Tag Archives: ancelotti

Rennes 0 PSG 2: David Beckham denied first Ligue 1 goal by Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Rennes 0 PSG 2: Ibrahimovic steals Beckham's thunder… but they're still smiles ahead in title race

PUBLISHED:

20:20 GMT, 6 April 2013

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UPDATED:

22:53 GMT, 6 April 2013

Paris Saint-Germain won 2-0 at Rennes to maintain their march to the French league title and help eradicate memories of one of the lowest points of the season.

Jeremy Menez scored a stunning solo goal in the 56th minute as PSG re-established its seven-point lead in the standings.

Cool head: David Beckham lifts the ball over the on-rushing Benoit Costil

Cool head: David Beckham lifts the ball over the on-rushing Benoit Costil

PSG's David Beckham celebrates after the opening goal

Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed the result in stoppage time as PSG recorded its first win at Rennes since 2002. PSG maintained its lead over Marseille, which beat Bordeaux 1-0 on Friday.

Rennes has won only one of its past 10 matches.

PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti rested more than half of his team ahead of Wednesday's return leg at Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Only four of the starting 11 which helped PSG to a 2-2 draw in the first leg were on the pitch at kickoff against Rennes. Back in November, Ancelotti admitted his team was in crisis after it lost 2-1 at home to Rennes, which played most of the second half with nine men.

PSG almost got off to a poor start but goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu did well to turn Sadio Diallo's shot round his left post.

Ibrahimovic came close to giving PSG
the lead in the 21st with a free kick from just outside the area which
flew past the left upright.

The striker should have done better three minutes from halftime when he
seemed certain to score after spinning to collect a through ball from
Menez and racing into the area. However, his left-footed effort lacked
power and was straight at Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil.

All smiles: Beckham shares a joke with Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the striker had opened the scoring

All smiles: Beckham shares a joke with Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the striker had opened the scoring

Head in hands: Beckham clearly can't believe the referee's decision

Head in hands: Beckham clearly can't believe the referee's decision

PSG finally scored 11 minutes after the break, as Clement Chantome found Menez, who beat almost the entire Rennes defense before firing past Costil.

PSG doubled its lead at the death. David Beckham appeared to be close to scoring his first Ligue 1 goal but Ibrahimovic made sure, heading in from practically on the goal line for his 26th league goal of the season.

PSG centre back Thiago Silv did not play in the match and is a doubt for Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg at Barcelona due to a knee problem, said coach Carlo Ancelotti.

'Thiago Silva suffered a knock on his knee against Barcelona on Tuesday,' Ancelotti said. 'Will he be ready for Wednesday I don't know, we'll see.'

Ancelotti also said PSG's Italy midfielder Thiago Motta, who has been suffering with a thigh injury, would face a last-minute fitness test.

PSG will already be without suspended holding midfielder Blaise Matuidi for the return leg at the Nou Camp.

Fernando Torres needs to leave Chelsea, says Stan Collymore

Torres hates putting on the blue of Chelsea and needs to leave, claims Collymore

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

15:44 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

16:07 GMT, 3 March 2013

Stan Collymore has urged Fernando Torres to leave Chelsea for his own good.

The former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker believes the Spaniard is finding his time at Stamford Bridge dark, desperate and lonely.

Torres, who cost 50million, failed to flourish under Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo.

Now interim manager Rafa Benitez, who helped Torres find the best form of his career at Liverpool, cannot help his compatriot to get back among the goals.

Torres and Benitez

Torres and Benitez

Substitute: Fernando Torres came on to replace Chelsea's match-winner Demba Ba

'It’s all over for the striker now. His confidence is beyond shot,' wrote Collymore in his Sunday People column.

'He will put on the blue of Chelsea every day and he will hate it, as he will the daily drive to Cobham for training.'

Collymore continued: 'I have said this before and I have to say it again: It’s time to go, Fernando. For your sake, and yours alone.'

Old boy: Stan Collymore also knew the way to goal in a Liverpool shirt

Old boy: Stan Collymore also knew the way to goal in a Liverpool shirt

Torres was dropped to the bench against West Brom on Saturday, coming on as a substitute for 10 minutes.

January signing Demba Ba played in his stead and scored the winning goal.

