05 April 2012

Zaragoza 'shuts' to prepare the game against Barca

Real Zaragoza are going to lock in their last two training sessions to try to maintain their great run of results to an FC Barcelona that can not fail in Zaragoza.

The Aragon team is forced to make some changes regarding the recent games through suspension being without three regular players in the starting lineup in recent days as defender David Mateos, the midfielder Antonio GaldeanoApoño '' and forward Luis García.

Real Zaragoza coach Manolo Jiménez, has already anticipated it will be forced "to reinvent something within our patterns" to remedy the absence, in a game that takes nothing for lost and hopes that the azulgranas are not your level best to get something positive.

Despite the long bridge and play Easter Saturday, the stadium of La Romareda present its stands nearly full with an audience willing to support their team after the return to illusion to try to keep the category.

In recent days the Aragon has been able to surprise consecutively two aspiring European competitions such as Valencia and Atletico Madrid and rounded out his task with a win in the Molinón to Sporting Gijón, a direct rival in the fight against relegation.

Manolo Jiménez, each passing day more pleased with the delivery and response that is offering all staff, wants his players to be able to "compete and the public to see that they give all they have" to try to get a new positive , the fifth straight for their interests. (via SPORT)

Jiménez: "At Barcelona plays at full intensity"

Real Zaragoza coach Manolo Jiménez, knows his team can do against FC Barcelona braking the good run of three consecutive victories which has given air to keep thinking about salvation but even lost not think you need to re-see "all dark".

"We hope to save us and now we have a tough schedule in the next two matches (FC Barcelona and Sevilla) but not have to go back to see everything dark, although these two rivals are not of our League particular", commented in his previous appearance the closed-door training his team in the Ciudad Deportiva.

However, Jones believes that azulgrana side "you can win" although aware of the "difficulties that will arise and have to look at the numbers on the regularity of the equipment and it is clear that Barcelona is well above the ours. "

"I hate to lie or be a bully. At Barcelona he plays at full intensity and trying to counter it, if we believe that he plays one on one is that I'm unconscious," he said.

Also anticipated about the state of the pitch and the possibility of leaving the grass higher than "wear out the muscles" and do not plan to "try anything unusual, other than perhaps to leave the field a little dry to run the ball less. "

In his opinion the party can not raise output to try to draw because "it is impossible and when you mark a Barcelona go to the party and kills you."

"All I ask is that you can not have their day and all go out and compete and let people see that the team gives everything he has," he said.

Once abandoned the negative dynamic in which "every game everyone thought he was going to lose" is now upside down and "that's good but be realistic."

Arahal coach again expressed his satisfaction with the improvement of their players. "I love it, he said the attitude of the players who train with joy and that translates into the field."

On possible absences that Pep Guardiola will have noted that "it is clear that all coaches want to have the entire staff, but there are teams that have no problems pulling parts or doing rotations because they have many resources."

"Barcelona has been the dynamic leading for years because it works fine. Know what to play and have a style that no change to anyone because they are better than anybody," he said.

Jiménez also have three penalty lower by men who are still important in the scheme in recent games as David Mateos, Luis García and Antonio Galdeano 'Apoño', which will force you to "reinvent something in our patterns and we have many resources. "

Following the results achieved in recent games for his team, coach zaragocista now recognized in the street feels that people think they can save and scares "have faith" in the event that after the permanence fail but has seen "The zaragoza soccer is excited." (via SPORT)

[Former B player] Romeu: "Chelsea has already shown that can win at Barcelona"

The excanterano of Barça admits it will be a very special game for him and for the 'blues'.

The Spanish midfielder of Chelsea Oriol Romeu said that the "blues", which were planted again in a semifinal of the Champions League by beating Benfica (2-1), "and demonstrated" in 2009 that "can win at Barcelona" . Romeu, 20, told Efe after the meeting in which the English sealed his move to semifinals that the English have the expertise to exceed those of Pep Guardiola, as we were on the verge of three seasons ago, when only a goal from Andres Iniesta in the last minute left out the "blues". The Barca excanterano also stressed that the clash against Barcelona will be "special" for him and for the rest of his team. "I have been fortunate to be there, so do a little more than illusion, but a Champions League semi-final is always special for all players, and more against a team like Barcelona," said Romeu. Catalan, whom the now ceased André Villas-Boas gave many opportunities to jump into the grass with Chelsea this season, said that had not been raised to joining the Londoners last summer that would have the opportunity to contest a semifinal league Champions at the Camp Nou. "I signed for Chelsea to grow as a player to improve. That's what I wanted. Not be in a Champions League semifinal, but play games. I want to go slowly," said Romeu.

