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City, PSG and Dortmund, rivals of Real Madrid, Barça and Atlético in the Champions League quarterfinals

   MADRID, 15 Mar.

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City, PSG and Dortmund, rivals of Real Madrid, Barça and Atlético in the Champions League quarterfinals


Real Madrid-Manchester City, PSG-FC Barcelona, ​​Atlético de Madrid-Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal FC-Bayern Munich are the quarterfinal pairings of the 2023-2024 Champions League, according to the draw held this Friday at the headquarters of the UEFA in Nyon (Switzerland).

In addition, the path to the final at Wembley, on June 1, was revealed, since the semi-finals and the final were drawn in a draw without any type of condition. According to this, Atlético could meet FC Barcelona if both win their matches, while the Madridistas would face each other, if they beat the champion, they would face Arsenal or Bayern.

And the draw for the quarterfinals was not kind to Real Madrid, who will face the current champion and great favorite, Manchester City, for the third consecutive season, with an owner who smells of revenge. Last year, the English advanced to the final of the competition after beating Ancelotti's team (4-0) in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium, after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

That victory ended Madrid's hope of reaching the final of the competition for the second consecutive year, since the whites eliminated Guardiola's team in the semi-finals in 2021-2022 with a magical comeback at the Santiago Bernabéu, in a season in which who ended up lifting the 'Orejona' for the fourteenth time in their history.

On that occasion, Ancelotti's pupils were spurred on by the special atmosphere of their Champions League fiefdom, something they will not have this time, since the return leg will be in Manchester. The meringues, now with the Bellingham factor and the history of the 14-time European champion in their favor, to counter the threat that a team with multiple variants will pose, in the middle of the fight for the Premier and an imposing Erling Haaland who shares top scorer the competition with six goals in this edition.

The winner of this matchup will be considered the biggest favorite to win the title, and will face the winner of the most relaxed duel of this round between Arsenal and Bayern. The English are among the eight best on the continent and will clash with the experience of the Bavarians, who are in the quarterfinals for the ninth time in the last decade. Among them, 12 previous matches in the competition, with seven wins for the Germans.

On the other side of the table, Atlético de Madrid, which advanced to the quarterfinals after a vibrant comeback at the Metropolitano to defeat Inter Milan, European runners-up, was the best placed, crossing paths with the, a priori, affordable Borussia Dortmund. After the suffering in the round of 16, the draw treated the red and whites well, who will play the first leg in their fiefdom, so the tie will be resolved at the fearsome Signal Iduna Park.

The last precedent in a European tie between the red and whites and the Germans dates back to the 1965-1966 season, when they also met in the quarterfinals of the Cup Winners' Cup, in a matchup that Dortmund won. Both teams have also met in the Champions League group stage, in 1995-1996 and 2018-2019, with an even balance of two victories for each, highlighting the 4-0 in Germany with Witsel in the ranks of the Dortmund and the subsequent 2-0 for the rojiblancos.

Edin Terzic's men defeated the Dutch PSV in the round of 16 and are fourth, in the middle of the fight to stay in the Champions League positions in the Bundesliga. Far from the level of Dortmund of more than a decade ago, Atlético hopes to go to the end with its last 'life' of this season, knowing that it could face FC Barcelona in a hypothetical semifinals and repeat with Real Madrid -- like in 2014 and 2016-- in the tournament final.

In Xavi Hernández's, presumably, last season on the Barça bench, they will face one of the most morbid duels of this phase against the French PSG, with the return home. Under the leadership of Luis Enrique, the Parisian team presents its best version in recent years, the one with the greatest seriousness and commitment, to which we must add the colossus Kylian Mbappé.

The French striker was already unstoppable against Real Sociedad in the round of 16 with three goals in the tie, and the Blaugranas do not have good recent memories. In the last meeting between both teams, the French defeated Barça in the 2020-2021 season, with a resounding 1-4 for PSG in the first leg at the Camp Nou that sealed the match.

However, the Barcelona fans are clinging to the historic comeback in the round of 16 of 2016-2017, when Barça turned around the 4-0 lead in the first leg in France, with Luis Enrique on the Catalan team's bench. There will be the other great morbidity of the crossing, since the Asturian will meet again with the entity in which he won the last Barça treble in 2015.

The first leg matches of the quarterfinals will be played on April 9 and 10, while the resolution of the respective playoffs will occur a week later, on the 16th and 17th of the same month.


ATLÉTICO DE MADRID (ESP) - Borussia Dortmund (ALE)

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) - FC BARCELONA (ESP)

Arsenal FC (ING) - Bayern Munich (ALE)

REAL MADRID CF (ESP) - Manchester City (ING)