Tag Archives: dortmund

Sam Allardyce reveals how he once missed out on Robert Lewandowski

Big Sam: How I missed out on Champions League hotshot Lewandowski

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

08:25 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:01 GMT, 26 April 2013

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West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has revealed how he missed out on signing Robert Lewandowski – during his time in charge at Blackburn.

The Borussia Dortmund striker was set to hold talks with Rovers in 2010 as he looked for a move from Polish club Lech Poznan.

But the cash-strapped Blackburn board struggled to find the money and the Iceland volcanic ash cloud put the final nail in the coffin when Lewandowski's flight to England was cancelled.

Dortmund stepped in to secure a deal for a fee reported to be around 4.5million euros and the rest is now history.

On target: Lewandowski was set to hold talks with Sam Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers in 2010

On target: Lewandowski was set to hold talks with Sam Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers in 2010

Allardyce told Sky Sports: 'It's true. He was put forward to sign very strongly by our recruitment staff and unfortunately it was one that got knocked back.

'My distant memory isn't that great but I think (former Rovers chairman) John (Williams) and the board said we are not going to commit that amount of money.

'I think they wanted three or four million euros but we were particularly strapped financially at the time at Blackburn. I watched him play. But I didn't get the chance to meet him.

'I think his agent said he couldn't come over because of the ash cloud, yes. He's probably worth 40 million euros now.'

Missed out: Allardyce was keen to sign Lewandowski but the Rovers board could not find the cash

Missed out: Allardyce was keen to sign Lewandowski but the Rovers board could not find the cash

Allardyce is now left to rue the missed opportunity to sign the Pole who scored four goals against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday night.

He said: 'I think about it every time I see him play.

'He would have had a period of getting used to the level and the physical presence, but with a talent like that it wouldn't have been too long before he started to shine and score goals.

'The level he is playing at now is unbelievable, not just his scoring ability but his ability to retain possession.

'There were a lot of people looking at him at that time as well but we had the edge over everyone else because of the attraction of the Premier League.

'He could have used us as a stepping stone but it didn't happen.'

The one that got away: Lewandowski moved from Lech Poznan to Dortmund for a reported 4.5million euros

The one that got away: Lewandowski moved from Lech Poznan to Dortmund for a reported 4.5million euros

Andre Schurrle: Chelsea close in on 20m deal after talks with Leverkusen chief Rudi Voller

Chelsea close in on 20m Schurrle as Leverkusen hold talks over deal

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

22:20 GMT, 18 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:52 GMT, 19 April 2013

Andre Schurrle's 20million transfer to Chelsea moved a step closer after Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller flew to London for talks with Stamford Bridge bosses.

‘It was good to meet Chelsea officials, and the discussions went well, but no decision has been made yet,’ said Voller, who was accompanied by his Leverkusen assistant Michel Reschke on Thursday.

Key: Andre Schurrle's Chelsea move could depend on Michael Becker, the man who sealed Ballack's deal

Key: Andre Schurrle's Chelsea move could depend on Michael Becker, the man who sealed Ballack's deal

Makeweight: Kevin de Bruyne (left), on loan at Bremen from Chelsea, could be used as part of the Schurrle deal

Makeweight: Kevin de Bruyne (left), on loan at Bremen from Chelsea, could be used as part of the Schurrle deal

Persuading Chelsea winger Kevin De
Bruyne to join Leverkusen on loan, rather than pursue a permanent
15million move to Borussia Dortmund, is one of the key elements to a
deal being struck, and Voller and Reschke were flying on to Brussels to
meet the 21-year old’s agent.

Meanwhile, Schurrle’s
representatives, Ingo Haspel and Dr. Michael Becker, are expected in
London on Friday for negotiations with Chelsea about a proposed five-year
contract for the Germany forward.

Becker negotiated former Germany
skipper Ballack's free transfer from Bayern Munich in 2006 and has
emerged as a key figure in Schurrle's proposed 20million move from
Bayer Leverkusen.

