Created on 19-03-2015 at 09:00 AM
The last eight teams left in this season’s Champions League were known as of Wednesday evening. FC Bayern are of course among them for the 14th time following last week’s 7-0 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk. The five-time European club champions will learn their next opponents on Friday when the draw for the quarter-finals takes place at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, starting at midday CET.
Of the 32 teams that entered the group stage, the remaining eight comprise FC Bayern, holders Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Porto, AS Monaco and Juventus. This season’s final takes place on 6 June at Berlin’s Olympiastadion. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge described the remaining teams as a “challenging starting field,” although the chairman said the men from Munich would not represent “a plum draw” for any of the other seven: “I think we’re respected by the whole of footballing Europe.”
Friday’s draw is open with no seeding and is the first time that teams from the same national association can be drawn against each other, although only Bayern remain from the Bundesliga after Round of 16 defeats for Schalke, Leverkusen and Dortmund. “We’ll take it as it comes, and in any case we can’t influence it. As of the quarter-finals every game is do-or-die, so it barely matters who we draw,” observed Mario Götze.
All Premier League teams eliminated
Spain’s La Liga still has three representatives in the competition. Record champions Real Madrid were fortunate to avoid a shock exit to Schalke but progressed 5-4 on aggregate as Cristiano Ronaldo and Co pursue an 11th European crown. Local rivals, Spanish champions and the previous year’s beaten finalists Atlético Madrid also struggled against Bayer Leverkusen but edged into the last eight on penalties. Barcelona prevailed relatively comfortably against Bayern’s group stage opponents Manchester City 3-1 on aggregate.
The French Ligue 1 still has two teams in the race, champions Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco. Both defeated English clubs in the last sixteen and together with Barcelona ensured the Premier League is no longer represented in the competition. PSG fought out a 3-3 aggregate draw with Chelsea but won on away goals, exactly the same scenario that saw Monaco defeat Arsenal. The field is rounded out by Serie A giants Juventus, 5-1 aggregate winners against out-of-sorts BVB, and Portuguese perennials FC Porto, who beat Basel by the same score over two legs.
The pairings and the home and away assignments are all determined in Friday’s draw. The quarter-finals take place within the space of a week, with the first legs on 14/15 April and the returns on 21/22 April. “We don’t care who we get,” said FCB defender Jérôme Boateng. “We’re determined to go to Berlin and see if we can win the Champions League.”