Champions League draw reaction: Is Real v Man Utd the biggest match in club football And will it be a British wipeout
12:29 GMT, 20 December 2012
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Friends ru-United: Former team-mates at Old Trafford Cristian Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney will face each other
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.
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
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.
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.
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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