After impressing on loan at Werder Bremen this season, De Bruyne is in demand in the Bundesliga, with Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke all vying for his services.

Dortmund have even indicated a willingness to buy him outright for 15million, but Chelsea are thought to favour Leverkusen's proposal of taking him on loan next season as a temporary replacement for Schurrle.

With De Bruyne aware of Dortmund's intentions, there could yet be some hard bargaining before a deal for Schurrle is concluded to everyone's satisfaction.

Chelsea are in for a shock if they pursue their interest in Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez.

The Bayern target man will figure on Jose Mourinho's wanted list, should the outgoing Real Madrid coach return to Stamford Bridge, and is ready for a fresh start after slipping down the pecking order at the Allianz Arena.

Big-name signing: Becker sealed Michael Ballack's move to Chelsea from Bayern Munich in 2006

Big-name signing: Becker sealed Michael Ballack's move to Chelsea from Bayern Munich in 2006

MICHAEL BALLACK

But while Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitted his position will be reviewed at the end of the season, he was adamant the 27-year old will not be allowed to leave on the cheap.

Chelsea can expect to be quoted at least 20million for a player who cost 30million from Stuttgart four years ago.

Meanwhile, John Terry has tipped David Luiz to be his long-term successor as Chelsea captain. ‘I think so,’ said Terry, when asked if Luiz might inherit the armband one day. ‘Hopefully I have a few years left but he pushes the lads, demanding a lot from himself and others.’

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL DRAW: Bayern Munich v Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid

Wembley Clasico on the cards after Barca draw Bayern and Real Madrid to take on Dortmund in Champions League semi-final

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:33 GMT, 12 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 12 April 2013

There is the chance of a Clasico in the Wembley final of the Champions League as Real Madrid and Barcelona were kept apart in this morning's semi-final draw.

Jose Mourinho's Real were drawn against Borussia Dortmund whereas Barcelona are set to take on Bayern Munich, meaning if both teams dispatch their German opponents they will meet in the final at Wembley on May 25.

Dortmund are the only unbeaten team remaining in the competition, and will be pitted against Real for the second time in this season's tournament. The Bundesliga holders won a tough group which included Real, Manchester City and Ajax.

On course: Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid could take the Champions League crown at Wembley

On course: Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid could take the Champions League crown at Wembley

SEMI-FINAL DRAW

Bayern Munich v Barcelona

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid

Runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern
Munich are in sensational form in the competition, having beaten
Juventus in the quarter-finals.

Dortmund scraped their way into the semi-finals, after two stoppage-time goals against Malaga at the Westfalenstadion.

Pep Guardiola's loyalties will be split when Barca take on Bayern with both sides hoping to win their fifth European Cup.

He led the Catalan giants to two Champions League trophies during his remarkably successful tenure in Barcelona.

But he will be hoping for future glories with Bayern Munich, who he will take charge of next season when Jupp Heynckes leaves his post.

Veterans: Bayern Munich beat Juventus over two legs to reach the semi-final

Veterans: Bayern Munich beat Juventus over two legs to reach the semi-final

Overjoyed: Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller (left) celebrates after a dramatic win over Malaga

Overjoyed: Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller (left) celebrates after a dramatic win over Malaga

Like Guardiola, Mourinho has a taste
for success in the Champions League and could become the first ever
manager to win the competition with three different clubs.

Having won the tournament with Porto and Inter Milan, he is looking to guide Real to the trophy for the first time since 2002.

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy drew the teams in Nyon, and was glad of the outcome.

History boy: Jose Mourinho wants to become the only manager to win the Champions League with three clubs

History boy: Jose Mourinho wants to become the only manager to win the Champions League with three clubs

On the Dortmund and Real Madrid tie,
the Dutchman told Sky Sports : 'I think over two games [with] the
quality of Real Madrid they should beat Borussia Dortmund. But this is
football and anything can happen… you can never trust these things.'

