Chelsea’s reward for getting into the Champions League quarter-finals this season could be a tie against Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris St Germain, or Atletico Madrid. Depending on tonight’s results, Olympiakos could become the team that everyone wants in the quarter-finals. The Greek club will be the weakest on paper if they managed to beat Manchester United tonight.
This makes this year’s Champions League extremely intense and this is before we get into the semi-finals. Jose Mourinho, though, says that Chelsea are ready to face any team in the quarters. According to Guardian, he said:
“All the big teams are there. All the big candidates to win the competition are there. And we would welcome any one of them. It would be very good for our evolution as a team and very important for us to play one of the best. We wait for the draw. It doesn’t matter who. They are all welcome.
“Why should other teams fear [Chelsea]? I’ve never lost in a quarter-final? I’ve never thought about it.”
These are bold claims from the Chelsea manager, but he will be aware that Chelsea looked good yesterday largely because Galatasaray were catastrophically poor. This Chelsea team has weaknesses across the pitch and we are yet to see tiredness play a major factor.
Interestingly, Mourinho has never lost a Champions League quarter-final tie in his career! That is some record indeed. As the potential flag bearers for England (assuming that United are already out), a lot will be expected of Chelsea in the next few months. It will be interesting to see how this ‘young team’ will cope with this pressure.
Mourinho also took a dig at Rafa Benitez for taking pride in helping Chelsea win the Europa League last season. He continued:
“To come from the Europa League to the quarter-finals of the Champions League is important for the club, important for the players.
“We are a Champions League club and now we are among the best eight, the best clubs in the world, and we are there. The players deserve to be there.”
The draw for the quarter finals will be held this Friday.