The young midfielder admitted that the Italian Roberto Di Matteo on the bench has played fewer minutes than with Villas-Boas, dismissed on 4 March after Chelsea lost the league against West Bromwich, at a time in which the Champions League seemed a distant option after yielding a 3-1 against Napoli. "Now I'm having a bit more," said the midfielder, who stressed, however, he feels "very comfortable" in the dressing room at Stamford Bridge. "I feel very comfortable, good training. I think when I will have to play well, and that is important, be comfortable with yourself and wait for your opportunity," said Romeu. Over his rival in the next round of Europe's top competition, Catalan said the Barcelona players "have for many years at a spectacular level." "Do not lose ambition, the will to win, and that's how good they have," said the midfielder, who also warned that while Barcelona is "a high level," also "can win." (via SPORT)

John Terry could miss the qualifying against Barça

Chelsea captain broke two ribs in the match against Benfica and is awaiting medical tests to determine whether to play against Barça.

Danger John Terry for the semifinals. Chelsea captain has many numbers to miss the playoff semifinals of the Champions League (18 in London and April 24 at the Camp Nou) against Barça after meeting with two broken ribs after an elbow he suffered in Lisbon before the Benfica in the quarter-final first leg against Benfica, "I thought it was okay, but later in the second half, which seemed to be getting worse and I was struggling to breathe to be honest." The 31-year-old, despite the injury, was able to play 90 minutes of Saturday's Premier League against Aston Villa. "When you have one in the ribs, you can not do anything about it, you can try, just to get better, but I can get," said Terry, who on Thursday will undergo medical tests to determine whether available or not to face the azulgranas. (via SPORT)

Iniesta goal, great day

When he mark Fuentealbilla crack Barça never falls and their aim was swift but usually brings titles.

Andres Iniesta is the first I would like to lavishing more on the goal, but one thing is undeniable: when you dial it, is a great day for football. Many posh gunners would give anything to have scored a goal like that of Stamford Bridge in the last minute, who qualified for Barça's triumphant Champions League final in Rome or as noted in the final World Cup South Africa 2010 , the more important in the history of Spanish football. Iniesta ruled Tuesday that tradition: against Milan at the Camp Nou, and the move to a Champions League semi-final at stake, thrashing again.

It was a day doubly happy because it coincided with the first anniversary of her daughter Valeria. "I'm glad I was able to dedicate the goal," he admitted after the match in Barça TV studios. There, the '8 'Barça again stressed his desire to keep scoring, after the Sabbath also signed another crucial goal against Athletic. "I have sometimes and maybe I should have done more goals than I do. It's a matter of ambition for a more complete player. It is a challenge I have every year," he reiterated. Their scarcity is difficult to explain, especially for a player who is able to punch a ball that falls from the sky or make a kibble that neither Ferran Adrià. "Sometimes out of a play area is very clear goal, and in the field you opt for the pass. But this factor should not influence my game, but does it better," he said.

More than one may surprise the data: the great goal to Milan was already 40 and FC Barcelona in as many games. His balance, more scoring, is faultless: 36 wins and four draws. To play Iniesta is also a sign of success for Barça: accumulates in La Liga without losing 53 consecutive games, an absolute record in the tournament's history, having surpassed the Madrid Emilio Butragueño, which remained at 50.

Now that Barça faces the crucial stretch of the season is encouraging news that Iniesta takes aim. Before Athletic, had just signed a goal in the league. In their official season has seven: two in La Liga, two in Copa, two in the Champions League and one in the Super Cup against Madrid. But the barcelonista intuition that Iniesta's goal is alirón prelude. (via MD)

Aimar: "It's hard to have great options against Barcelona"

Benfica's Argentine forward Pablo Aimar, said it is "difficult" that Chelsea find "great options" to win when they face Barcelona in the semifinals of the Champions League.

After the defeat of the Portuguese box at Stamford Bridge 2-1, which got off to Benfica in European competition and sealed the British to pass the next round, Aimar said that the Blues will not easy to overcome that considered the "best team in the world."

"Options yes, of course, will have, but are going to face that, in my opinion, is the best team in the world, which also has the best player in the world," said the Argentine.

Aimar praised the play of his countryman Leo Messi and considered the Barcelona forward can put against the wall at the Italian team coach Roberto Di Matteo. "The others play football. Messi Mesi plays, doing something else," described the forward.