When asked to compare his former
team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, he added: 'Messi, you
can't knock him but at this moment in time Cristiano has just got the
edge.'

The
first legs of the semi-finals will be played on April 23 and April 24,
with the second legs taking place on April 30 and May 1.

Top of the charts: Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice against Galatasaray in the second leg

Top of the charts: Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice against Galatasaray in the second leg

Just about: Lionel Messi came off the bench to help Barcelona progress on away goals over PSG

Just about: Lionel Messi came off the bench to help Barcelona progress on away goals over PSG

Dortmund 3 Malaga 2 (agg 3-2) – match report

Dortmund 3 Malaga 2 (agg 3-2): Klopp's side complete stunning comeback with injury- time double

PUBLISHED:

20:41 GMT, 9 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:11 GMT, 9 April 2013

Borussia Dortmund scored two goals in injury-time to complete a stunning 3-2 comeback win against Malaga and advance to the Champions League semi-finals.

Joaquin put the visitors ahead in the 25th minute but Polish striker Robert Lewandowski brought the Germans level five minutes before the break.

Jurgen Klopp's side threw everything they had at the Spanish side in an attempt to score a second goal that would sent them through.

But Dortmund left themselves exposed at the back and Eliseu looked to have sent Malaga into the semi-finals when he turned the ball home to put his team 2-1 ahead with eight minutes to play.

However, Marco Reus and Felipe Santana both scored in injury time as Jurgen Klopp's men pulled off an incredible turnaround and book their place in the last four.

More to follow

Back from the brink: Borussia Dortmund completed a stunning comeback with two goals in injury time

Back from the brink: Borussia Dortmund completed a stunning comeback with two goals in injury time

MATCH FACTS

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Subotic, Felipe Santana, Schmelzer, Gundogan (Hummels 86), Bender (Sahin 72), Blaszcykowski (Schieber 72), Gotze, Reus,
Lewandowski.

Subs Not Used: Langerak, Kehl, Leitner, Grosskreutz.

Booked: Bender, Schmelzer.

Goals: Lewandowski 40, Felipe Santana 90, Reus 90.

Malaga: Willy, Jesus Gamez, Demichelis, Sergio Sanchez, Antunes, Joaquin (Francisco Portillo 87), Toulalan, Camacho, Duda (Eliseu 74), Isco, Julio Baptista (Santa Cruz 83).

Subs Not Used: Kameni, Lugano, Saviola, Piazon.

Booked: Jesus Gamez, Toulalan.

Goals: Joaquin 25, Eliseu 82.

Att: 65,000

Ref: Craig Thomson (Scotland).

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany

Ahead: Joaquin gave Malaga the lead after 25 minutes in Germany


Away goals advantage: Joaquin's strike left Dortmund needing to score twice to advance

Away goals advantage: Joaquin's strike left Dortmund needing to score twice to advance

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Reliable: Robert Lewandowski brought Dortmund level in the 40th minute

Leading from the front: Lewandowski celebrates his goal at Signal Iduna Park

Leading from the front: Lewandowski celebrates his goal at Signal Iduna Park

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

All over Eliseu's goal with eight minutes remaining looked to have sealed Malaga's place in the semis

No way back Eliseu left the German side needing to score two more goals in the closing minutes

No way back Eliseu left the German side needing to score two more goals in the closing minutes

Turnaround: Felipe Santana bundled home a winner from close range in injury time for Dortmund

Turnaround: Felipe Santana bundled home a winner from close range in injury time for Dortmund

Dubious: Santana was arguably offside when he scored from less than one yard

Dubious: Santana was arguably offside when he scored from less than one yard

Dortmund

Delight: Santana runs off in celebration of his dramatic winner

Delight: Santana runs off in celebration of his dramatic winner

Pitch invasion: Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp leaps with delight at the final whistle

Pitch invasion: Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp leaps with delight at the final whistle

Joy: Santana is congratulated by Dortmund players and head coach Klopp

Joy: Santana is congratulated by Dortmund players and head coach Klopp

Malaga 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Match report

Malaga 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Stalemate in Spain as Gotze rues missed chances

PUBLISHED:

20:39 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:58 GMT, 3 April 2013

Borussia Dortmund wasted a host of chances to take a healthy advantage into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Malaga tonight.

