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.

Quarter-final draw

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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