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Respect abounds between Bayern and Juventus

Published: Friday 15 March 2013, 14.57CET
FC Bayern München midfielder Toni Kroos and Juventus director Pavel Nedvěd agreed that the clubs' quarter-final draw was "one of the most difficult" either side could have got.
Published: Friday 15 March 2013, 14.57CET

Respect abounds between Bayern and Juventus

FC Bayern München midfielder Toni Kroos and Juventus director Pavel Nedvěd agreed that the clubs' quarter-final draw was "one of the most difficult" either side could have got.

Setting a relentless pace in their respective leagues, FC Bayern München and Juventus were reflecting on one of the "toughest draws" after being paired together for the quarter-finals.

Bayern, a massive 20 points clear of fellow European Cup contenders Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, will host the Serie A leaders in the first leg on 2 April, with the return taking place eight days later. Juventus were partly responsible for holders Chelsea FC's failure to negotiate the group stage, taking four points off the Londoners, something which caught the eye of Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos.

"Juventus eliminated last year's Champions League winners," said the German international. "After Barcelona, they are the toughest draw for us. We need to produce top performances against them in order to prevail. It would be ideal to keep a clean sheet at home. Arturo Vidal has become an absolutely key player for Juventus."

Juventus director Pavel Nedvěd appeared in all four matches when the clubs met in the UEFA Champions League group stage in successive seasons from 2004/05. The former Czech international, who scored in a 1-0 home victory for the Bianconeri in October 2004, said: "Bayern are one of the most difficult sides we could have got, but we have to approach this tie with excitement.

"Bayern are very similar to Antonio Conte's team in many ways, so this will make things even more difficult for us. Still, I'm proud because Juve are among the best eight teams in Europe and we are the only Italian side left in the competition. We are enjoying this experience and we have to continue with the same spirit."

If La Vecchia Signora dominated those past encounters, winning three, then it was Bayern who flexed their muscles the last time the sides locked horns in this competition, three seasons ago. Following a goalless draw at the Fußball Arena München, the Bavarians ran out 4-1 winners on matchday six in a fixture notable for the German outfit's then goalkeeper, Jörg Butt, converting a penalty. Bayern would succumb to FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus's domestic rivals, in the Madrid final later that campaign. 

Arjen Robben, who featured in both those games, does not expect Juve to be so accommodating this time around. "The situation is very different now," said the winger. "Juve won't give us many chances and it will be a very difficult task for us. They have a lot of well-known players and [Andrea] Pirlo is still one of the best in the world."

Last updated: 24/04/13 17.05CET

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