Defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich were paired with Manchester City in Friday’s Champions League quarterfinal draw in Nyon, Switzerland, setting up a date with former coach Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola, 52, was Bayern’s head coach from 2013-2016, repositioning the club after its treble-winning season in 2012-13. He won three Bundesliga titles, two German Cups and lead the club to the Champions League semifinals three consecutive seasons.
He became Manchester City’s manager in 2016 and has coached there since, winning four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four League Cups. The Spanish coach has not won a Champions League title since 2011 with Barcelona, his first coaching job.
Bayern will also be reaquainted with Erling Haaland, Manchester City’s superstar goal scorer who spent the previous two and a half seasons at Borussia Dortmund. The Norwegian striker has scored five goals in seven games against the Bavarians.
“Our fans and football fans around the world can be very excited for this clash,” Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn said. “It will be a reunion with Pep Guardiola, with Erling Haaland, with many well known players from the Bundesliga.”
Bayern are fresh off eliminating Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16, holding superstars Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi off the score sheet over two games. Manchester City defeated RB Leipzig on Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinals, with Erling Haaland scoring five goals in a big 7-0 win in the second leg.
The two heavyweight clubs have played six matches against each other in their history, all in the Champions League group stages, making this quarterfinal tie their first knockout clash.
“Whoever wants to win the Champions League has to be the best,” said Kahn. “It is a challenge, and we take it on gladly.”
Bayern are the only remaining Bundesliga team in the Champions League after Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt failed to advance in their respective Round of 16 ties.
Bayer Leverkusen, the only other German team remaining in European competition, got paired with Union Saint-Gilloise of Belgium in the quarterfinals in the Europa League.
Leverkusen successfully vanquished Hungarian side Ferencvaros in the last 16 with 2-0 wins in both legs to reach the Europa League quarterfinal stage for the second time in the last four years.
Union Saint-Gilloise eliminated Union Berlin, one of the other Bundesliga teams remaining in the competition, to reach the quarterfinals. The last remaining German side, Freiburg, lost to Juventus in the quarterfinals after failing to score over two legs.
dv (dpa, SID)