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Champions League Draw

Ancelotti: It'll be exciting

“Wow!” was Xabi Alonso’s reaction as FC Bayern were drawn against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The midfielder isn’t the only one for whom the match against the holders will be a reunion. Coach Carlo Ancelotti also spent time at the Spanish giants. “Motivation will certainly be high,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who rates the chances of going through as “50/50”. It’s a match that “all football fans can look forward to.”

Here’s a summary of the reaction to the Champions League draw:

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: “It’s a clash of the titans. It’s the top two teams in the draw, and all football fans can look forward to two great matches. We have to have huge respect for Real. They’re a team that’s won the Champions League twice in the last three years. They’ve won it more times than anyone else, they’re a top side, but at the same time that gives us even more motivation. Not least for Carlo Ancelotti who was coach in Madrid for two years and knows the team inside out. He’ll certainly be fired up. I think it’s good being at home in the first leg because we can try to put ourselves in the driving seat. But of course it’ll be difficult. I’d say our chances are 50/50. There’s the old rule that the winner of the Champions League doesn’t defend their league title, but that’s not always been the case for Bayern München.”

Carlo Ancelotti: “Matches against Real are obviously special for me. It’ll be exciting for me to go back to Madrid. By the quarter-final stage all the teams are well-known, there are no secrets anymore. Real have a fantastic team, fantastic players and a fantastic coach. It’ll be a difficult game but we’re confident and we have a chance to go through. Little things can be the difference.”

Philipp Lahm: “It’s a nice draw, a real European classic. I’ve had some interesting battles with Real Madrid over the years, both at home and in Madrid. It’ll be nice to be able to play at the Bernabeu once more. The atmosphere’s always great there. I don’t think it makes a big difference if you’re at home first because one goal away from home can change a lot. We need to get a good result in Munich. We have a strong team and we know we can score goals at their place too.”

Manuel Neuer: “It’s always special to play against Real Madrid. I think every player will be looking forward to this match. The Champions League atmosphere at the Bernabeu is something special. It’s a very intriguing and difficult draw but I don’t think Real Madrid will be delighted about drawing us either. We have a coach who knows their team better than anyone. The two games will be close, it’ll be a 50/50 contest decided by fine margins.”

Xabi Alonso: “Wow! It’ll be a great quarter-final between two clubs with great history. It’s perhaps the most difficult draw we could’ve got but any quarter-final match is difficult. Of course it’s particularly special for me. It’ll be nice to play in Madrid again but I also know the Bernabeu is always a tough place to go. But first we have a home game and we want to continue our good run at home and get a good result. We know Madrid well and we’ll be ready.”

Thiago: “It’s a draw against the current holders and against one of the best teams in Europe. They’ll certainly be two great games and we’re looking forward to it. It’s the quarter-finals of the Champions League, it’s always special. The fact we’re at home first isn’t important. We’re looking forward to it and we need to be well-prepared.”

David Alaba: “It’ll be a great quarter-final. Real Madrid are a world-class team and we need to prepare well for them. We want to show what we’re made of. Obviously it’ll be nice to see Toni Kroos again. It’s always nice playing against former teammates.”

Jérôme Boateng: “It’s a top quarter-final clash. Perhaps some people would’ve preferred it as a final. We’ll need to put in two top performances to win. I don’t think Real Madrid will be particularly delighted about having to play us. Both teams have great respect for one another. The chances are 50/50.”

Thomas Müller: “They’re a top side. Whenever we’ve beaten Real Madrid before we’ve gone on to do well.”

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