Dortmund, Bayern eager to avoid all-German quarter
BERLIN (AFP) –
Although Bayern Munich are desperate to avoid Barcelona in Friday’s Champions League quarter-final draw, the last team the Bavarians want to meet in the last eight are German rivals Borussia Dortmund.
“Anyone who wants Barcelona next is a masochist!” quipped Germany star Thomas Mueller after Bayern squeezed past Arsenal on away goals after drawing 3-3 on aggregate by losing the return leg 2-0 in Munich on Wednesday.
Mueller’s misgivings are obvious. Barcelona produced the stand out performance of the last 16 ties when they bounced back from a 2-0 defeat at AC Milan to floor the Italians 4-0 in the return leg in Spain on Tuesday night.
Munich join Dortmund, Galatasaray, Malaga, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris St Germain and Juventus for Friday’s draw in Nyon, Switzerland (1200 local time).
With no restrictions on the draw, an all-German quarter-final is possible, but neither of the Bundesliga rivals want to meet just yet.
“You always want to meet the German teams as late as possible. I think it’s what the whole of Germany wants,” said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm, while Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp said: “We’re hoping it’s not Germany-Germany”.
Bayern are 20 points clear of Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga and knocked out German Cup holders Borussia in last month’s quarter-final with a 1-0 win in Munich. The teams are due to meet again in the league in May.
Having beaten Shakhtar Donetsk 5-2 on aggregate to reach the last eight of the Champions League for the first time in 15 years, Dortmund want to go all the way to the London final on May 25.
“No matter who is drawn against us. We are ready. Our goal is Wembley, which must, at this stage of the competition, be the dream of all the teams left in,” said Dortmund’s Brazilian centre-back Felipe Santana.
For the first time in 17 years there are no English teams in the quarter-finals, while Galatasaray midfielder Hamit Altintop said he would love to see the Turkish league leaders draw his old club Bayern Munich.
“I’d like to see Uli Hoeness again,” said the Turkey midfielder having spent three years at Bayern before joining Galatasaray last July after a season at Real Madrid.
The first-leg of the Champions League quarter-finals will be played on April 2 and 3 with the second legs on April 9 and 10.