Champions League Quarter-Final Preview
Real Madrid are without a doubt one of the biggest names in world football and the Spanish giants will be aiming to add a tenth European title at the end of the season.
Real first must see off Galatasaray on Tuesday night in the Quarter-Finals and come through the semis in a few weeks’ time to book their place in the continent’s biggest final at Wembley.
They hold a healthy 3-0 advantage over the Turkish side thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain in the first leg over in Istanbul.
Galatasaray face the daunting task of travelling to Santiago Bernabéu with Real big favourites to progress.
Success in the Champions League would also add yet another string to the bow of Jose Mourinho who is poised to return to the club where he made his name in the summer.
‘The Special One’ is one of the favourites to take the manager’s job at Chelsea over the summer and securing the Champions League in May would be an apt way to end his spell in charge at Madrid.
But Real have been living under the shade of their great rivals Barcelona over the past decade, not only in their domestic league, but also in Europe.
They may have taken the La Liga title last season but Barca have won the league the three previous seasons on the bounce.
Furthermore, in the Champions League, Barcelona have won the competition three times since Madrid last lifted the trophy.
A 2-1 win over Arsenal saw them secure the Champions League for only the second time back in 2006 and ever since, Barca have become one of the most feared and admired teams in the world.
They also beat Manchester United in both 2009 and 2011 to double their success in Europe to secure a further two European titles.
However, their tally of four Champions League titles is still over shadowed by Real’s record of nine European titles which makes them the most coveted team on the continent.
The last time the Whites last won the title though was back in 2002 when they beat Bayern Leverkusen 2-1 in the final at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
The world famous ‘Galacticos’ side included such greats as Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos, Zinedine Zidane an
d Raul, with the latter two netting goals on the night as Madrid won their third European title in five years after previous success in 1998 and 2000.
However, the past 11 years has seen a barren spell in the club’s history and they have a great chance to end their drought in Europe this year and add a tenth title to their name.
Tonight’s other match sees another Spanish side, Malaga, travel to Germany to play Borussia Dortmund.
The first leg saw both sides play out a tense 0-0 draw in the first leg last week.
Tomorrow, Barcelona host Paris Saint Germain following an exciting first leg match which finished 2-2.
Lionel Messi struck before the break and the match seemed destined to finish 1-0 until Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck on 79 minutes.
Xavi re-took the lead for Barca from the spot with a minute left on the clock but a last-gasp goal from Blaise Matuidi snatched a draw for PSG in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Finally, Bayern Munich take a 2-0 lead into their second leg against Juventus in the fourth and final quarter final match and are favourites to advance.