Benfica had little chance to beat a Chelsea jumped into the grass with a defensive approach to keep the advantage from the first leg (0-1), although the Portuguese were given a scare at Stamford Brige in the final minutes with a goal from Spanish Javi García.

"We knew we were going to take our chances. We had plenty of the ball, but we're talking about a team that has great individuals, which can throw at any time," said Aimar. (via SPORT)

The new challenges for Messi

If he maintains his progression scoring (total 58 goals this season) Leo is able to overcome all historical records.

While crushed records, Leo Messi is posing new challenges. The Argentinian has scored 58 goals already this season, a figure that allows you to aspire to break the record of Gerd Müller, the legendary Bayern Munich striker who scored 67 goals in the 1972-73 season, just one year before the start of the hegemony of the German team in Europe, with three consecutive European Cups.

Messi, who has scored 24 goals in their last twelve games (two goals per game), ahead at least 11 games (eight league, two Champions League semi-final and final of the Copa del Rey) to continue spraying figures. Leo, in fact, you can finish the season as top scorer in all competitions that dispute: it's all over Spain Super Cup with three goals (the top scorer of the competition), the European Super Cup with one, you can also end Top scorer in the Cup (Fernando Llorente is tied with five goals) in the league (total 36, one less than Cristiano Ronaldo) and in the Champions League, which already totals 14, as many as the tournament's all-time record in a single season , which was held by José Altafini in 1963.

Messi equaled italobrasileño Milan player with two penalty goals to the Italian team again decisive for Barça access to the semifinals of the Champions League. "In the shootout," said Leo, "I try to take the goalkeeper to move, but this was complicated because Abbiati is very big and I knew I could stop it with a movement. In fact, I think the opener touches the ball. But the important thing is to help the team qualify. "

A Messi are presented challenges us to think that Leo will be around for a while. The Argentine striker is 20 goals to become the top scorer in Champions League history (51, 71, by Raul), ie, about half a season, if he continues to progress, to be crowned as the king of goal in the history of the European Cup.

In La Liga, Messi has a total of 155 goals. In the end, although in the long term, are the three best ever: Zarra (251), Hugo Sánchez (234) and Raúl (228). Before you can become the second player in history to win two Pichichis Barça after Quini, who was top scorer in the championship dress blaugrana in seasons 1980-81 and 1981-82.

Nor is it unreasonable to think that Messi can achieve some day the six European Cups he won as a player Paco Gento of Real Madrid, a record that remains untouched since 1966. (via SPORT)

Jordi Alba, a step to sign the renewal

Jordi Alba is about to sign the renewal of the Valencia, which is within the plans that have Barça to undertake his signing.

The club 'che', as explained yesterday 'Superdeporte', has entered the final stretch of negotiations and would soon announce the continuation of excanterano Blaugrana. This is the first step in bringing the player to the Camp Nou.

And is that Alba is grateful to his current team and will not go wrong at Valencia, so before moving to Barça renewed by Valencia.

In fact, the compromise is that the Valencian entity, if Barça gets, do not close the door to negotiate his transfer to the club he grew as a footballer. Jordi Alba spoke yesterday at a press conference prior to the meeting tonight against AZ Alkmaar and made to take balls out on the subject: "Now is no time to talk about this. I said I'm very happy here, but now the most important thing is to move the tie against AZ Alkmaar. " (via SPORT)

[Barça B] Málaga think Cristian Tello

The explosion of Cristian Tello in the first team has alerted several clubs, both la Liga and abroad.

One is the Málaga who is seriously interested in acquiring his services for the next season. As explained the SER of Málaga, the Andalusian club is hoping for a transfer to strengthen the team with a good chance to contest the Champions League next season.

In fact, Málaga would even be willing to pay the termination clause of the player in Sabadell, amounting to 10 million euros. If the sale is not possible, since Taylor is one of the players of which seem to have Pep Guardiola, who has been precisely the coach who has chosen him, not a transfer rule.

This would be the formula that would value the club blaugrana, as it could continue to evaluate closely the evolution of the striker who also continue earning minutes from both in La Liga and Europe. (via SPORT)

David Villa is sponsoring the joint book-driven sports journalists

The Asturian striker has given the book image (shown with his face painted gold) and is the author of the prologue.
The money obtained by selling the book will go towards building a play area for young patients.

