Team coaches, players: What they said after UEFA Champions League last 16 draw

Mahmoud Elassal , Monday 17 Dec 2018

Former Portuguese football player Ricardo Carvalho shows the slip of Juventus next to the cup during the draw for the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League football tournament at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on December 17, 2018. (Photo: AFP)

After the UEFA Champions League draw brought tough encounters in the last 16 round -- with Bayern Munich and Liverpool, both five-time European champions, to meet in one of three England-Germany clashes -- coaches and players of the teams commented on the draw, confirming their readiness for the coming games.

Bayern Munich vs. Liverpool

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac has expressed his pleasure with the draw, although he admitted that Liverpool was the toughest team his side could face.

"We can all be glad that this great tie has been drawn," Kovac said after the draw.

"They were the toughest team we could get. Liverpool were finalists last year and are currently top of the Premier League."

"They're top favourites to win the Champions League this year, but we are FC Bayern, and Liverpool may know that they have to come to us for the return leg. The odds are 50/50," the Croatian added.

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp announced that he is really looking forward to the game against Bayern Munich.

"It was obviously long ago that I played Bayern in a competitive game, so I'm really looking forward to it," Klopp said.

"We all know the stadium, the atmosphere will be great. It's a really nice trip for all our supporters, it's a wonderful city, so that's all good."

"The flight is not too long and we obviously know more about German football than any other league, that's true, but that doesn't make a big, massive difference. In the end, the boys have to decide it on the pitch. Let's give it a try."

Lyon v Barcelona

Lyon coach Bruno Genesio promises to do his best when his side take on Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League last 16, confirming that Barcelona are among the toughest opponents in the draw.

"[Barcelona] is among the toughest possible draws. We'll do our best. They will be two great games. We can manage two achievements in those two games," Genesio said.

On the other side, Barcelona representative Guillermo Amor confirmed that there are not easy games in the last 16 on the UEFA Champions League.

"To be in the last 16 means you deserve it. There are no easy games, and you can get knocked out if you have a bad day. We will respect Lyon, they are a good team. Look at how Man City fared against them in the groups," Amor said.

Manchester United v Paris St Germain

Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has expressed confidence in his team's ability to beat Manchester United away from home, adding that it is a great test for his side.

"We have the quality to win at Old Trafford. I'm confident in my team, but it's a great test, a challenge." Tuchel said.

"The round of 16 is always tough. Manchester United have a lot of experience in this competition, which they've won several times. I'm neither satisfied nor unsatisfied by the draw."

Ajax v Real Madrid

Ajax defender Daley Blind said that his team had the toughest draw, but he added that the game against Real Madrid will be a "beautiful match."

"It's a tough draw, but a beautiful match. We will need to buckle up. But still I see chances for us. I think we have to play with guts and believe in our own qualities," Blind said.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid Director of Institutional Relations Emilio Butragueno threatened his opponents, confirming his side is working to secure their title.

"We are the reigning champions and when we play in this tournament, everyone knows what that means," Butragueno said.

Schalke v Manchester City

Schalke defender Matija Nastasic believes that the two games against Man City will be special for him, confirming that he is happy to face the Premier League champions.

"I am happy to play against Manchester City. For me, these two games will certainly be very special, as I wore the Citizen shirt for three years," Nastasic said.

First leg matches will be played in February.

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