2012-2013 European Champions League draw
FACTBOX-Soccer-Reaction to Thursday’s Champions League draw
LONDON (Reuters) – Reaction to Thursday’s Champions League draw made in Nyon, Switzerland.
Galatasaray v Schalke 04
Celtic v Juventus
Arsenal v Bayern Munich
Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund
AC Milan v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Manchester United
Valencia v Paris St Germain
Porto v Malaga
“I would have liked to have played against United later in the competition but they won’t be pleased either,” Emilio Butragueno, former Real striker now a club director, told Spanish broadcaster Canal Plus.
“It will be a fantastic tie for the fans and the players. It’s an honor to play against such a prestigious team.
“We hope to go into the match in good condition and with all the players fit again.
“Preferences (for an opponent) are irrelevant. You have to prepare well. It’s a stimulus for the players, the fans and the club. We have to make the most of the expectation.”
“Everyone wanted to keep this for later in the competition but, out of several stand-out ties, I think this is the one. If history has anything in our favor our one victory against Real Madrid in this competition was in the season when we won the final at Wembley,” Manchester United club secretary John Alexander told Sky Sports News.
“Milan are one of Europe’s greats and a club that commands a huge amount of respect,” Barcelona vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu told Spanish broadcaster Canal Plus.
“Such a great name is intimidating but we will approach the tie with the highest of hopes. They are not going well in their league right now but they have some excellent players.
“They are not currently at their best but football changes from one day to the next. We have to pay them a huge amount of respect and try to be in good condition in time for the tie.”
“It’s the hardest test that could have come to us, but if we beat them we can go right to the end (of the competition),” said Milan director Umberto Gandini.
“We will be taking on a perfect machine, even if they had more problems in the group stage than usual.
“We can only hope to qualify for the next round. We are all very close to Tito Vilanova and we hope that he’ll be on the bench against us.”
“We know Arsenal well. We can be satisfied with the draw, but we mustn’t underestimate them,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on the club website (fcbayern.telekom.de).
“It’s important we try to come away from London with a good result, score a goal there and lay down a marker. We can win it, and we start as favorites.”
Paris St Germain
“It’s always difficult to say whether it’s a good draw or not. In the Champions League, it always depends on the moment you play the game, the run of form,” Paris St Germain director of football Leonardo told French TV channel beIN Sport.
“There are great teams left and we have incredible European classic ties in the last 16. We are going to have a difficult encounter with Valencia who are an experienced side.”
“Valencia has had some troubles this term,” PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
“Valencia have a great history in the Champions League. I don’t know what has happened to them in the past months. They have good individuals.
“We have to play, we don’t have to wonder if it’s easy or not easy. I think we are able to win if we play at our best level. Our goal is to qualify for the quarter-finals.”
“If we have got this far it’s because we are among the 16 best teams in Europe,” Valencia director Fernando Giner told Spanish broadcaster Canal Plus.
“PSG are a tough opponent. We have to be satisfied to be here and it’s a way of coming together at a difficult moment to achieve the result we all want.
“During these difficult times the Champions League is tremendously exciting for us.
“The tie will help us relive some of the Champions League moments of a few years ago.”
“We have to consider the Champions League experience as part of our growth, independent of who we play,” Juventus coach Antonio Conte said.
“Celtic are a good team, they beat Barcelona and qualified from a group that contained Benfica and Spartak Moscow. They can count on good players like (Giorgos) Samaras or their captain (Kris) Commons.
“We will come into this game with great enthusiasm, with the greatest of respect to the Scots and with the desire to do our very best in the competition.”
“It could have gone a lot worse, but we still need to face Celtic with great respect,” former player and Juventus director Pavel Nedved said.
“They were the only team to beat Barcelona and have qualified for the next round with great credit.
“We’re on a path of development, but many of our players are playing Champions League football for the first time in their careers and will need to be up to the challenge.
“We’ll be stepping into a red-hot atmosphere and will encounter difficulties if we’re not fully up to speed. We need to match their intensity, hoping that our players have something extra on a technical level.
“Playing the return leg at home, in front of our public, certainly gives us a slight advantage. If we put in a Juventus style performance then we’ll have a good chance of getting through to the next round.”
“In terms of glamour it is great,” Celtic manager Neil Lennon tells Sky Sports News.
“In terms of qualification it is going to be very tough. But we will take it as it comes and our supporters will be looking forward to this match. Juventus are littered with world-class stars and they have been very consistent over the last 18 months.
“But coming through the group as impressively as we did, and you never know where you are going to be in a few months time. This club is built on the legends of Jock Stein and the Lisbon Lions, this team is reaching those same heights again. They have belief in themselves and have been playing very well away from home.”
“We knew that, whatever team we faced, it would be tough. Juventus have a young, talented side and a good mix,” Celtic assistant manger Johan Mjallby told Reuters in a telephone interview.
“Maybe they didn’t completely dominate their group, but it was still strong to qualify. They look impressive in their league and it’s a side we have great respect for.
“But if I remember rightly, we’ve only lost two matches of 23 at home in the Champions League and both of those were against Barcelona. That tells us that we can give any team a game on our home pitch.”
“They (Porto) are a fantastic team. They are playing very well and it’s going to be very hard to get past them but we will go after them,” Malaga director Francisco Martin Aguilar told Spanish broadcaster Canal Plus.
“They were not the team we expected or wanted. They are the strongest side we could have drawn.
“They are a great team and we have to approach the tie with the same excitement and desire we have shown throughout the Champions League this season.”