The barcelonista center forward David Villa, has agreed to be the literary godfather to a group of sports journalists in Barcelona eight years ago published a book of solidarity, the benefits in this issue will go to hospital for children Sant Joan de Déu.

As is traditional at this time before the day of Sant Jordi, a group of about forty sports journalists of Barcelona, ​​but in the latest editions have also joined representatives of Madrid, brought to market a book of sports stories to raise funds for a charity or institution, preferably related to children and youth.

For this edition, the eighth, the sponsor has been chosen Villa player who continues to recover from a serious injury that was done in the Club World Cup semifinal last December in Japan. The Asturian forward, who has given the book image (shown with his face painted gold) and is the author of the prologue, appears for the first time to the media on Thursday to present the book in society.

This year, the bank that works with reporters at issue is the Banco de Sabadell, after seven years with Caixa Penedès, while El Corte Ingles remains the sole entity that distributes the book, both entities work selflessly and even provide capital.

The entity chosen to allocate the funds of the book is supportive of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, an institution in Barcelona, which in this year 2012 host the teens. Up to 3,000 young people each year enter the hospital.

The money obtained by selling the book will go towards building a play area for younger patients with chronic diseases, so they can have a scope, as they already have children, so they can feel at home, surrounded by the comforts and amenities to make your stay more bearable.

Last year, the athlete was paid to work was Andres Iniesta, who sponsored the book "Heroes of sport ', in which raised 67,030 euros that ended up in full to the Association of Barcelona Sanfilippo, an organization that fights a disease degenerative. (via MD)

Guardiola lived in the Chelsea theater pass to semifinals

FC Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola, came to the Teatre Romea Wednesday to witness the play 'Incendis'.

Pep Guardiola chose not to follow the matches of Champions to put the end to the quarter-final stage of the competition and went on Wednesday to see the play 'Incendis (Fire)', at the Teatre Romea, accompanied by his partner Cristina .

Moisès Broggi, the director of the play, written by playwright Wajdi Mouawad, and in which key players are Julio Manrique and Clara Segura.

It is becoming commonplace occurrences technician plays and concerts, like Manel, which called for their renewal by the public in 2010 from the stage, or in the same Romea, a year later to see the Catalan group after losing to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey. It is also seen the plays 'Agost' or the adaptation of 'Geronimo Stilton'. (via SPORT)

Chelsea wounded, the strongest in Champions

After ending "was Mourinho ', Chelsea reached its greatest heights in the Champions League with any technical or Avram Grant as Guus Hiddink. Now comes the turn to Di Matteo.

The data do not lie. The best records of Chelsea in Champions have come in unexpected situations in the most convulsive periods in which Roman Abramovich sacked so withering to their technicians.

The first was the now Madridista José Mourinho. The Portuguese, after winning main legacy bicampeonato league for the 2004/05 and 2005/06 and the FA Cup in 2007, was dismissed from office by Roman Abramovich, who did not tolerate the abuse of power by then accumulated and 'The Special One'. A series of poor results early in the season 2007/08 was the perfect excuse to 'Mou' had to abandon ship 'blue' by the back door to the amazement of her adoring fans. The Israeli Avram Grant, who accumulated just a few months as assistant to the Portuguese, was commissioned to take the reins.

With Grant at the helm the best beat Chelsea European registries of Mourinho with the Blues, who fell in the semifinals against Liverpool in 2005 and 2007 - to leave behind Olympiacos and Fenerbahce's affordable and in the semifinals to the 'coconut' of 'Mou', Liverpool to reach the final in Moscow, where succumb on penalties against Manchester United, who beat Barça in the semis, a game that still is cursed among the fans 'blue' by the unfortunate slip of Captain John Terry, who had of course the ultimate goal would have given the club's first Champions south London.

Despite reaching the Champions League final, Avram Grant would have no future at Stamford Bridge. Abramovich already had tied to his successor, Luiz Felipe Scolari. However, the commitment to coach five-time world Brazilian Korea and Japan 2002 did not go as expected, and Abramovich had no second thought to show him the exit door in February 2009 and try his luck with a classic of the benches of Europe: Dutchman Guus Hiddink.

With the Dutch coach Chelsea get planted in the semifinals after beating demanding rounds: round Juventus and Liverpool, who had run to Madrid at the crossroads of 'chorreo'-in quarters.

In semis expecting a Barça that had knocked Lyon and Bayern Munich after two exhibitions at the Camp Nou. The physical strength and good tactical approach would prevent Guardiola completasen a good game at home against the Blues. Everything was open for the return and, after a bad game the azulgrana, the 'Iniestazo' sentencing. To remember the indelible image of Guardiola bypassing the protocol in the technical area and congratulating the Dutchman a few minutes left, Iniesta seconds before touch the sky with a legendary shot. Hiddink would remove the thorn from the European phase conquering the FA Cup by beating Everton in the final.

Despite compete as equals against the best in recent times Barça, Hiddink, who was then combined his technical work with the post of coach of Russia, left the bench at Stamford Bridge on behalf of Carlo Ancelotti, landing in London with the intention of reissuing his successes on the bench for Milan, with two Champions (2003 and 2007) as the primary collateral.

But you would be lucky to Italian elusive, despite a double-win FA Cup, Premiership and in his first season, eventually convicted after two consecutive failures in the Champions League, in the second round against Inter in 2010 and the quarter against Manchester United in 2011.

With his departure last summer's promising draft tear André Villas-Boas, called to be at Stamford Bridge the great successor to José Mourinho. However, the irregular play of the team, alleged discrepancies with the heavyweights of the staff and especially the modest results in the Premiership and European elimination right around the corner, after the embarrassing defeat in the round of sixteen in Naples - ended up condemning the pupil of 'Mou', which would cede his post to his deputy, Italian Roberto Di Matteo. With him started the new European dream of Chelsea, after turning the tie against Benfica Naples and overcome suffered in two games, dreams take revenge now suffered the elimination against Barca in the semis in 2009. Chelsea wounded, the coaches of any, is the most dangerous in Europe. Guardiola's Barca will do well to take this into account. (via SPORT)

Mexes: "Lucky that Messi is not at Euro!

Philippe Mexes, French player of Milan, admitted that the victory of Barça was fair.

While some are engaged in looking for trouble and victory of Barça, AC Milan players themselves, except for Ibrahimovic, fell victim to the triumph of Barcelona.

One is the Frenchman Philippe Mexes. "Congratulations to Barcelona, we now think of the Italian league. It's a shame because we had several opportunities to get ahead on the scoreboard. I apologize for the first goal, which comes for a ball that I lose. With the 1 -1 we thought you could do damage to Barça, but playing against this team is tough. then reached the second penalty, which I found very clear and that's it. we have been at its height and I hope we meet again the next season and hopefully have more determination and more luck. "

Mexes, who hopes to be with France in the next European Championship was emphatic in stating that "Barça has cut the legs and his victory is logical. Fortunately, Messi will not be in the upcoming Euro!" (via SPORT)

The referee Barça-Milan Ibrahimovic censorship comments

Bjorn Kuipers stepped out of the criticisms of the penalties referred to Milan at the Camp Nou and considered that "is not what you say Ibrahimovic".

The referee Barça-Milan, Swede Björn Kuipers said Wednesday that the bus arbitration refereed the match at the Camp Nou was "a great team."

"Everything went as it should," he said told the Associated Press, which picked 'Sportyou'. "I received several calls after the game and all praised me," revealed an Kuipers reiterated that "our performance was very positive," although UEFA does not allow colleges to analyze their games through the media.

The Swedish referee had no hesitation in censoring the words of his compatriot, exazulgrana Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who surprised the claim that "understood" to Mourinho. Kuipers was emphatic on this point: "It's not what you say Ibrahimovic. We are comfortable with our work. " (via SPORT)

Gerard Piqué, ruled out playing in Zaragoza

Problems in the Barça defender for Saturday's game at Zaragoza. Piqué will be low.

Nobody panic. The injury that has Gerard Piqué is not important, but by Saturday there is not enough time to recover and so the defense will be low for the match against Zaragoza. By contrast, almost certainly will play and on Tuesday in a new league match, in this case in the Camp Nou against Getafe.

Piqué was replaced in the 74th minute of the match against Milan. He felt discomfort in hamstring and taking into account the numerous cases of muscle injury that has been this season, did not want surprises. Requested the change quickly and lay down on the ground and was replaced by Adriano. After the meeting, the club has announced that the defense was just an overload on the biceps femoris at that time not ruled out for the next game.

With the decline of Piqué, Zaragoza probably Guardiola play with Alves, Puyol, Mascherano and Adriano, while Montoya and Muniesa be on the bench ready to go if the technician so wishes. (via SPORT)

Iniesta: "Whoever we get in the semifinals it will be really tough"

Andres Iniesta, happy to have qualified for the semifinals of the Champions League, has no doubt that, whether Benfica or Chelsea are Barça’s rivals, to get to the Final will not be easy.

