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Real Madrid Sport Director Optimistic of Champions League
    2008-12-19 22:40:21     Xinhua
Real Madrid Director of Sport Pedja Mijatovic remained optimistic of his side's chances despite seeing them handed a difficult draw in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Real Madrid must face English Premier League leaders Liverpool in the first knockout stage of the competition and have the added disadvantage of having to play the second and decisive leg in Liverpool's legendary Anfield Stadium.

With Real Madrid already out of the Spanish Cup and 12 points behind Barcelona in the Primera Liga, Europe could be their best chance of silverware.

Although the 2005 Champions, Liverpool will be formidable opponents, Mijatovic tried to remain upbeat.

"The team can play two good games and get through the round," he told the club's official website.

"At this stage of the competition there are no easy teams and if you want to go a long way, then the harder the rival the better. You do not get this far if you do not have a real quality team," he added.

Real Madrid have not reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for five years, but the last time they faced an English side, they progressed against Manchester United in the 2002/3 season.

"We go into the tie full of confidence, up to now we have always done well against English teams. We can do it and we have high hopes of having a great campaign. Nobody is going to lack motivation," said Mijatovic.

Real Madrid have had the worst luck out of all of the Spanish sides in the draw. Barcelona are favorites to beat French league leaders Lyon, while Atletico Madrid and Villarreal will fancy their chances against Porto and Panathinaikos.


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