The official website for European football

Pride to play for as giants collide

Published: Tuesday 2 April 2002, 18.47CET
The UEFA Champions League reaches the knockout stage tonight with two tantalising ties worthy of the final itself.

UEFA.com features

Brahimi following in Madjer's Porto footsteps
  • Brahimi following in Madjer's Porto footsteps
  • Sheridan taking the heat at APOEL
  • McGregor making his mark back at Celtic
  • Atlético's Filipe Luís to fill Cole's boots at Chelsea
  • Watch and rate Mexès's overhead spectacular
  • Di Stéfano on his five European Cup wins
  • Watch Van Basten's bicycle kick
  • 'A long time coming' for St Patrick's
  • Madrid return to heroes' welcome
  • UEFA Champions League final facts and figures
1 of 10
 
 
Published: Tuesday 2 April 2002, 18.47CET

Pride to play for as giants collide

The UEFA Champions League reaches the knockout stage tonight with two tantalising ties worthy of the final itself.

The UEFA Champions League reaches its first knockout stage tonight with two tantalising ties that would have been worthy of the final itself. At the Olimpiastadion, holders FC Bayern München take on the most successful club side of all time, Real Madrid CF, while at the Riazor stadium, in-form RC Deportivo La Coruña host Manchester United FC, the 1999 champions.

Stars collide
With the likes of Luis Figo, Raúl González, Roberto Carlos and Zinedine Zidane featuring in Vicente del Bosque's star-studded lineup, it comes as no surprise that Madrid have scored the most goals in the competition so far. But Bayern, all efficiency and hard work under Ottmar Hitzfeld, possess the most parsimonious defence in the tournament. Irresistable force meets immovable object, it could barely be more perfectly poised.

Contrasting styles
Equally Sir Alex Ferguson's success at Old Trafford has been based on a free-flowing, attacking style, with David Beckham and Ryan Giggs the supply line for the prolific Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooij, while Javier Irureta has worked miracles on a relatively meagre budget, putting together the most dangerous counterattacking side in Europe. It is simply too tight to call.

Playing for pride
Pride is certain to play its part in these keenly-contested encounters. United will be looking to avenge home and away defeats by Deportivo in the first group stage, and Madrid, in their centenary season, will be desperate not to fall to the Germans once again after last year's disappointing semi-final exit.

Rich reward
If Madrid do triumph over two legs, the second of which will be played on 10 April, they could meet arch-rivals FC Barcelona, who take on Panathinaikos FC tomorrow in Greece, in the last four. If United make the semi-finals, they could face Liverpool FC, if the FA Premiership side manage to edge past the 1. Bundesliga pacesetters Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Club football simply does not get any better than that.

Last updated: 16/11/12 9.19CET

Related information

Related match
  • SSI Err
  • SSI Err

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=20720.html#pride+play+giants+collide

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.