Mario Gotze was the main culprit, spurning three golden openings, as the visitors failed to find a way past the impressive Willy Caballero at La Rosaleda.

The away draw still leaves Jurgen Klopp's side in a strong position ahead of the home leg, but the boss will know the tie could have been all but wrapped up already.

Getting stuck: Felipe Santana of Dortmund challenges for the ball with Isco

Getting stuck: Felipe Santana of Dortmund challenges for the ball with Isco

Match Facts:

Malaga: Willy, Jesus Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Antunes, Toulalan, Iturra, Joaquin, Saviola, Isco, Julio Baptista.

Subs: Kameni, Lugano, Camacho, Duda, Sergio Sanchez, Santa Cruz, Francisco Portillo.

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Subotic, Felipe Santana, Schmelzer, Gundogan, Kehl, Reus, Gotze, Grosskreutz, Lewandowski.

Subs: Langerak, Bender, Leitner, Sahin, Kirch, Schieber, Bittencourt.

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sigtuna)

Instead Malaga, who, for all their opponents' dominance, still caused Dortmund the odd nervy moment, will travel to the Westfalenstadion still in with a shout of the last four.

Malaga had the first chance when Javier Saviola ran onto a clipped pass down the right of the area, got to the byline and cut inside, only to opt to go for the near post rather than the far and dragged his shot wide.

But it did not take long for Dortmund's attacking triumvirate of Robert Lewandowski, Gotze and Marco Reus to start exerting their influence as Dortmund started to open their hosts up almost at will.

Gotze ran clear on to a Lewandowski header as the Malaga backline appealed in vain for offside, but his shot lacked power and Caballero dived to make a one-handed save.

Battle for the ball: Marcel Schmelzer challenges for the ball with Joaqun of Malaga

Battle for the ball: Marcel Schmelzer challenges for the ball with Joaqun of Malaga

Over he goes: Schmelzer challenges for the ball with Joaquin

Over he goes: Schmelzer challenges for the ball with Joaquin

The Germany international then got in one-on-one down the right of the area, but Caballero was again equal to his side-foot shot.

Reus then brought another save out of the keeper after neat link-up play and a low shot from the edge of the area.

The young trio were causing Malaga all sorts of problems, with only the killer finish lacking.

The hosts showed they could still be a threat when Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller had to be quick off his line to get to the ball ahead of Saviola.

Their defence, though, continued to live dangerously and Weligton was booked for pulling back Lewandowski right on the edge of the area, Reus curling the resulting free-kick wide.

But Malaga ended the half in the ascendancy.

Weidenfeller, under no pressure, spilled a Joaquin cross and Felipe Santana go to scramble the ball away to spare his team-mate's blushes.

But the keeper redeemed himself with a fine save to keep out a Weligton header from a Joaquin corner.

Lewandowski fluffed another golden Dortmund chance minutes after the break, skewing his shot horribly wide when Gotze's cut-back found him in plenty of space in front of goal.

Gotze then fired wide of the far post after racing on to a measured pass down the right as another opportunity came and went for the Germans.

At the other end, Isco drilled effort was parried well by Weidenfeller, but it was Dortmund who left the pitch at full-time with a feeling of what might have been.

