Soccer-Champions League draw reaction


LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Reaction to Monday's Champions League last 16 draw:

Manchester City v Barcelona

Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain told Sky Sports: "It's very tough, but we are happy because we are here and we will fight for the trophy.

"It's a wonderful draw and these are two big teams so it's going to be great, great matches.

"The last game we played in Munich, winning against the champions of Europe [Bayern Munich] and that has given us a lot of confidence. We have shown we can score in all matches."

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said to Canal Plus: "It's a tie of exceptional quality to get the competition going again in February.

"They are two teams that attack very well and have a huge amount of talent right from the goalkeepers through to the forward line.

"It seems like it will be a match with everything and it is going to be a tough fight."

Olympiakos Piraeus v Manchester United

Olympiakos coach Michel said: "We are excited and enthusiastic about playing Manchester United at Old Trafford.

"It's a nice destination for our fans and our team to go to. United are a massive club and have a great team so we are expecting two very tough matches.

"We aim to continue our strong performances in this competition in order to stay in it as long as we can."

Manchester United club secretary John Alexander said to Sky Sports: "Once we knew the five possible opponents we were quite relaxed and whoever came out of the pot would have been a good lot for us.

"Manchester United are a very popular club in Greece so there will be big United support when we go to Athens."

AC Milan v Atletico Madrid

AC Milan director Umberto Gandini told la Gazzetta dello Sport: "It could have been worse for us.

"We're going back to Spain to take on a team which we are not used to, as opposed to Real and Barcelona, who we have faced so many times recently.

"We will face Atletico in two months, so we'll have to see how both teams are then. Atletico are very good, are having a great season and will be very tricky opponents."

Atletico Madrid director Clemente Villaverde said to Canal Plus: "We are not talking about just anyone here but a great team with a very significant history that will make them a force in any competition they are part of.

"We obviously have a lot of respect for all the teams but we do not fear anyone.

"We also have our potential and our weapons and we will try to exploit them against any opponent."

Bayer Leverkusen v Paris St Germain

Bayer Leverkusen managing director Michael Schade told BeIN Sport: "We are the underdogs of course. We are already happy we have reached this round. Paris are a top team."

Paris St Germain coach Laurent Blanc told a news conference in Paris: "I don't have to say whether it's a good or a bad draw. It could have been more complicated.

"We avoided (Manchester) City, who, like Arsenal, were the team to avoid. But it's not because we avoided them that we will not be professional in the way we will prepare for the tie.

"Bayer Leverkusen are a team we have a lot of respect for."

Galatasaray v Chelsea

Chelsea club secretary David Barnard told Sky Sports: "We last played them in the Champions League group stage in 2000 and we were successful then, we won 5-0.

"Obviously things are going to be different now. But having looked at that pitch against Juventus I think that might give us a little bit of concern.

"To play at home in the second leg, I think, is always an advantage and if we can go there and get a good result it takes a bit of pressure off us for the home leg."

Regarding the return of Didier Drogba to Stamford Bridge, Barnard added: "Didier will become a Chelsea legend because he gave everybody at the club and the supporters probably their finest moment by stroking that penalty home in Munich, so he will get a fantastic reception.

"We hope that when he soaks up that adulation he'll be too tired to actually play the game. We are looking forward to having Didier back."

Schalke 04 v Real Madrid

Schalke coach Jens Keller said: "This is a fantastic draw, for us as well as for our fans.

"To be able to go up against the most famous club in the world and the likes of Ronaldo, Bale and Casillas is something we are already looking forward to."

Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno told Canal Plus: "It's true that in theory there were stronger rivals in the draw but that's the lottery.

"We have always suffered a lot against German teams and so we have to approach the tie very respectfully and cautiously, prepare well and attend to all the details.

"The return match is at the Bernabeu which in principle is an advantage but we know what can happen in this competition. One bad night in Europe and you are out."

Zenit St Petersburg v Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said: "If you reach the knockout stage you cannot expect an easy draw but if you see the other matchups ours is one we can live with, but it is not easy.

"It does not matter at this point that we play the return game in Germany. They are top in their league and it will be hard."

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Arsenal club secretary David Miles told Sky Sports: "We always seem to get the rough end of the draw but nevertheless we're optimistic. We're looking forward to both games.

"We ran them (Bayern Munich) very close last year and don't forget we only lost on away goals in the end, so we are hopeful we can turn the tide and actually come through this one."

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "They are the leaders in the Premier League and so we have been warned.

"A few months ago we had lost to them in Munich. They are a very tough team.

"We have to take it as it comes. This is not about getting an attractive matchup." (Editing by Kieran Barry)

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