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Leverkusen have 'small chance' against Paris

Published: Monday 16 December 2013, 15.55CET
Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc was glad to have "avoided the big fish, City and Arsenal" after being pitted against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who have "a small chance".

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Published: Monday 16 December 2013, 15.55CET

Leverkusen have 'small chance' against Paris

Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc was glad to have "avoided the big fish, City and Arsenal" after being pitted against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who have "a small chance".

Bayer 04 Leverkusen chairman Michael Schade said that his "dream draw" had been realised when the Bundesliga side were pitted against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. The Ligue 1 leaders' coach Laurent Blanc, meanwhile, was wary but relieved to have "avoided the big fish, [Manchester City] and Arsenal".

Every team we could have drawn was a top European side
Simon Rolfes
When you look at the first tie drawn [Manchester City FC against FC Barcelona] – wow! There are only big ties
Laurent Blanc

Simon Rolfes, Leverkusen captain
There simply weren't any easy draws left. Every team we could have drawn was a top European side and in the end we were drawn with Paris. It's a great challenge for us, which we will happily accept. We look forward to both games.

Michael Schade, Leverkusen chairman
We are happy about this draw. It's attractive opposition for our fans. At this stage of the competition there are no easy draws left, but I did say that Paris would be my dream draw. It's going to be a great trip to Paris, a beautiful city and not that far from Leverkusen.

They have a quality side with an outstanding player in Zlatan Ibrahimović. It's going to be a tough tie for us and we will certainly be the underdogs. However, the supporters can look forward to two great encounters.

Stefan Reinartz, Leverkusen defender
They have more resources in financial terms, but we have already proved that we can prevail against top sides. Nothing is settled before both matches have been played out.

Rudi Völler, Leverkusen sporting director
There is a small chance for us in this contest and we plan to seize it. [Zlatan] Ibrahimović is obviously their standout player, but with [Edinson] Cavani, [Ezequiel] Lavezzi and Thiago Silva, they have plenty of other world-class players.

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
We were prepared for Leverkusen. We'd studied them and we'll still have time to do so. They were in a tough group and managed to get through. We cannot say if it's a good or bad draw. It might have been tougher but we've got lot of respect for them, like for any team in the league and Champions League. Beyond that, some opponents are tougher than others. When you look at the first tie drawn [Manchester City FC against FC Barcelona] – wow! There are only big ties.

We won't be complacent but we avoided City, the big fish with Arsenal. We'll watch the German league closer from now on. I saw Leverkusen's 5-0 loss to Manchester united, not their best game, and I've seen clips of their games in the Bundesliga. They are second to Bayern and I know their coach. I have time to learn the rest.

Adrien Rabiot, Paris midfielder
The aim remains to go as far as possible in this competition and to do better than last year [quarter-finals]. My team-mates were visibly pleased with the draw. We would have settled for a bigger tie but it's quite a good draw for our chances. I'm quite happy with it.

Last updated: 20/12/13 17.24CET

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