Referring to Messi, Iniesta said that "at the age he is, he’ll shatter all the records".

In the 53rd minute, Iniesta scored the third Barça goal to make it 3-1, the goal that calmed the team down to achieve their goal of qualifying for the semifinals of the Champions League. With the ticket for the semis in the bag, Iniesta, in an interview on the Barça TV program ‘El Marcador’, pointed out how hard it will be to get to the Champions League Final, whether it be Benfica or Chelsea in the semifinal. "Whoever we get in the semifinals it will be really tough," he warned.

This Tuesday was the fifth consecutive time that Barça have reached the semifinals of the Champions League. "It’s the result of a job well done year after year and this is the only way you can put it. This team has ambition and results come with that"said Iniesta, for whom the squad is now "in very good shape", something they have to maintain.

Iniesta was pleased with his goal, and especially to "have helped the team" with it. At the same time, he’s very demanding with himself and with his performance in front of goal: "I feel that I’ve had chances and maybe should have scored more goals than I have. It’s a question of ambition, because I aim to help out in every game and become a more complete player. It's a challenge I set every year and I try to score more goals. There are times that, from off the pitch, it seems like a very clear goal chance, but on the pitch you choose to pass. But this factor shouldn’t condition my game although it might improve it, not just for myself but also for the team".

He dedicated his goal in the Milan match, as he’s done on other occasions, to his daughter Valeria. His celebration on Tuesday, however, was somewhat different, since it coincided with his little ones first birthday: "Like it or not it’s a small or great motivation for each player, and I’m really glad I could dedicate the goal to her".
Once again, Messi was decisive, this time with the two penalties he scored. Iniesta praised his teammate and, in turn, points to the importance of teamwork: "At Leo’s age, he’ll shatter all the records. For our part, we’ll just try to keep that going as long as we can. When the team works as a whole, everyone is able to give the best of themselves".

Iniesta is among the ten players with most matches played in FC Barcelona shirt: "It’s an honor and a privilege to join this list that’s so hard to achieve. It’s very difficult to reach these numbers and even more so for this club. We hope these stats continue to grow".

Now for Zaragoza

Now, with classification in the bag, it’s time to focus back on the League, starting with this Saturday's game at Zaragoza. "First up now, is Zaragoza. We’ll go there and try to play well and bring home all three points, and hope to be able to close the gap with Real Madrid". (via FCBarcelona.com)

Chelsea, Barça's semifinal rival in the Champions League

The English side sent Benfica out of the competition after beating the Portuguese side 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. They will face Barça in the semifinals of the Champions League.

The away leg will be played on Wednesday, April 18, at Stamford Bridge and the return leg, on the 24th, will be at the Camp Nou.

Barça know who their opponents will be in the semifinals of the Champions League. It will be Chelsea, who sent Benfica out of the competition in the quarterfinal round. The Blues won the away leg in Portugal by 0-1 and this Wednesday they sealed passage to the next round by 2-1 in London. The English side went ahead thanks to a penalty shot by Lampard, however, even though Benfica were down a man throughout the whole second half when Pereira was sent off, Javi Garcia brought his team level on 85 minutes. Chelsea scored their second in stoppage time through Meirelles.

To get to the quarterfinals, Chelsea beat Naples is a thrilling Round of 16 matchup. They finished first in their group ahead of Leverkusen, Valencia and Genk.

The Champions League has been the competition that Chelsea have found the most success this season. They currently sit in fifth position, 23 points adrift from the leaders, in the Premier League. André Villas-Boas was sacked earlier this season due to the team’s irregular performance in the domestic competition. The English side is currently managed by Roberto di Matteo.

The team have a slew of fantastic players like Cech, Terry, Essien, Lampard and Drogba, including well-known footballers to Barça fans like Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and the ex-Barça player Oriol Romeu.

The Chelsea-Barça matchup has turned into a European classic. The English and the Catalans have been involved in some of the most vibrant European games in recent memory. The most recent of which is the unforgettable game where Iniesta scored in the last minute of the semifinal match in 2009 at Stamford Bridge which gave Barça passage to the final in Rome.

Expectations were met on the other side of the bracket as both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid beat their quarterfinal opponents to reach the semifinals. The away leg will be played at the Allianz Arena, on April 17th, and the return leg will be at the Santiago Bernabéu on the 25th. (via FCBarcelona.com)