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Figo rallies Inter for CSKA encounter

Luís Figo called on FC Internazionale Milano to reproduce their displays against Chelsea FC in their quarter-final against PFC CSKA Moskva, for whom midfielder Elvir Rahimić vowed to upset the odds.

Luís Figo spoke to UEFA.com after the UEFA Champions League draw in Nyon
Luís Figo spoke to UEFA.com after the UEFA Champions League draw in Nyon ©UEFA.com

FC Internazionale Milano ambassador Luís Figo is hoping for a repeat of the performances against Chelsea FC when the Nerazzurri tackle PFC CSKA Moskva in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Inter will stage the first leg on 31 March before travelling to Moscow on 6 April as they continue their quest to win the European Champion Clubs' Cup for the first time in 45 years.

"It's always difficult to evaluate the teams you play against because at this point they are all top quality," Figo told UEFA.com. "But Inter can be happy because we avoided the big names like Barcelona and Manchester United."

Inter have not reached the semi-finals for seven seasons, but did beat CSKA 2-1 away and 4-2 at home in the 2007/08 group stage. José Mourinho's side also got the better of Russian champions FC Rubin Kazan in this season's group stage, a 1-1 away draw followed by a 2-0 victory at San Siro on Matchday 6 which sealed their spot in the round of 16 behind FC Barcelona.

"In practice these will be two difficult encounters, with an away match in Moscow which is never easy," continued Figo, a UEFA Champions League winner during his days at Real Madrid CF. "It won't be that cold any more, but it will be important that the team gives a strong performance, as we did in the tie against Chelsea."

CSKA are in their first UEFA Champions League quarter-final, and Elvir Rahimić, a veteran of both of those encounters with Inter, does not want the run to end here for the 2004/05 UEFA Cup winners.

"Inter are clear favourites," he said. "However, Sevilla were also favourites [in the first knockout round] but we beat them. We've already done something big, and we will try to achieve even more. We want to please our fans, and all of Russia. We really want to play in the UEFA Champions League final, but it will be very difficult to make it."

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