UEFA General Secretary David Taylor has welcomed the spirit of respect that is coming to the fore as the latest UEFA Champions League season reaches an exciting climax.
Speaking at the UEFA Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draw in Nyon, Switzerland, on Friday, Mr Taylor praised the quality of the matches in the first knockout round and said he was looking forward eagerly to the encounters thrown up by the draw. "The excitement and the drama that those matches generated was followed not only by the thousands of fans in the stadiums, but also by fans all over the world watching at home on television," said Mr Taylor. "We can also report that on the whole, and despite the enormous pressure on players and club officials alike, all matches have taken place with a great deal of respect – both on the pitch between players and officials, and off the pitch between the fans. Of course, we expect this spirit of respect to continue as the competition progresses."
Mr Taylor also highlighted some of the quarter-finalists' achievements so far this season. "There have been some excellent matches in the previous knockout round – FC Bayern München have set a new record for a winning margin in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages with their impressive 12-1 aggregate win over Sporting Clube de Portugal. And we have two clubs, FC Bayern München and FC Barcelona, both currently still in the competition [and drawn to meet in the quarter-finals], who have excelled in attacking football and are both standing on a total of 24 goals. A very high mark indeed for this stage of the competition."
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