Torres is expected to start for Chelsea on Thursday night when they take on Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League because Ba is cup tied.

Jose Mourinho admits he would be interested in managing in France at PSG

Why not France! Mourinho issues come and get me plea to French giants Paris Saint-Germain

By
Aidan Mccartney

PUBLISHED:

19:39 GMT, 17 February 2013

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UPDATED:

20:02 GMT, 17 February 2013

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has today admitted he would be interested in coaching in France, opening up the possibility of summer switch to PSG as Carlo Ancelotti's replacement.

PSG, who boast some of the richest owners in world football, would be an attractive option to the Portuguese boss as he looks to increase his domination of Europe after winning titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain.

When asked whether he would be interested in managing in France, Mourinho told Canal +: 'It's a possibility but I do not know when. I can not say when. Why not!'

France bound Mourinho could leave Madrid for the French capital in the summer

France bound Mourinho could leave Madrid for the French capital in the summer

Mourinho faces an increasingly uncertain future at the Bernabeu as Real struggle to close the 19-point gap on rivals Barcelona and after another disappointing performance from his team in midweek against Manchester United in the Champions League.

Reports in Spain suggest that he is at odds with several key members of the playing staff and club directors which could spell a swift end to his time in Spain.

The 49-year-old has been linked with a return to England with either former club Chelsea or champions Manchester City but ambitious PSG could move to the top of the pile.

Wanted: Mourinho remains a popular figure at Chelsea, and could return there after snubbing PSG

Wanted: Mourinho remains a popular figure at Chelsea, but a return looks unlikely

The French league leaders have been relatively disappointing despite a lavish summer spending spree which saw star names Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi being brought to the club by Ancelotti and director of football Leonardo.

Real Madrid are in action tonight against Real Vallecano as Mourinho's side try to keep pace with second place Atletico Madrid in the pursuit for guaranteed Champions League football next season.

Ibrahimovic backs Beckham to deliver after PSG show their star quality in 4-0 rout of Toulouse

VIDEO: What has Becks signed up for PSG show their star quality in rout of Toulouse as Ibrahimovic backs former England captian to deliver in Paris

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

22:19 GMT, 1 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:08 GMT, 2 February 2013

New signing David Beckham may
struggle to win a place in the Paris St Germain team on the evidence of
their 4-0 demolition of mid-table Toulouse on Friday.

The Ligue 1 leaders, who signed
free-agent Beckham on Thursday, were without the former Real Madrid and Manchester United midfielder
as he had returned to England for extra training in a bid to sharpen his
fitness.

Beckham has been without a club since winning the Major League Soccer title with Los Angeles Galaxy in December.

VIDEO: Scroll down to watch highlights of PSG's win over Toulouse

Clinical: PSG defender Mamadou Sakho heads home

Clinical: PSG defender Mamadou Sakho heads home

Beck and forth: Beckham missed the game to sharpen up his fitness

Sales pitch: But a Beckham shirt will cost you an eye-watering 100 on PSG website

He is due to begin training at PSG on February 13.

Carlo Ancelotti's PSG moved three points clear at the top of the table thanks to Javier Pastore, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with his 20th goal on his 20th league appearance for the club, Mamadou Sakho and Gregory van der Wiel.

Brazil striker Lucas, another recent recruit, produced a fine performance and set up two of the goals.

PSG have 48 points from 23 games. Second-placed Olympique Lyon travel to AC Ajaccio on Sunday.

VIDEO: Watch highlights from PSG's 4-0 win over Toulouse

Meanwhile, Ibrahimovic has leapt to defence of David Beckham's after his new team-mate was called a 'third-hand Rolls-Royce'.

The 37-year-old has signed a five-month deal with Paris Saint-Germain, but his capture has not caused as much glee as you would expect, despite the former England captain pledging his 170,000-per-week wages to a Paris children's charity.

It is claimed Beckham will still receive a hefty image rights fee, and PSG are said to be paying for his accommodation and security in the capital. And his arrival in France was not particularly well received by the Parisian press yesterday.

