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On Friday, starting at 12 pm, Barça will find out who they will face in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Here are the facts you need to know about Barça’s possible opponents:
Paris Saint Germain
Managed by Carlo Ancelotti, PSG boasts a squad packed with top class players, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi. Leaders in the French league, no expense has been spared to construct a team capable of competing at the highest level in Europe. The main doubt is whether the club has the staying power to challenge some of Europe’s most experienced sides.
Current position in Ligue 1: Top, four points clear of Lyon.
Top scorer in this year’s CL: Ezequiel Lavezzi (5)
International honours: One Cup Winners Cup
Antonio Conte has taken the ‘Vecchia Signora’ back to the forefront of the European footballing scene. The incombustible veterans Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo are the leaders of a squad lacking in big names but which is hard to score against. Teamwork has forged Juventus a great record this season in Italy as well as Europe and no one will want to be drawn against them.
Current position in Serie A: Top, nine points clear of Napoli.
Top scorer in this year’s CL: Fabio Quagliarella (4)
International honours: Two European Cups, one Cup Winners Cup, two Intercontinental Cups, three UEFA Cups and two European Super Cups
Mourinho’s Real Madrid needs no introduction. Despite trailing Barça in second place in the Spanish league, the team’s ambition remains intact and they are in their best form of the season. It’s one of the strongest squad’s in world football and in Cristiano Ronaldo has an undisputed match-winner. This team is lethal on the counterattack and clinically efficient in front of goal.
Current position in La Liga: Second, 13 points behind FC Barcelona
Top scorer in this year’s CL: Cristiano Ronaldo (8)
International honours: Nine European Cups, three Intercontinental Cups, two UEFA Cups and one European Super Cup
Borussia Dortmund is reigning champion of the Bundesliga. Managed by Jurgen Klopp the team is characterised by a skilful passing game. Among the leading players are the likes of Mats Hummels, Mario Götze, Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski. They’ve lost five matches in the German league so far this season but in Europe have beaten Real Madrid, Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Current position in the Bundesliga: Second, 20 points behind Bayern Munich
Top scorer in this year’s CL: Robert Lewandowski (5)
International honours: One European Cup, one Cup Winners Cup and one Intercontinental Cup
Despite starting their European campaign with two defeats and a draw, the Turkish champions have deservedly reached the quarterfinals. Despite the presence of Drogba, Sneijder, Altintop, Melo and Yilmaz on the pitch and Fatih Terim on the manager’s bench, Galatasaray is, on paper, one of the weaker teams in the hat, but at this stage there are no easy teams. They’ve won more games away from home than in their own stadium.
Current position in the Super League: Top, four points clear of Besiktas
Top scorer in this year’s CL: Burak Yilmaz (8)
International honours: One UEFA Cup
Manager Jupp Heynckes will be hoping to take Bayern to the triple crown of league, Cup and CL. Their lead in the Bundesliga is all but definitive and they’ve reached the final of the German Cup. The squad has strength and quality in depth, including players of the international prestige of Franck Ribéry, Javi Martínez, Thomas Müller, Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm. They have to be one of the favourites.
Current position in the Bundesliga: Top, twenty points clear of Dortmund
Top scorer in this year’s CL: Thomas Müller (4)
International honours: Four European Cups, one Cup Winners Cup, two Intercontinental Cups and one UEFA Cup
Manuel Pellegrini has taken Málaga to unprecedented heights in Europe and will be looking to extend the run even further. The squad has plenty of experience - Joaquín, Demichelis, Toulalan, Santa Cruz and Saviola-, and in Isco has one of the Spanish league’s most exciting young players. This season Barça has won twice in La Rosaleda.
Current position in La Liga: Fourth, 27 points behind FC Barcelona
Top scorer in this year’s CL: Eliseu and Isco (3)
International honours -
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