PSG are old foes for us and we met them in the group phase. They’re a great team who have reinforced their squad significantly and we’re going to have to fight for the victory,” he explained. “In the quarterfinals, all the teams are strong and PSG are a strong team, very strong and it’s going to be difficult for us.”