Top man: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) celebrates after scoring

Top man: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) celebrates after scoring

Impressed: PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti

Impressed: PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti

Newspaper Le Figaro read: 'A special status can feed jealousy. In a dressing room where the offensive egos of players are struggling to live, the arrival of a third-hand Rolls-Royce, which becomes the main focus of media fascination, risks causing envy, while feeding a climate of discord.'

The paper also suggests players will be 'annoyed' by Becks and wife Victoria appearing in glossy magazines, but new teammate Ibrahimovic insists the global icon still has plenty to offer on the pitch.

He said: 'For a striker playing with somebody like David is a dream. He is the best deliverer of the ball in the world, still.

'If you make the good runs, you know he will find you. I am sure we will create something very special. David said that when he left the US, he had more offers than at any point in his career. The fact that he chose PSG says a lot about the project we have here.

'It is no longer just the big teams from Italy, Spain and England the top players want to come to – it is now us as well. It is excellent news for us that David is permitted to play in Europe. He still has so much to offer at that level, and his experience with Manchester United and Real Madrid will be vital.

'I am sure David wants to win the Champions League again before he retires.'

PSG and former Chelsea performance chief Nick Broad killed in car crash

Cole and Reid lead tributes after PSG and former Chelsea performance chief Broad killed in car crash

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

23:16 GMT, 18 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:16 GMT, 18 January 2013

Former Chelsea Head of Sports Science Nick Broad was killed in a car crash on Friday. He was 38.

The Englishman was part of Carlo Ancelotti's backroom staff during his two-year spell at Stamford Bridge from 2009. His role spanned both the coaching and medical departments.

Wel, respected: Nick Broad pictured with Carlo Ancelotti at Paris Saint-Germain

Wel, respected: Nick Broad pictured with Carlo Ancelotti at Paris Saint-Germain

He then followed the Italian to Paris St Germain, where he was the club's performance manager.

Broad, who began his career as a
sports nutritionist at Blackburn Rovers, died in hospital after a road
traffic accident on the outskirts of Paris.

West Brom defender Steven Reid, who
worked with Broad at Blackburn, tweeted: 'Absolutely shocking news that
Nick Broad has died in a road accident.. Worked with Nick at BRFC..
Thoughts go out to his family!! #legend.'

And former Blackburn and Manchester United striker
Andrew Cole added: 'Just heard the news about nick broad shocking news
worked with him at blackburn rovers. Heart goes out to his family.'

The French football league reportedly rejected a request to
postpone PSG's match with Bordeaux on Sunday.

Full steam ahead for Arsenal after extra Xmas break – Michael Walker"s Something for the Weekend

Something for the Weekend: Full steam ahead for Arsenal after extra break at Christmas and why Coventry and Bristol Rovers are proving to be such a sell out

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UPDATED:

09:27 GMT, 28 December 2012

Every Friday, Michael Walker will pick out 10 things to look forward to over the footballing weekend.

This week: why Arsenal have an advantage ahead of their game against Newcastle, while former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy returns to Molineux intent on piling more pressure on his former club. And then there's the great Coventry City ticket rush…

1. When Herbert Chapman was manager of Arsenal he famously persuaded London Underground to change the name of the local Tube station from Gillespie Road to ‘Arsenal’. This seems relevant given that Arsenal have a Tube-related benefit again tomorrow against Newcastle United.

The postponement of Arsenal’s game against West Ham on Wednesday due to the Tube strike means that Arsene Wenger’s players have had seven days since they played at Wigan.

/12/28/article-2253898-00124D4400000258-402_634x435.jpg” width=”634″ height=”435″ alt=”Herbert Chapman was successful in changing the name of the local tube station to 'Arsenal' in his time as manager in the 20's and 30's” class=”blkBorder” />

Herbert Chapman was successful in changing the name of the local tube station to 'Arsenal' in his time as manager in the 20's and 30's

Arsenal station will be open for business, while Newcastle will be hoping to avoid going down the tubes

Arsenal station will be open for business, while Newcastle will be hoping to avoid going down the tubes

2. Everton-Chelsea on Sunday is the stand-out Premier League game of the weekend. Rafa goes back to Liverpool and should get a hearty welcome at Goodison Park.

Benitez will see familiar sights, such as the corridor where a Chelsea predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti, was sacked.

