CL quarterfinal draw: Barca to face Juve, Bayern up against Real Madrid

Barcelona was pitted against Italian champion Juventus in the Champions League quarterfinal draw made on Friday to set up a repeat of the 2015 final which the Spanish side won 3-1.

UEFA director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti (L) and Liverpool football legend and UEFA Champions League Final Ambassador Ian Rush take part in the quarterfinal draw ceremony.   -  AFP

Holder Real Madrid was drawn to face its former coach Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals on Friday as Juventus take on Barcelona.

English champion Leicester plays its first quarterfinals in the top-tier European competition against Atletico Madrid as France’s Monaco clash with Borussia Dortmund over two legs in April.

Ancelotti, who led Real to its tenth Champions League title in 2014, was looking forward to a special tie.

The quarterfinal line-up

Atletico (ESP) v Leicester (ENG)

Dortmund (GER) v Monaco (FRA)

Bayern Munich (GER) v Real Madrid (ESP)

Juventus (ITA) v Barcelona (ESP)

First legs to be played on April 11-12 and the second legs on April 18-19

“It is going to be exciting to play against them. We are very confident and want to win the Champions League this season,” said Ancelotti, who also won the European title twice with AC Milan.

“I think we have the ability to beat Real Madrid.”

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was relishing a ’classic’ as his five-time winner target more than just a sixth straight semifinal appearance.

“This is a classic, which is probably the absolute top draw that lay in the pot,” said the former Germany striker.

“All football fans in the world can look forward to it.”

Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno, however, appeared downcast.

“It is one of the worst draws we could have got without a doubt but it is also for them,” said Butragueno.

“We would have liked to have faced them further on in the competition,” the former Spanish international said.

“It is not the best draw, but we too have top quality players with a lot of experience and it is a great tie. For sure the whole world will be watching these two games.”

Italian giant Juventus can avenge its narrow 2015 final defeat against Barcelona, but faces the daunting task of muting the competition’s top marksman Lionel Messi.

Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved hinted at the size of the task ahead of them.

“You need to be at your best for 180 minutes or more to overcome Barca,” said former midfielder Nedved.

“It’s a fascinating tie. Juve has improved a lot since 2015 and this team can play without fear against Barcelona.”

Leicester landed last year’s beaten finalists Atletico Madrid, a draw which prompted British bookmakers to slash the odds making Atletico third favourite to lift the trophy in the June 3 final at Cardiff behind Barcelona and Bayern.

The Foxes will travel to the Spanish capital for the first leg in the week beginning April 10, with the second match the following week.

Leicester is England’s sole representatives following the elimination in the last 16 of Manchester City and Arsenal.

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