Chelsea want Manuel Pellegrini as manager – says agent

Chelsea target ex-Real Madrid boss Pellegrini after failing to land Guardiola and Klopp

By
Matt Fortune

PUBLISHED:

17:24 GMT, 15 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:24 GMT, 15 February 2013

Pedigree: Pellegrini spent a year as Real Madrid boss

Pedigree: Pellegrini spent a year as Real boss

Chelsea have made an approach for former Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini, according to the Chilean’s agent.

The 59-year-old is currently in charge of Malaga, but has been widely linked with a move away during the summer due to the perillous financial situation at the La Liga club.

Pellegrini has enjoyed a mixed career in Spain following his first move to the country, with Villarreal in 2004. There, he led the Yellow Submarine to the brink of a Champions League final, before they were beaten by Arsenal in the 2006 semi-final.

His spell at the Andalucian club ended
in 2009 when he took charge at Madrid. His year in the capital, though,
ended empty handed despite a haul of 96 points leaving them second to
Barcelona.

Interim: Benitez (left) is in charge at Chelsea until the end of the season

Interim: Benitez (left) is in charge at Chelsea until the end of the season

Chelsea, meanwhile, are currently being led by Rafael Benitez on an interim basis and are on the hunt for a permanent manager.

Roman Abramovich has missed out on No 1 target Pep Guardiola, who joined Bayern Munich, while Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp dismissed suggestions last week that he would move to Stamford Bridge.

Missing out: Abramovich has failed to land both Guradiola (left) and Klopp (right)

Missing out: Abramovich has failed to land both Guradiola (left) and Klopp (right)

Missing out: Abramovich has failed to land both Guardiola (left) and Klopp (right)

And now speaking to Spanish paper El Mercurio, Jesus Martinez has revealed Chelsea, as well as Italian side AS Roma, have enquired about his client.

He said: ‘Less than 15 days ago we had an offer from Roma, but we declined outright. We said no because we are midway through the season.

‘Chelsea and other clubs have asked, but nothing else official has been said. Manuel would love to manage in the Premier League, but he’d also like to go to Germany, Italy and other championships. There is plenty of time to analyse where he will be next season.

Highly rated: Pellegrini's Malaga won their Champions League group this season

Highly rated: Pellegrini's Malaga won their Champions League group this season

‘Manuel has a contract with Malaga. I believe that in April or May we will know clearly what will happen with his future, to see if the sporting project is changing and we need to make a decision.

‘Our first intention is to respect our commitment, but that also depends on the conditions which exist.’

Germany plan England friendly and USA tour in build-up to 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Going global: Germany plan England friendly and USA tour ahead of World Cup in Brazil

World Cup when Frank Lampard's effort was deemed not to have crossed the line” class=”blkBorder” />

Thrashed: England's last match with Germany was a 4-1 loss in the 2012 World Cup when Frank Lampard's effort was deemed not to have crossed the line

Bierhoff was unveiling Germany's agenda for 2013 in an interview on the website of the German Football Association (DFB), and those plans include a trip to the United States at the end of the Bundesliga season.

Undertaking such a long trip at the end of the domestic season is a subject of debate in Germany, but Bierhoff has defended the decision.

'It has been the case that even the players have not been fully convinced about the sense of these kinds of trip, yet afterwards, they are all so enthusiastic because they realised how much they benefited from it,' he said.

'That will be the case again this time. Miami and Washington are two beautiful cities and we can have a good time there as a team, get to know ourselves better and grow.'

Strong: Most of Germany's side come from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund

Strong: Most of Germany's side come from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund

Strong: Most of Germany's side come from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund

However, Bierhoff is not sure a first-choice squad will be able to make the trip.

Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, who account for the lion's share of Joachim Low's current squad, meet in the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal, which means one of their season could be over in time for the players to make the trip.

However, the Champions League final falls just days before Germany's planned first game stateside and Bierhoff expects that to interfere with his plans.

'I am fully convinced that we are going to have at least one German side in the final of the Champions League,' he said.

'I would be pleased if that were the case, even if we would then take a squad with a few fresh faces to the USA with us.'

