NYON: UEFA president Michel Platini said recently that Barcelona v Real Madrid would be the ideal final matchup in the Champions League this season.
That prospect rose into view after the draw for the quarters and semi-finals at the European federation’s headquarters near Geneva today. Jose Mourinho’s Madrid drew the apparent gift of Cypriots of APOEL in the quarter-finals while Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona will be clear favourites against Italian champions Milan.
The winners of both ties were then kept apart in the semi-finals draw.
Old Bayern Munich and Madrid hero Paul Breitner undertook the draw and his original German club will maintain their dream of winning the crown for the first time since 2001 and in their own Allianz Arena after being paired with Marseille then the winners of the clash between Benfica and lone English survivors Chelsea.
APOEL Nicosia v Real Madrid
Marseille v Bayern Munich
Benfica v Chelsea
Milan v Barcelona
Matches to be played Mar 27/28 and April 3/4
Marseille/Bayern v APOEL/Real Madrid
Benfica/ Chelsea v Milan/Barcelona
Europa League quarter-finals
AZ Alkmaar v Valencia
Schalke v Athletic Bilbao
Sporting Clube v Metallist Kharkiv
Atletico de Madrid v Hannover
Atletico Madrid/ Hannover v AZ Alkmaar/Valencia
Sporting/Metallist Kharkivv Schalke/Bilbao
** Barcelona defender Eric Abidal, 32, is to have a liver transplant after winning the Champions League last season following surgery to remove a tumour.
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