What they said about the UEFA Champions League semifinals draw

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 24 Apr 2015

Representatives of Juventus, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona reacted after UEFA Champions League semifinals draw held on Friday

Final ambassador Karl-Heinz Riedle shuffles the balls containing the soccer clubs names during the draw for the Champions League semi-finals matches at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, April 24, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

At the UEFA Champions League semifinals draw in Switzerland's Nyon on Friday, Barcelona drew Bayern Munich and Juventus got Real Madrid.

Team representatives commented on the upcoming matches.

Barcelona v Bayern Munich

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique promises to win the game against Bayern Munich and reach the tournament's final.

"It is a special game because of Pep (Bayern coach), for me and for the players," Enrique said after the draw.

"It's a great date for all Barcelona fans. We will go with the objective of winning both at home and away from home. The process is the same."

Barcelona vice-president, Jordi Mestre, believes the game is 50/50 between the two sides.

"Josep Guardiola is a coach who has given us a lot, and when he comes to the Camp Nou he will be treated for what he is; a great coach and Barcelonista," Mestre said.

"The tie is 50-50 and Bayern will be a very tough opponent."

On the other side Bayern Munich coach Josep Guardiola believes the game against Barcelona will have special meaning for him because he used to be Barcelona’s coach.

"We want to beat Barcelona but they have a quality team," Guardiola said.

"It will be the first time that I have gone back, so it is going to be special and emotional for me," he added.

"You always face big sides in the semi-finals of a competition. Last year we played Real, this year it is Barcelona."

"I have a lot of respect for them. I am glad that I will have the chance to face them during my career, but at the end of the day it is two games of football," the Bayern Munich coach said.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer believes the game against Barcelona is difficult, despite previous victories against the Spanish powerhouse.

"Clearly we were going to be given a tricky task," Neuer said.

"There are no easy games once you reach the semi-finals. We beat Barcelona convincingly in both legs of the 2013 semis but that doesn't mean much anymore. Things have changed at both clubs," he added.

"We’re going to need to put in two great performances if we want to reach the final," the goalkeeper concluded.

Juventus v Real Madrid

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said that his team have the chance to concentrate on preparations for the match as they have practically won the Italian league already.

"Juventus is a club that has a legendary history and it is returning to a semi-final after 12 years," Ancelotti said after the draw.

"They are having a very good season and have practically won the Italian league. That means they can focus more on the Champions League."

Juventus ambassador in the draw Pavel Nedved is optimistic over the draw despite 12 years of absence from the Champions League semis.

"We are very happy to be in a semi-final after 12 years. I played against Madrid last time," Nedved said.

"It will be very exciting semi-final."

The first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals will be played on 5-6 May, while the second leg will be on 12-13 May.

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