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Quarter Final rivals decided

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17.03.2011 11:38

Quarter Final rivals decided

Jordi Clos

After this week’s UCL games, Barça now know the seven teams who they could face in the quarter finals when the draw is made this Friday - Inter Milan, Chelsea, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Spurs, Schalke 04 and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Below we take a look at each of the possible rivals:

Inter Milan

The current champions reached the last eight after coming second in their group and overcoming Bayern Munich in the last 16. The Italians changed manager midway through the campaign with Leonardo taking over from Rafa Benitez, who had replaced Mourinho at the start of the season and are currently second in the Italian league, five points behind AC Milan. The backbone of the team who defeated Barça in the semi finals last season remains intact with Samuel Eto’o the reference point up front.


Out of the FA Cup and nine points adrift in fourth spot in the Premier League, the Champions League is Chelsea’s only realistic chance of avoiding a tropheyless season. Carlo Ancelotti’s team have been inconsistent all season and seem to have lost some of their defensive solidity, though the signing of Fernando Torres in January has given their attacking options an immense boost. The last time the two teams met, Iniesta’s famous goal at Stamford Bridge gave Barça their ticket to the Rome final.

Manchester United

The team Barça beat in that final are into the last eight of the competition for the fifth season running, something no other club has achieved. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are also five points clear in the league and through to the FA Cup semi finals. As competitive as ever, this United side boasts Wayne Rooney as their main man and the Mexican striker ‘Chicarito’ Hernández, who scored both goals against Marseilles, as its biggest emerging star.

Real Madrid

Mourinho finally got Madrid past the last 16 and into the quarter finals for the first time in seven years. Madrid topped their group and this time swept aside Lyon in the last 16. Second in La Liga, five points behind Barça, should the two meet in the quarter finals it would mean four games in 15 days, with the La Liga clash at the Bernabeu scheduled for the weekend of April 16th and the Cup Final between the two four days later. The last game between Barça and Madrid was the 5-0 thrashing Guardiola’s team handed out at the Nou Camp on November 29th 2010.


Spurs’ progress over the last couple of seasons is evident both in their qualification for the last eight – for the first time since 1962- and their current position, fifth, in the Premier. Harry Redknapp’s team are especially strong at White Hart Lane, where they held Milan to a goalless draw to book their quarter final spot. Gareth Bale has been one of the stars of the competition so far with his performances against Inter and the team also contain players such as Peter Crouch or Rafael Van Der Vaart. The last time the two teams met was in the Cup Winners Cup in the 82/83 season, when Barça won 2-1 on aggregate.

Schalke 04

The only German representative left beat Valencia in the last 16, but are having a poor domestic season, 28 points behind the leaders and it was that form that led to the recent sacking of coach Felix Magath. Schalke have a number of players who are well known in Spain, such as Raul, Jurado and Huntelaar. If the Germans are drawn against Barça it will be a repetition of the 07/08 quarter finals when Barça won both legs 1-0.

Shakhtar Donetsk

Despite not being widely tipped, Shakhtar finished top of their group –ahead of Arsenal- and blew away Roma in their last 16 game. Mircea Lucescu’s team lead the Ukranian league by 9 points from Dynamo Kiev and their success this season has been built on Dmitro Chigrinski at the heart of the defence and the Brazilians Luiz Adriano, William and Douglas bringing creativity up front. The last time the two met was in the 2009 European Super Cup Final, when Pedro scored Barça’s winning goal(1-0).

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