Player and ambassador of the Champions League final in Istanbul Hamit Altintop displays the Real Madrid name paper during the draw for the Champions League quarter-final in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday, March 17, 2023. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Real Madrid’s journey to lift another Champions League trophy will involve defeating Chelsea in the quarterfinals for the second straight year.
Friday’s draw decided that the Merengue coach will face his former team again, which was eliminated by Madrid last year with a goal in extra time by Karim Benzema.
On this occasion, the first leg between the two former champions will be in Madrid and not in London —on April 11 or 12.
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola will also face his former team. The English champions will face Bayern Munich, who have won their last eight games in European competition this season and will play the first leg at home.
Bayern held Paris Saint-Germain strikers Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé scoreless in the round of 16. They will now face tournament leading scorer Erling Haaland, who scored five goals in City’s 7-0 win over Leipzig on Tuesday.
“Our team has shown that they can beat him,” Bayern director Michael Gerlinger said of Haaland, who has spent the last two seasons with Borussia Dortmund. “There are players like Erling that you can’t neutralize 100% so it’s very, very dangerous.”
The winner of the City vs. Bayern matchup will face either Madrid or Chelsea in the semis. This side of the draw includes four of the top five teams in the UEFA ranking by results in European competitions in the last five years.
The other half is dominated by the Italian clubs and with the possibility of a derby in Milan in the semis.
AC Milan will first face Napoli, the overwhelming leader of Serie A that debuts in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. The first leg is at the San Siro.
Inter Milan will play the first leg in Benfica and return to the country where they eliminated Porto in the round of 16.
Inter is contesting this instance for the first time in 12 years, while Milan ended an 11-year wait. Inter fell to 12th place and seven-time champions Milan is 36th.
Six former champions, with a total of 34 titles in the championship’s 68-year history, are in the quarterfinals. Only in Napoli and Manchester City have they not won.
The first leg matches take place on April 11 and 12. The games back on April 18 and 19.
The semifinals take place between May 9 and 17 and the final is scheduled for June 10 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.
The Europa League, Manchester United will face another Spanish club in the quarterfinals.
Man United, who knocked out Barcelona and Real Betis in the last two rounds, will now face Sevilla, the six-time champions of the competition.
The winner will face Juventus or Sporting Lisbon in the semifinals.
The other half of the draw pits Feyenoord against Roma — in a rematch of the inaugural Europa Conference League final that the Italian team won last year — and Bayern Leverkusen against Belgium’s Union Saint-Gilloise.
The quarterfinals of the Europa League are played between April 13 and 20 and the semifinals on May 11 and 18. The final is on May 31 at the Puskas Arena in Budapest.
Anderlecht will have their own home game on April 13 in the Europa Conference League quarter-final against AZ Alkmaar. Gent, another Belgian club, will host West Ham in the first leg.
Lech Poznan will face Fiorentina and Basel will host Nice first.