3. Mick McCarthy is another returning manager. He goes back to Molineux tomorrow as Ipswich Town boss and will pile pressure on his Wolverhampton successor Stale Solbakken with an away win.

Wolves lost 3-0 at home to Peterborough United on Wednesday. McCarthy got the club promoted to the Premier League and kept them there for three seasons. Wolves are now 14th in the Championship.

Mick McCarthy celebrates with Stephen Ward after Wolves beat Blackburn in May 2011

Mick McCarthy celebrates with Stephen Ward after Wolves beat Blackburn in May 2011

4. Kenny Jackett once managed Swansea. That is enough to ensure he will get 'a reception' when he takes Millwall to Cardiff tomorrow afternoon.

One imagines that will be the least of South Wales police concerns.

5. Home banker alert: in League One it is Sheffield United (top) against Hartlepool United (bottom).

The Blades have scored 21 goals in 12 home games; Hartlepool have conceded 24 goals in 12 away games. The Blades haven’t lost at home; Hartlepool haven’t won away.

Sheffield United Manager, Danny Wilson looks on

Top job: Danny Wilson has taken the Blades to the League One summit after three victories in their last four league games

6. Home banker warning: the biggest surprise (Sean O’Driscoll apart) from midweek came in League Two where Barnet won 1-0 at leaders Gillingham.

Barnet have now won consecutive matches and go to Exeter tomorrow.

7. Barnet’s new six points means they are no longer 92nd of 92. Bristol Rovers have that dubious
honour. They also have very good fans. It falls into the fairly staggering category that for
tomorrow’s trip to Cheltenham, Bristol Rovers were given 1,419 and have sold every one of them.

Edgar Davids in training at Barnet and they are now off the bottom of the league

Edgar Davids in training at Barnet and they are now off the bottom of the league

8. Coventry City are another to have sold out their allocation of tickets for tomorrow, which again is
fairly staggering.

The initial 3,000 tickets for the match at MK Dons went and 2,000 more are on sale now. City are expected to make an announcement about their residence at the Ricoh Arena today (Friday).

9. Sunday’s other Premier League game is QPR-Liverpool. It is over eight years since Djibril Cisse cost 14m when he moved to Anfield.

His transfer was not considered a success, particularly when he went from September 25th to May 15th in his first season without scoring.

But Cisse made the bench in Istanbul, then came off it, then scored Liverpool’s second penalty in the shoot-out.

Cisse scores from the spot as Liverpool win the European Cup in 2005

Cisse scores from the spot as Liverpool win the European Cup in 2005

Cisse shows off his medal and now he will be hoping to shoot down Liverpool

Cisse shows off his medal and now he will be hoping to shoot down Liverpool

10. Rangers, the Glasgow version, have occasions as much as matches this season. Today sees them back at Hampden Park, where once they would visit annually to battle for silverware.

Today it’s a Scottish Third Division fixture against Queen’s Park. Rangers are expected to take 30,000 fans across Glasgow to the scene of the summer vote expelling them from the SPL.

David Beckham"s move to Monaco has collapses due to his excessive wage demands

Beckham's wage demands poison proposed move to Monaco

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UPDATED:

13:35 GMT, 27 December 2012

David Beckham has talked his way out of a move to Monaco by asking for too much money.

The former LA Galaxy and England midfielder made ‘excessive’ demands when negotiating with AS Monaco chiefs, despite the significant funds available through Russian owner Dimitri Rybolovlev, reports L’Equipe.

Monaco’s chief executive Tor-Kristian Karlsen recently travelled to the United States to meet with the 37-year-old and his representatives, but the club has since ended talks.

Beckham won the MLS with LA Galaxy for the second time running earlier this month

Beckham won the MLS with LA Galaxy for the second time running earlier this month

Currently just one point off Ligue 2 leaders Nantes, Monaco are confident they can earn promotion to Ligue 1 and have hinted the summer window would be more suitable to shop in.

Beckham could be out of lucrative contract options after Carlo Ancelotti confirmed cash-heavy PSG would not be making an offer for the former England international in November.

Frank Lampard has plenty to offer Chelsea – Neil Ashton

To be Frank, Lampard still plenty to offer

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 23 December 2012

With both ankles heavily strapped in gauze and white tape, Frank Lampard made a late run for the East Stand reception a few minutes before kick-off on Sunday.

He was clutching match tickets for friends, arriving just in time for them to take their seats to watch his 500th start in the Barclays Premier League. He marked the occasion with another trademark finish, arriving unannounced – as is the norm – on the edge of Villa’s penalty area.

It was Chelsea’s fourth goal, prompting the captain’s immediate substitution to save those aching limbs ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Norwich City.

Landmark: Lampard made his 500th Premier League start on Sunday

Landmark: Lampard made his 500th Premier League start on Sunday

/12/23/article-2252645-16A2CFB0000005DC-185_634x379.jpg” width=”634″ height=”379″ alt=”Trademark strike: Lampard fires home from 25 yards out” class=”blkBorder” />

Trademark strike: Lampard fires home from 25 yards out

‘I’m proud of what I’ve done in my Chelsea career and I will just continue working game by game because I believe I still have a lot left in me,’ said Lampard. ‘When the fans sing my name, it means everything because they are the club – and I love them.’

Back in 2010, after Chelsea had won the title under Carlo Ancelotti, the Italian told Lampard he could prolong his playing career at the club ‘until you are 38 or 39’.

They had mapped him in pre-season, bringing the techniques used at the famous MilanLab – the ones that kept Paolo Maldini going like an old shire horse until he retired at 41 – to Chelsea.

Since Lampard made his 11.5million move from West Ham in 2001, he has been one of the most distinguished and disciplined players in the Premier League. Even at his statesmanlike age, options are still emerging for him.

With every touch in his refined position just in front of Chelsea’s back four, Lampard has Victor Moses, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Torres in his field of vision.

Holding role: Benitez has been deploying Lampard in front of his back four

Holding role: Benitez has been deploying Lampard in front of his back four

Off the pitch, he is being seduced by his former coach Claudio Ranieri, now at Monaco, and by LA Galaxy after David Beckham left at the end of the MLS season.

Although Monaco, now in French Ligue 2, cannot match his 130,000-a-week salary, they can offer him a huge tax free income.

It is appetising, as is the offer to replace Beckham as one of the marquee signings in MLS.

Although LA Galaxy’s season does not get under way until March, Lampard will wait until his contract ends before moving to another club.

His young children live in London and he has always made it clear they are his priority, but it is understood a move abroad is no longer out of the question.

Holding role: Benitez has been deploying Lampard in front of his back four

Decision time: The veteran has plenty of options

As he ticked over in Chelsea’s midfield alongside David Luiz on Sunday, it has become clear that the countdown is on.

It is incredible to think Chelsea have allowed this situation to develop after Lampard’s 11 amazing years at Stamford Bridge.

Just days after they lifted the European Cup in May, chief executive Ron Gourlay publicly claimed that Lampard’s contract would be extended ‘by September’. At the time, it appeared to be nothing more than an administrative issue, a matter for Gourlay’s in-tray as Chelsea became accustomed to their new status as champions of Europe.

Instead, it is still pending, put off until the owner Roman Abramovich decides one way or the other.

‘The club’s position is the club’s position,’ added Lampard. Undoubtedly, Chelsea are leaving it a bit late.

Watch Zlatan Ibrahimovic outrageous backheel against Brest

Zlatan's up to his old tricks again! Watch Ibrahimovic's latest magical effort

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UPDATED:

00:18 GMT, 22 December 2012

First there was the bicycle kick. Then there was the propeller kick. And on Friday night Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed off his scorpion kick.

The Swedish striker conjured up his latest piece of showboating during Paris St Germain's 3-0 victory over Brest.

Outrageous: Zlatan Ibrahimovic's backheel against Brest

Outrageous: Zlatan Ibrahimovic's backheel against Brest

Ibrahimovic went aerial again to shake off a defender and produce an outrageous backheel.

It was an effort to rival his sensational strike against England and would have been one of the best goals ever… if it had not gone the wrong side of the post.

Ibrahimovic did get on the scoresheet when he converted Christophe Jallet's cross in the 55th minute for his 18th league goal of the season.

Watch the video

Substitute Kevin Gameiro made it 2-0 on 73 minutes and left back Bernard Mendy's stoppage-time own goal sealed the comfortable win.

Brest had Abdoulwhaid Sissoko sent off for a two-footed tackle on Ezequiel Lavezzi.

'We're going to have a good holiday because we're at the top of the league after another good performance,' PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said. 'It wasn't an easy match because of the pitch and our opponent.

'It's the confirmation that we're in form. It was important to win, with the right attitude, by being solid and without conceding a goal. Everything's going well. I want to thank the players, because this last month has been really, really good.'

PSG moved three points ahead of Lyon, who host fifth-placed Nice on Saturday, and Olympique Marseille, who take on St Etienne on Sunday.

Champions League draw: Manchester United v Real Madrid, Arsenal v Bayern Munich, Celtic v Juventus

Ronaldo v Rooney & Fergie v Mourinho as Man United face Real Madrid in Champions League (plus Arsenal v Bayern Munich and Celtic v Juventus!)

Real Madrid to visit Old Trafford for the since time since 2003

Arsenal to play last season's runners up, Bayern Munich

After beating Barca, Celtic must get the better of Italian champions Juventus

Hot favourites Barcelona will play AC Milan, as they did four times last year

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UPDATED:

17:09 GMT, 20 December 2012

Full last 16 draw… and when they play

Galatasaray v Schalke
(February 20 and March 12)

CELTIC v Juventus
(February 12 and March 6)

ARSENAL v Bayern Munich
(February 19 and March 13)

Shakhter Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund
(February 13 and March 5)

AC Milan v Barcelona
(February 20 and March 12)

Real Madrid v MANCHESTER UNITED
(February 13, March 5)

Valencia v Paris St Germain
(February 12 and March 6)

Porto v Malaga
(February 19 and March 13)

*First team at home first

Sir Alex Ferguson will face Jose Mourinho in the Champions League last 16 after Manchester United were drawn against Real Madrid.

The game will also pitch Cristiano Ronaldo against his former club for the first time since he left in a world record 80million deal in 2009.

Arsenal dodged Barcelona but have been handed a tough draw against last season's runners up Bayern Munich.

And Scottish champions Celtic, who beat Barca earlier the competition, were drawn against Italian side Juventus, who topped Chelsea's group.

Barcelona's match-up with AC Milan is the pick of the rest of the ties, which will kick off in February.

Turkish side Galatasaray
were drawn against Arsenal's group winners, Schalke, while German
champions Borussia Dortmund, who topped Manchester City's group, will face Shakhtar.

Porto, who won the Champions League
under Mourinho in 2004, will play Malaga, while Carlo Ancelotti's Paris
St Germain take on Valencia.

Scroll down for video

Up for the cup: Sir Alex Ferguson is up against his old friend Jose Mourinho in the Champions League

Up for the cup: Sir Alex Ferguson is up against his old friend Jose Mourinho in the Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo

The two Ronnies: Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford for the first time since his move to Real Madrid

CURRENT ODDS TO WIN

Barcelona 9/4
Real Madrid 5/1
Bayern Munich 7/1
Borussia Dortmund 8/1
Juventus 11/1
Manchester United 14/1
Paris St Germain 20/1
Shakhtar Donetsk 33/1
Arsenal 40/1
Porto 50/1
Malaga 50/1
Schalke 66/1
Valencia 66/1
AC Milan 100/1
Celtic 150/1
Galatasaray 250/1

Odds provided by Oddschecker.com

The draw comes just a day after Ferguson heaped praise on his old friend Mourinho.

The Scot said: ‘He is very intelligent, he has
charisma, his players play for him, and he is a good looking guy. I
think I have most of those things, too, apart from his good looks.

'He’s
got a confidence about himself, saying “We’ll win this”, and “I’m the
Special One”. I could never come out and say we’re going to win this
game. It’s maybe a wee bit of my Scottishness’

Rio Ferdinand was first to react to the draw on Twitter, writing: 'Oh yes, Madrid!! What a great couple a games that'll be!! @Cristiano see u soon bro!!'

That was followed by Ruud van Nistelrooy, who played for both.

He wrote: 'United or Madrid.. Who do I
want to win Played my heart out for them both. Proud to have played
for both. #impossible #MayTheBestTeamWin.'

VIDEO Reactions to the draw

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Tuning in: Celtic boss Neil Lennon and his team watch the draw at their training ground

Tuning in: Celtic boss Neil Lennon and his team watch the draw at their training ground

Big names: Steve McManaman helped pull the teams out at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon

Big names: Steve McManaman helped pull the teams out at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon

Names up in lights: The big screen shows the completed last 16 draw

Names up in lights: The big screen shows the completed last 16 draw

And United's club secretary John Alexander hoped there was a lucky omen in the draw.

He told Sky Sports News: 'Out of several standout ties, I think this is the one. It's the tie that everyone wanted to see – but that nobody wanted to see, they wanted to save it for later in the competition.

'When you think about the traditions of these two clubs they have both been incredibly successful, but of course the past is history.

'One thing going in our favour is that our one victory over Real Madrid in this competition was in the year we won the final at Wembley [in 1968] so let's hope that is a lucky omen.'

THE LAST TIME REAL MADRID CAME TO OLD TRAFFORD

WHEN JOSE MOURINHO FIRST APPEARED ON SIR ALEX FERGUSON'S RADAR

SEEN IT SOMEWHERE BEFORE

In what is claimed to be odds of 5,000/1, the results of Thursday's Champions League draw were exactly the same as the rehearsal on Wednesday. just look at the screengrab from Sky Sports News the day before the draw.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is optimistic his side can see off Arsenal.

He
told Uefa.com: 'I think we enter this match as the slight favourites,
but we can be making the mistake of underestimating them.

Rehearsal: These were the fixtures that came out during the practice draw earlier this morning

'Arsenal
have struggled at times in the league over the last few months, which a
look upon the standings in the Premier League will tell you. But by no
means will this be an easy game for us. I look forward to our game in
London and back home in Munich.

'We want to set the foundations with a good performance in London, that would make things easier for us in our home game.

'I
wouldn't call this a lucky draw, but one that we can overcome. I look
forward to seeing my old friend Arsene Wenger and I hope that we can
reach the next round.'

Indifferent: Arsenal will have sharp focus on the Champions League,with domestic form unconvincing

Indifferent: Arsenal will have sharp focus on the Champions League,with domestic form unconvincing

Better luck this year: Bayern Munich are out to go one step further than they managed last season

Better luck this year: Bayern Munich are out to go one step further than they managed last season

Celtic boss Neil Lennon, on Twitter on Thursday morning, had asked Santa to be nice to Celtic.

And afterwards, he said: ‘In terms of
glamour it’s great, in terms of qualification it will be very tough.
But every team would be tough.

‘We’ll look forward to it. We want to go as far as we can and it’s another huge game for us to enjoy.’

Lennon’s side beat Barcelona and
Spartak Moscow in Glasgow after drawing with Benfica as they progressed
from Group G behind the Catalans.

‘The home game is pivotal. We’ll have
to take some sort of advantage to Turin. Celtic Park is a very special
arena and I’m sure the fans will raise the roof again.’

Scot a problem: Having beaten by Barcelona, Celtic have now been drawn against Juventus

Scot a problem: Having beaten by Barcelona, Celtic have now been drawn against Juventus

Scot a problem: Having beaten by Barcelona, Celtic have now been drawn against Juventus

United will play the first leg at the
Bernabeu on February 13 with the return at Old Trafford on March 5,
just three days after the Spanish champions are due to play rivals
Barcelona.

Arsenal
will play a week later with the first leg at the Emirates Stadium on
February 19 and the second at the Allianz Arena in Munich on March 13.

Celtic will take on Juventus at Celtic Park on February 12, with the return leg in Turin on March 6.

The draw contained nine former champions of Europe, including United and Celtic, though not last year's winners Chelsea.

Proceedings began with a tribute to Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova, who is
having an emergency operation today after suffering a relapse of a cancerous tumour in his salivary gland.

Glory, glory: Sir Alex Ferguson is gunning for his third European Cup triumph

Glory, glory: Sir Alex Ferguson is gunning for his third European Cup triumph

Missing out: Arsenal reached the final in 2006 but were beaten by Barcelona

Missing out: Arsenal reached the final in 2006 but were beaten by Barcelona