Champions League Quarterfinal Draw: Carefree in Europe!


Credit: Mitchell Gunn-USA TODAY Sports

Chelsea FC are through to the quarterfinals of Europe’s most prestigious club competition, and the draw for who we face in the next round will be made Friday morning in Switzerland. Before reaching the Champions League quarterfinal, Chelsea easily dispatched Turkish champion Galatasaray in the second leg 2-0 at Stamford Bridge Tuesday night, Chelsea will be drawn against one of the following 7 remaining teams

Atletico Madrid (SPA)
Real Madrid (SPA)
Barcelona (SPA)
Manchester United (ENG)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Bayern Munich (GER)
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says he does not care who Chelsea will play in the next round.

"We wait for the draw. It doesn’t matter who. All the big candidates to win the competition. Welcome to any one of them. It will be good for our evolution as a team to play the best.”"

Club captain John Terry repeated those thoughts, saying the team is confident and happy to be through to the quarterfinals, regardless of who they will face. While the Blues players and skipper remain nonplussed at their potential opponents, many fans have varied opinions on who they would rather see Chelsea playing in the quarterfinals. Among the 7 teams left, there are a few teams that a match-up against would bring some very interesting story-lines, especially match-ups between Chelsea and the some of the Spanish or German sides.

Real Madrid are currently managed by Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti, who led the Blues to their first Premier League and FA Cup Double in 2009. Many Chelsea fans were quite upset at the sacking of Ancelotti, especially as his successor Andre Villas-Boas turned out to be quite a flop in West London.

Chelsea of course maintain a stern domestic rivalry with Manchester United, but they also met in the 2008 Champions League Final in Moscow. The match was marred by Didier Drogba being sent off for a slap to the face of Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidić during extra time. Chelsea skipper John Terry took Drogba’s spot in the penalty shootout; he slipped on the wet turf and missed his shot. Manchester United won when Ryan Giggs fired his penalty past Petr Cech and Nicolas Anelka’s shot was saved by Edwin Van der Sar.

Barcelona and Chelsea have created quite a rivalry in this competition. Memorable moments include the horrific semi-final 2nd leg match in 2009, in which Norwegian official Tom Henning Ovrebo rejected four penalty claims for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The officiating was so poor in this match that Chelsea players Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba followed the referee around the pitch, screaming for an explanation. Chelsea would lose on an Andres Iniesta strike well into stoppage time.

Credit: Mitchell Gunn-USA TODAY Sports

In 2012 the Blues managed to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Napoli in the Round of 16, beat Benefica in the quarterfinals, then drew Barcelona for the semifinals. Chelsea led 1-0 on aggregate going into the 2nd leg, but in the 2nd leg Chelsea suffered early setbacks, going down 1-0 on 35 minutes and losing captain John Terry to a straight red card early on. Lionel Messi continued his poor run against Chelsea, as he missed a penalty.The Blues were down 2-0 and things looked bleak before Ramires scored in the dying moments of the first half, leaving the score 2-2 on aggregate, Chelsea ahead on away goals. With just seconds left in the match, Fernando Torres took a long ball beyond the defense, made a move around the keeper and slotted in a goal to secure Chelsea’s place in the Final.

In that 2012 Champions League final Chelsea would face Bayern Munich in their home stadium, the Allianz Arena. Chelsea would go on to win a thrilling match on penalties, with Didier Drogba dispatching the winning penalty he couldn’t take against Manchester United in 2008. Chelsea played Bayern in this seasons UEFA Super Cup, this time losing on penalties against the German Champions.

Matches against Atletico Madrid and PSG could be intriguing as well, with Chelsea reportedly targeting Atleti forward Diego Costa to be their signing of the coming summer. PSG would be incredibly entertaining from a fans perspective with Eden Hazard and Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović playing on the same pitch.

The draw will take place Friday March 21st, at 12:00 PM CET (7:00am EDT).

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