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

|

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.'

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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

Champions League draw: Is Real v Man Utd the biggest match in club football? And will it be a British wipeout?

Champions League draw reaction: Is Real v Man Utd the biggest match in club football And will it be a British wipeout

PUBLISHED:

12:29 GMT, 20 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

17:12 GMT, 20 December 2012

Today's Champions League draw was one of the most exciting in recent memory, pitting Sir Alex Ferguson against Jose Mourinho and handing Cristiano Ronaldo his first return to Old Trafford since his world record transfer to Spain. Celtic have a glamour tie against Italian kings Juventus, while Arsenal face German behemoths Bayern. All classic ties, but is Real v United the biggest club match in the world And will any of the British teams survive We asked our experts…

THE BIG QUESTIONS

1. Is Real v Man Utd the biggest match in club football

2. Will any British side survive

THE DRAW

Galatasaray v Schalke

Celtic v Juventus

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Shakhter Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund

AC Milan v Barcelona

Real Madrid v Manchester United

Valencia v PSG

Porto v Malaga

**First leg ties played on February 12/13 or 20/21, second legs on March 5/6 or 12/13.

For full details on all the teams in the draw, click here

IAN LADYMAN

1. It’s not the biggest but then what is It’s too hard to
define. It’s certainly one of the biggest in European competition, though. Both
teams are hugely popular and successful commercially while they both have a
strong history in this competition.

2. Common sense says that all three British teams will go out
but I have a feeling that one of them will sneak through and I think it will be
United, courtesy of playing at home second. Celtic will make a decent fist of
their tie with Juventus while Arsenal will lose to Bayern home and away simply
because they aren’t very good.

SAM CUNNINGHAM

1. Yes – in the past five years both clubs have sold an average of 1.4 million replica shirts globally each. More than any other club, even Barcelona, who although are a better side do not have the same global reach. More eyes around the world will be on that game than any other fixture that could have been drawn from the hat or anywhere on the planet.

2. United will win. They are flying this campaign while Real's season is falling apart already. I think Celtic have a chance… The way Kris Common's late penalty crashed off the crossbar and in to send Celtic through suggests fate is on their side. But Bayern will beat Arsenal: The German club are top of the Bundesliga and historically do well in the competition. Arsenal couldn't even beat Bradford last week.

LEE CLAYTON

1. If I could have one ticket to any game, it would probably be Barcelona versus Real Madrid, so that must make it the biggest club game. But if there's a spare for Manchester United vs Real Madrid, I could try and get a night off. It's a magical game and the tie electrifies the Champions League which was in danger of going a bit stale. And Jose vs Fergie on the touchline could be like the Rumble of the Jungle revisisted. Come on Fergie, show him you are still the old master…

Big cup, big clash: United boss Sir Alex Ferguson (left) and Real manager Jose Mourinho pose with the Champions League trophy

Big cup, big clash: United boss Sir Alex Ferguson (left) and Real manager Jose Mourinho pose with the Champions League trophy

2. Rooney vs Ronaldo… Wayne, time to stop
living on 'promise' and 'potential'. This is your World Cup Final. If
Rooney fires and if Nemanja Vidic is fit and defending for his life,
United can edge it. He will need to be at his very best. One goal in it.

I fear United could the last survivors of the British clubs. I can't see Arsenal beating German powerhouses Bayern with their limited firepower post-RVP and we saw how skilled Juve are against Chelsea. But then Celtic beat Barcelona with willpower and luck.

MATT BARLOW

1. Perhaps it is from an unashamedly English perspective. These are two of the world's wealthiest and most decorated clubs with genuine global reach. They are both rich with tradition, boast a vibrant fanbase, carry corporate clout and an air of football royalty. Yet, if its purely down to medals then the likes of AC Milan, Bayern and Liverpool might point to United's European Cup haul. Whilst the rise of Barcelona in the last decade married with that club's heritage suggests they should feature somewhere in the equation.

