Bayern's possible quarter-final opponents
The football world will be looking excitedly towards Nyon in Switzerland on Friday when the draw will be made for the Champions League quarter-finals at UEFA headquarters from 12:00 CET. With the outstanding record of eight wins from eight games, the record quarter-finalists FC Bayern have deservedly progressed to the round of the best eight teams and now excitedly wait to discover who the next opponents will be in this year's Champions League journey.
Julian Nagelsmann's team can be drawn against any of the seven high-quality quarter-finalists as there are no seeding or geographical restrictions in this draw. Anything is possible, from a clash with a long-dormant big club, through a trial of strength with the titleholders to a reunion with this season's group opponents – fcbayern.com presents the possible opponents.
Chelsea turned round a 1-0 first-leg defeat in the Round of 16 away to the second-placed team in the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund, with a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge to qualify for the last eight in this competition for the third year in succession – that equals a club record. While the Blues are still in the running for the Champions League, they have already been knocked out of the domestic cup competitions – and they no longer appear to be in the running for the Premier League title in tenth place despite the change of coaches (Graham Potter replaced Thomas Tuchel). The only remaining chance of a title should focus the London team fully on the Champions League, as qualifying again via the league route will be extremely difficult to achieve. Drawing Chelsea would bring mixed feelings to Bayern fans. The Reds did come out on top in the last meeting in the Champions League Round of 16 in 2019/20 as well as in the UEFA Super Cup 2013, but the Blues did win in Europe's top club competition in the tragic Finale dahoam (2012) as well as in the quarter-finals in 2004/05.
Bayern have played Benfica 12 times in the Champions League and have yet to taste defeat (nine wins, three draws). The last time the two teams met was last season when the Germans won both matches in the group stage against the club from Lisbon (4-0 A, 5-2 H). The Portuguese side later went through to the quarter-finals as runners-up. This season, the club from the capital finished above Paris Saint-Germain in the group stage and went through to the quarter-finals for the second time in succession after two convincing performances against Club Brugge (2-0 A, 5-1 H). Given the loss of top players through transfers such as Darwin Nunez (to Liverpool in the summer) and Enzo Fernandez (to Chelsea in the winter), the current Portuguese league leaders are again having to overcome similar challenges, which makes this achievement even more impressive. Currently responsible as coach is Roger Schmidt, who is now part of an illustrious group: He is the 12th German coach to progress to the quarter-finals – no other nation can match that feat.
AC Milan (ITA)
AC Milan are back in the quarter-finals of the Champions League first time in 11 years. The seven-time European champions (the second most successful club in history after Real Madrid) beat Tottenham Hotspur in the last round and are in the final eight for the first time since 2011/12. The Rossoneri left a similarly long barren spell behind them at the end of last season as they won the Italian league title again for the first time in 11 years – and now the Italians are hoping to win the big one. It remains to be seen whether AC are the European heavyweights of previous years. Nevertheless, the previous clashes with the Milan side do not bring back all that many good memories for supporters of the German record champions. The men from Munich have only won one of ten games on the European stage (six defeats, three draws). In the last meeting in the Champions League quarter-finals of 2006/07, AC Milan went through with a 2-2 draw in the first leg followed by a 2-0 victory in Munich.
Manchester City (ENG)
With a true show of strength in the Round of 16 against RB Leipzig, Manchester City maintained their run and are the only team always to be in the quarter-finals since 2017/18. After a 1-1 draw in Leipzig, the Sky Blues brushed the Bundesliga team aside with a 7-0 victory in the second leg. Top goalscorer Erling Haaland netted five goals within 36 minutes. Pep Guardiola – whose 13 appearances in the quarter-finals is a competition record – and his team impressively underlined the ambition to win the Champions League for the first time in the club's history – at the same time retaining the Premier League title is currently threatened by the five-point gap to league leaders Arsenal. The Champions League finalists of 2021 have played FC Bayern six times – always in the group stages of the competition. Both teams have clocked up three wins.
Inter Milan (ITA)
Will there be a quick reunion with Inter Milan? The Nerazzurri qualified for the knockout rounds as runners-up to Bayern in Group C and they were able to knock out Porto after two tight matches thanks to a goal from Romelu Lukaku (1-0 H, 0-0 A). The team from Milan are in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010/11 – back then thanks to a victory in the Round of 16 against the German record champions when Inter won 3-2 in the second leg at the Allianz Arena to advance on away goals. The relative positions have changed since then. In this year's group stage, Bayern beat the Italians 2-0 both home and away and now have a record of five wins from nine meetings (one draw, three defeats). Inter are currently second in Serie A – and the chances of winning the league title are very small given the 18-point gap to league leaders Napoli.
Napoli are the third Italian team to progress to the quarter-finals. The team under coach Luciano Spalletti are enjoying an outstanding season to date. The Naples club are runaway leaders in Serie A with an 18-point advantage over second placed Inter and they are on course to win their first league title since 1989/90. Napoli won their Champions League group ahead of Liverpool, Ajax and Rangers and they gave Eintracht Frankfurt no chance in the Round of 16 (2-0 A and 3-0 H). That brought their first qualification for the Champions League quarter-finals in the club's history. In addition to a strong and well-organised defence (16 goals conceded in 26 league games), the strike duo of Victor Osimhen (23 goals, five assists) and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (13 goals and 15 assists) are the prime instigators of the sensational success so far. Bayern and Napoli have met four times in Europe's premier club competition. The record is balanced with one win each and two draws. The last meeting was in the Champions League group stage in 2011/12. The first leg in Naples ended 1-1 and the return match in Munich saw FCB win 3-2.
Real Madrid (ESP)
Will there be a clash with the reigning champions? Real Madrid are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the third time in succession and the 19th time in total (the second highest number in the competition after FC Bayern). Real, the record winners of the competition with 14 titles, finished top of their group ahead of RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic, and faced Liverpool in the big clash in the Round of 16. Thanks to a 5-2 victory iat Anfield and a 1-0 win in Madrid, the team under former Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti comfortably qualified the round of the last eight. In La Liga, Real are in second place, nine points behind league leaders Barcelona. There have been 26 games between FC Bayern and Real Madrid. The Reds have their noses just in front with 12 victories – Real have 11 wins (three draws). The Spaniards were winners in the last meeting in the Champions League semi-final in 2017/18 (2-1 in Munich, 2-2 in Madrid).
Last draw this season
The first legs in the quarter-finals will be played on 11 and 12 April, with the second legs following on 18 and 19 April. If Bayern go through then the road to the final will be set, as the semi-final matches will also be drawn following the quarter-final draw. The games involving the last four will be played on 9/10 and 16/17 May. The final is on Saturday 10 June at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.
You can see again the highlights from the Round of 16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain as Bayern maintained their perfect Champions League record: