FC Bayern München's players and officials were "delighted" to have drawn their old adversary Real Madrid CF when the draw for the quarter-finals of the 2002 UEFA Champions League was made in the House of Football in Nyon on Friday afternoon.
Bayern captain Stefan Effenberg's reaction was phlegmatic. "When I heard about the draw in our team bus, I was very happy, because it was clear we would have to play against Real someday," he said. "Of course it's a little bit annoying that the two best teams meet each other already in the quarter-finals, but that's life."
'The most attractive team in Europe'
Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer, who won the European Champion Clubs' Cup three times in succession as a player between 1974-76, was in equally bullish mood. "It's the match of the titleholder against the most attractive team in Europe," he said. "This is the foreclosed final. The chances are 50-50, but of course the titleholders always have good chances. Besides this, we have won five out of our last six matches against Real."
'A very difficult match'
German international midfield player Jens Jeremies issued a note of caution though when pointing out: "That will be a very difficult match for us, but we have enough self confidence to defend our title. To win this competition you have to beat Real, no matter whether it is in the quarter-final, semi-final or final."
'Real will not be too pleased'
Owen Hargreaves, who shone in last season's semi-final, second leg between the two sides in Munich, was quick to point out that: "I am sure Real will not be too pleased with this draw. They didn't look very good against us in the last years. For me, this is already the final, but it's strange we always have to play against Real or Man United."
'A great history'
Emilio Butragueño, Madrid's spokesman and former legendary centre-forward with the Spanish team in the 1980's, put forward the views of the eight-times winners, saying: "Bayern are the current title holders, a club with a great history. I frankly don't think it was the ideal opponent for us. We already met three times in the last seasons. They will be a very difficult rival to beat. Finally, in term of competition, this will be a fantastic show given that both teams have a great history.
'Advantage to play away first'
"I think it is a little advantage for us to first play away from home," Butragueño added. "Even though, two season's ago we first played at home and still made it to the final. When I played, I preferred to play first away and then at home, with the support of your fans and the atmosphere which is in your favour."
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