2. Oh dear. I fear Manchester United, the best of the Brits, will become victims of Mourinho's relentless obsession to bring this trophy to the Bernabeu. That Celtic cannot match the power of Juventus over two legs and that Arsenal, a team unable to beat Bradford this month, will struggle against Bayern.

Returning hero: Arsenal's Lukas Podolski will return to Bayern where he had an unhappy and unsuccessful spell

Returning hero: Arsenal's Lukas Podolski will return to Bayern where he had an unhappy and unsuccessful spell

ALEX KAY

1. No, Real Madrid v Barcelona is. Playing United is not that big a deal for Real, even though Mr Mourinho might have other ideas. I was in Africa recently and every kid has Real or Barca shirts. They are the two big guns these days, even if we don’t like to believe it in our Premier League dominated world.

2. Bayern will demolish Arsenal – they are pure class. Celtic are not better than Chelsea and Juventus eased past the Londoners. So expect more of the same there. I can’t call Real v United. I have a hunch United could do it though.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United is congratulated by team mate Wayne Rooney

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo (L) celebrates his goal against Porto with team mate Wayne Rooney

Friends ru-United: Former team-mates at Old Trafford Cristian Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney will face each other

CHRIS WHEELER

1. If there’s a bigger, more glamorous game out there, I’d like to see it. The history and tradition of the two clubs and their commitment to playing attacking football means this one should have everything. Entertainment and extravagance are in their DNA. United and Real didn’t disappoint in 2000 and 2003. Why should 2013 be any different

2. United to find a way past Real, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho – but only just. Difficult to see the Celtic fairytale going any further, especially with the second leg in Turin. Chelsea somehow beat Bayern in last season’s final but I can’t see Arsenal doing it over two games.

NEIL MOXLEY

1. Is it Real Madrid v Manchester United, or Manchester United v Barcelona Or even Barcelona v Real Madrid – given the social backdrop to 'El Classico.' You could argue a case for Celtic v Rangers, on that basis too. Obviously, it's up there. For me, it signifies Jose Mourinho v Sir Alex Ferguson – the pre-match verbals will be interesting, that's for sure.

2. You can get short odds from the bookmakers on all three British teams going out. Which sums up – sadly – what I think may happen.

Cock-a-Hoops: Celtic's Kris Commons celebrates his winning goal over Spartak Moscow with Charlie Mulgrew earlier this month

Cock-a-Hoops: Celtic's Kris Commons celebrates his winning goal over Spartak Moscow with Charlie Mulgrew earlier this month

LAURIE WHITWELL

1. It is certainly the most romantic. The first winners of the
European Cup versus the club who have such an indelible narrative with the
competition. United almost denied Real their second title in 1957 at the last
four stage and but for Munich the 1958 final would have been between the two.
That Sir Matt Busby recovered to mastermind victory over Madrid in the
semi-finals 10 years later and lead United to a maiden title is one of sport's
great stories. I have been fortunate to attend each of Real's last two visits
to Old Trafford and witnessed 12 goals. This tie should prove equally stylish
and is another reason it is mouth-watering. The modern day global fame of each
team must also make this the biggest match in the world.

2. United to squeak past Real on away goals, Celtic to fall to a last-minute
Juve goal and Bayern to out-class Arsenal.

COLIN YOUNG

1. With their histories and financial pulling power, there can’t be many bigger. But it’s the return of Fergie v Jose which will be the most fascinating part of the build-up and the games.

2. I can’t see Manchester United and Arsenal beating Real Madrid and Bayern Munich over two legs, yet I can see Celtic progressing over two legs against Juventus. With the first leg in Glasgow, if Neil Lennon’s side can get a victory to take to Turin, they just might do it to be the only British team left in the last eight, which would be some achievement.

