Madrid Gets Chelsea, City to Meet Bayern in Champions League

UEFA Champions League final ambassador Turkish former footballer Hamit Altintop shows the paper slip of Real Madrid CF (ESP) during the draw for the quarter-final, semi-final and final of the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League football tournament, in Nyon, on March 17, 2023. (AFP)
UEFA Champions League final ambassador Turkish former footballer Hamit Altintop shows the paper slip of Real Madrid CF (ESP) during the draw for the quarter-final, semi-final and final of the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League football tournament, in Nyon, on March 17, 2023. (AFP)
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Madrid Gets Chelsea, City to Meet Bayern in Champions League

UEFA Champions League final ambassador Turkish former footballer Hamit Altintop shows the paper slip of Real Madrid CF (ESP) during the draw for the quarter-final, semi-final and final of the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League football tournament, in Nyon, on March 17, 2023. (AFP)
UEFA Champions League final ambassador Turkish former footballer Hamit Altintop shows the paper slip of Real Madrid CF (ESP) during the draw for the quarter-final, semi-final and final of the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League football tournament, in Nyon, on March 17, 2023. (AFP)

Real Madrid’s path to another Champions League title will have to go through Chelsea in the quarterfinals for the second straight year.

Friday's draw takes Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti back to face his former club, which was eliminated by a goal from Karim Benzema in extra time a year ago.

This time, the first leg between the past two Champions League winners will be in Madrid instead of London — on April 11 or 12.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola also has a reunion with a former club. The English champions were drawn to face Bayern Munich, which has won all eight of its game in the competition this season and will play the first leg away from home.

The winner between City and Bayern will go on to play Madrid or Chelsea in the semifinals.

The other half of the draw is dominated by Italian clubs with the possibility of a Milan derby in the semifinals.

AC Milan will first face Napoli, the runaway Serie A leader which is making its debut in the quarterfinals of the Champions League or the old European Cup. The first leg is at San Siro.

Inter Milan will play at Benfica in the first leg, returning to the country where it eliminated Porto in the round of 16.

Inter is playing at this stage of the competition for the first time in 12 years, while Milan is ending an 11-year wait.

Six former champions who have combined for 34 titles in the 68-year history of the competition were in the draw. Only Napoli and Man City have yet to be European champions.

The first legs will be played on April 11 and 12. The return games are scheduled for April 18 and 19.

The semifinal matches will be played between May 9-17 and the final is set for June 10 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.



Germany Looking to Book Spot in Euro 2024 Knockout Stage with Another Win against Hungary

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
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Germany Looking to Book Spot in Euro 2024 Knockout Stage with Another Win against Hungary

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)

Germany faces Hungary on Wednesday in Stuttgart in their second Group A match. Germany tops the group after beating Scotland 5-1 in the opener while Hungary lost 3-1 against Switzerland. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT). Here’s what to know about the match:

Match facts:

— Victory for Germany would all but guarantee a spot in the knockout stages and it would definitely advance if Switzerland also beats Scotland in the other group match.

— Another defeat would not end Hungary’s chances as it could still claim one of the four best third-place spots up for grabs.

— Germany is winless in its last three meetings against Hungary and was beaten 1-0 in the last game between the two teams, in September 2022.

— Germany had to twice come from behind when the teams met in the group stage at the last European Championship. That was the teams’ first competitive meeting since the 1954 World Cup final, won 3-2 by West Germany.

Team news:

— Hungary coach Marco Rossi is hopeful French-born midfielder Loic Nego will have recovered to face Germany after he was only fit for a place on the bench against Switzerland.

— Germany has reported no injury concerns.

By the numbers:

— Germany’s five goals scored against Scotland leaves it just one short of its best-ever group stage tally at the European Championship, when it scored six at Euro 2020.

— Hungary midfielder Ádám Nagy, who turned 29 on Sunday, could make his eighth tournament appearance if he plays against Germany. That would be a new record for Hungary, breaking the joint mark Nagy holds with former captain Ádám Szalai.

— Germany’s victory over Scotland saw the team win its European Championship opener for a record-extending eighth time.

What they’re saying:

“Hungary is an unpleasant opponent, they can sometimes be wild and they’re difficult to get a hold of. There are a lot of free spirits out there” — Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann.

“We beat them (Germany) in 2022, so I’m sure it will be an extra motivation for them. They’ll be thinking: ‘Not again.’ But it’s clear from the first game that this Germany side is a completely proposition to what they were back then or even last year.” — Hungary forward Martin Ádám.

“On the pitch you felt how every single one of our players was annoyed that we conceded. That is a good sign. Scoring goals is nice, but we are thinking defensively and want to have stability at the back.” — Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.