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APOEL adventure threatened by might of Madrid

Published: Monday 19 March 2012, 9.00CET
APOEL FC's remarkable European adventure reached new heights in the round of 16 and now comes one of the toughest examinations of all – Real Madrid CF.

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Tournament statistics

APOELReal Madrid

Goals scored9
Attempts on target25
Attempts off target21
Fouls committed147
Yellow cards27
Red cards1
Published: Monday 19 March 2012, 9.00CET

APOEL adventure threatened by might of Madrid

APOEL FC's remarkable European adventure reached new heights in the round of 16 and now comes one of the toughest examinations of all – Real Madrid CF.

Their status as the first team from Cyprus to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League inspired APOEL FC to new heights in the round of 16 and now they seek to do it all over again with nine-time European champions Real Madrid CF standing between them and a place in the semi-finals.

• APOEL have won five of their seven home games in this season's competition, which started for them back in the second qualifying round, although they now face a Madrid team who have recorded seven victories in eight outings this season.

Match background
• In the first competitive meeting between the teams APOEL will be determined to demonstrate to their illustrious opponents just how formidable their home ground has become.

• The 1-0 victory against Olympique Lyonnais which took their round of 16 tie to a penalty shoot-out made it seven wins and three draws in their last 11 European home games, including 2-1 successes against FC Zenit St Petersburg and FC Porto this season. The only blemish came on matchday six when, with qualification already assured, they went down 2-0 against FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

• Madrid have a near-perfect record in this year's competition, winning seven of the eight games played so far, the only blemish the 1-1 draw at PFC CSKA Moskva in the round of 16 first leg.

• The 4-1 home win in the return took their goals tally for the campaign to 24 with only four conceded. In the group they won 1-0 at GNK Dinamo Zagreb, 2-0 at Lyon and 3-0 at AFC Ajax and became only the fifth side to win all six games in a UEFA Champions League group stage.

• José Mourinho has a 100% record in UEFA Champions League quarter-finals having won at this stage with FC Porto (2004), Chelsea FC (2005, 2007), FC Internazionale Milano (2010) and his present club last season, when they beat Tottenham Hotspur FC 4-0 at home and 1-0 away.

• Cristiano Ronaldo scored in both games against the London club in Madrid's first quarter-final for seven years, ending a sequence of six successive last-16 eliminations.

• No other team have competed in as many quarter-finals in this competition as Madrid – this is their 29th and they have won all but six.

• APOEL have not defeated Spanish opponents in ten attempts, drawing five and losing five. At home they have drawn four with one defeat, 2-1 against RCD Mallorca in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup first round.

• This is the third successive season in which APOEL have played a Liga side. Last season they drew 1-1 at home to Getafe CF in the UEFA Europa League play-off, losing 1-0 away. The previous year they played out two draws with Club Atlético de Madrid in the UEFA Champions League group stage – 0-0 in Spain and 1-1 in Nicosia.

• Dionisios Chiotis, Paulo Jorge, Savvas Poursaitides, Constantinos Charalambides, Marinos Satsias, Marios Ilia, Hélio Pinto, Nuno Morais, and Nektarios Alexandrou all played against Atlético.

• APOEL's worst defeat against Spanish opponents was an 8-0 reverse at RC Deportivo La Coruña in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round second leg.

• Madrid have not faced Cypriot opposition for 43 years but a look back at those games only underlines their status as favourites in this tie. They played Olympiakos Nicosia FC in the 1969/70 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round a year after facing AEL Limassol FC at the same stage. All four matches were played in Madrid, the Spanish side racking up a total of 26 goals with only one conceded.

Team ties
• Morais played under Mourinho at Chelsea between 2004 and 2007, making just four league appearances including a 3-1 win at Ronaldo's Manchester United FC in May 2005.

• Ricardo Carvalho was in the Chelsea team that recorded a 1-0 group stage victory against APOEL in Nicosia in September 2009. Facing him were Chiotis, Poursaitides, Morais, Charalambides, Alexandrou and Hélio Pinto. Carvalho featured in the second game at Stamford Bridge which ended 2-2, Ilia also playing for the visitors.

• While at SC Braga, Paulo Jorge faced Hamit Altıntop's FC Bayern München in a 1-1 group stage draw in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup.

• Carvalho and Fábio Coentrão faced Ilia, Charalambides, Poursaitides and Satsias when Portugal drew 4-4 at home to Cyprus in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying game in September 2010.

• Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-0 win when the nations met again last September at APOEL's home in Nicosia, Pepe also featuring. The home side included Charalambides, Poursaitides and Alexandrou while Tassos Kisas and Athos Solomou were unused substitutes.

• On Mourinho's last visit to Cyprus, his FC Internazionale Milano side were held to a 3-3 draw against Anorthosis Famagusta FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage, Julio Cruz scoring a late equaliser for the visitors. At San Siro, Adriano's goal gave Inter a 1-0 victory.

• Esteban Solari is the brother of Santiago Solari, who scored ten goals in 130 Liga games for Madrid between 2000 and 2005.

• Esteban Solari spent two seasons at UD Almería prior to signing for APOEL in 2010, playing 14 times and scoring three times in the league and the Copa del Rey.

• Chiotis faced Madrid with AEK Athens FC in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage. The Greek side drew 3-3 at home before earning a 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabéu.

• APOEL's Kaká came up against Coentrão in the semi-final of last season's UEFA Europa League when Braga eliminated SL Benfica on away goals.

• Ángel Di María scored Benfica's goal in a 1-1 draw at Kaká's Hertha BSC Berlin during the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage. The pair also faced each other twice in 2007/08 when Kaká was playing for A. Académica de Coimbra, each game finishing in an away win.

• Di María played twice in the Liga against Marcinho's CS Marítimo while at Benfica; Marcinho was on target in Marítimo's 3-2 away loss on 26 April 2009.

• Urko Pardo was on the books of FC Barcelona but never made it past their B side. He had loan spells with lower league sides FC Cartagena and CE Sabadell before switching to Greece, Romania and finally APOEL.

• Hélio Pinto spent 2004/05 in Spain with Sevilla FC's youth team.

• The second leg takes place in Madrid on 4 April; the winners play Olympique de Marseille or FC Bayern München in the semi-finals on 17 and 25 April.

Last updated: 05/12/13 9.15CET