LIV LEE

1. All the key factors are coming together to make Real v United the biggest club game in football this year. Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford to face his former team-mates (and fans), while Alex Ferguson will be pitted against Jose Mourinho. With nine years having passed since the teams last faced each other in this competition, and more than 30 having passed since United last beat them in the European Cup, the tension is likely to reach momentous heights in the run-up to this dream tie.

2. Momentum after the Barca win might give Celtic a boost to overcome Juventus in the first tie, but I predict a Juventus win over two. Unless something changes dramatically in the Arsenal camp over Christmas, it looks like two consecutive victories for Bayern Munich. The second leg home advantage may just see United take the win on aggregate over Real.

VIDEO Reaction from the draw…

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Beram Kayal unfazed by Celtic"s Champions League draw

We fear no one! Kayal not bothered who Celtic draw in Champions League last 16

|

UPDATED:

00:45 GMT, 17 December 2012

Beram Kayal insists Celtic will go into the pot for Thursday’s last-16 draw of the Champions League fearing no one.

The Parkhead side will finally learn their knock-out stage opponents following the draw at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

And, despite Manchester United, Juventus, Paris St Germain, Malaga and the German trio of Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Schalke lying in wait, Kayal believes the SPL leaders are capable of springing another huge shock in Europe by reaching the quarter-finals.

No fear! Beram Kayal (right) says Celtic won't be fazed by anyone in the Champions League last 16 draw, which takes place in Nyon on Thursday

No fear! Beram Kayal (right) says Celtic won't be fazed by anyone in the Champions League last 16 draw, which takes place in Nyon on Thursday

Brimming with confidence after beating Barcelona, Kayal is hopeful of drawing the other Spanish side Malaga — perceived as the weakest of the potential opponents.

And the Israeli international insisted: ‘We don’t think the last 16 is the maximum possible for this team. I don’t agree with the people who say it is. Maybe we can surprise them again.

‘I think Malaga would be a brilliant draw for us. We need to do the job in the Champions League. We want to believe we can win against anyone, because we are professionals. We are playing on a higher level now.

‘There is no one we want to avoid in the draw. We would be happy to take Malaga, but we just need to wait until Thursday to see. We are still hungry to prove a lot in Europe.

Israeli influence: Kayal was a key part of the win over Spartak Moscow that sealed Celtic's place in the last 16

Israeli influence: Kayal was a key part of the win over Spartak Moscow that sealed Celtic's place in the last 16

‘Two months ago, no one believed we could make it to the last 16. The manager changed the mentality of the players.

‘It is a young squad and nobody wants to stop now. We are looking forward to more success and to taking the team forward.’

Chief executive Peter Lawwell and security chief Ronnie Hawthorn will definitely attend Thursday morning’s draw — with manager Neil Lennon also keen to make the trip, if his schedule permits ahead of next weekend’s home clash with Ross County.

Lennon admitted he was in positive mood after watching his side pummel St Mirren at the weekend, the one-sided contest finishing in a 2-0 victory for his league leaders.

The Parkhead boss praised his side’s play, but would like, when they are so much in control, to secure the points more quickly.

Get the job done: Celtic boss Neil Lennon was pleased with his side's 2-0 weekend win over St Mirren but urged his team to be more ruthless when in the ascendancy

Get the job done: Celtic boss Neil Lennon was pleased with his side's 2-0 weekend win over St Mirren but urged his team to be more ruthless when in the ascendancy

‘I would like to see us put teams away a little bit earlier,’ said Lennon. ‘If that comes, then I think we will be rampant.

‘There was a good focus and intensity to our play. I am glad to see (Gary) Hooper scoring again.

‘He is looking a lot sharper and trimmer and looks like he has the bit between his teeth. So I was delighted he got his goal.

‘Some of our play was very good. The formation seems to work with us. There was nothing stodgy about our play, we created good, clear-cut chances and, with better finishing, could have won the game more handsomely.’