Chelsea drawing Real Madrid in Champions League excites Blues’ boss
Chelsea boss Graham Potter insists he is ‘excited’ by the prospect of facing Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Louis Sealey writes for Metro UK.
The Blues, currently 10th in the Premier League, will need to overcome the Champions League holders to progress in the competition, having knocked out Borussia Dortmund in the previous round.
Chelsea beat Real Madrid on their way to winning the Champions League in 2021 but were knocked out by the same opposition last season.
Real Madrid secured a record-extending 14th Champions League title back in May and beat Liverpool in a rematch of last year’s final to reach the last-eight.
If Chelsea get through, they will meet Premier League champions Manchester City or Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Asked whether there was a sinking feeling when Chelsea drew Real Madrid, Potter said: ‘The feeling is excitement.
‘I’ve said we will try to win the Champions League and that’s the same for the other seven clubs in the draw I’m sure.
We will focus on Real Madrid when we get there but at the moment our thoughts are on tomorrow and Everton. I’d rather focus on Everton because the other stuff is a long way away.’
While Potter was reluctant to speak in depth about Chelsea’s European clash with Real Madrid, he did heap praise on Bernabeu boss Carlo Ancelotti.
The legendary Italian became the first manager to win four Champions League titles when Real Madrid lifted the trophy last season.
Potter said: ‘I don’t know Carlo personally but I played against him when he was at Everton and he’s a gentleman.
‘I have so much respect for him and his career. The Champions League wins, the longevity… it’s amazing, incredible.’
The two-legged Champions League quarter-finals will be played on April 11-12 and April 18-19, while the semi-finals are on May 9-10 and May 16-17.
The Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, will host the 2023 Champions League final on June 10.
Following a dismal run under Potter, Chelsea have won their last three games and will look to continue their revival against relegation-battlers Everton on Saturday.
On the challenge of facing a Sean Dyche side, Potter added: ‘Wherever they are, it’s difficult. He’s a fantastic coach and his record is impressive.
‘To do what he did at Burnley is a fantastic achievement. Everton are motivated and have clarity in all the phases. We know how difficult the game is. We’ll have to play well.’