Rating the Champions League quarterfinal matchups
Background Photo: Kemal Can Aytekin
The Champions League quarterfinal draw is set. Boy, did the football gods bless us with some compelling matches. There's a Finals rematch and two Premier League sides clashing. If that isn't sufficient, the other two matches feature four clubs who combined to win 13 European and nine UEFA Cups. While many presumed favourites were shocked in earlier rounds, there's no shortage of pedigree remaining.
Ajax won four European championships, Juventus two. The Godenzon's ambition must contend with the Old Lady's cutthroat nature.
Liverpool are five-time European cup-winners and three times UEFA Cup holders. Porto championed each competition twice. This may not be the easy draw Reds fans anticipate.
Manchester City hasn't won either competition. Tottenham have two UEFA Cups in their trophy cabinet. In terms of tradition, this is a lightweight matchup but if we're talking quality, both have the personnel to claim top honours.
While those three ties require bibs to deal with the drooling, Manchester United v Barcelona deserves top billing. After pulling off the most extraordinary comeback against Paris Saint-Germain, another daunting task lies ahead for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It’s the Norwegian’s biggest challenge. A ruthless Lionel Messi promised the Nou Camp the Blaugrana would go all the way. United lost two finals to Barca under Sir Alex Ferguson. Can the third time pay for all with Ole at the wheel?
There will be a new champion this year thanks to Ajax's comprehensive win over Real Madrid. Who among the final eight will take the next step towards assuming that mantle?