Europe’s top club football competition, the Champions League, has reached the quarterfinal stage and the draw has been made. The draw, which took place in Nyon, Switzerland, the headquarters of UEFA, has thrown up some exciting matchups.
The standout fixture of the quarterfinals sees reigning champions Real Madrid take on Premier League giants Chelsea. The two sides have a rich history in the competition, having faced each other in the 1971 European Cup Winners’ Cup final, which Chelsea won 2-1. They also met in the semifinals of the 2013/14 season, with Atletico Madrid ultimately winning the competition.
Manchester City, who are yet to win the Champions League, will face German champions Bayern Munich. The two sides have faced each other in the competition on several occasions in recent years, with Bayern winning four of their last five meetings.
In an all-Italian affair, Napoli will take on AC Milan. Napoli have been impressive in this season’s competition, finishing top of a group that included Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain. AC Milan, meanwhile, have been resurgent under manager Stefano Pioli and will be looking to progress to the semifinals for the first time since the 2006/07 season.
Inter Milan, who won the competition in 2010 under Jose Mourinho, will take on Portuguese side Benfica. Inter have been in fine form this season and will be looking to make it to the semifinals for the first time since 2010.
The first legs of the quarterfinals will take place on April 11 and 12, with the return legs on April 18 and 19. The semifinal draw has also been made, with the winner of AC Milan and Napoli’s tie set to face either Benfica or Inter Milan in the first semifinal. The winner of Real Madrid and Chelsea’s tie will face either Manchester City or Bayern Munich in the second semifinal.
The first legs of the semifinals will take place on May 9 and 10, with the return legs on May 16 and 17. The final of this season’s Champions League will take place on May 29 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.
Overall, the draw has thrown up some exciting matchups and promises to provide plenty of drama as Europe’s top clubs battle it out for the prestigious Champions League trophy.