Champions League Quarterfinals Draw: Ranking the best matchups for Real Madrid

Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

The Champions League draw for the quarterfinal matchups is set to take place this Friday in Nyon, Switzerland at 12:00 CET. Real Madrid have advanced to this round after defeating Atalanta on aggregate 4-1, sealing their place with a dominant 3-1 victory in the Round of 16 at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

But who could Real face next? There are seven possibilities for Los Blancos, so let’s take some time to rank them below based on how appealing of a matchup they would be for this side.

7. Bayern Munich

I think Bayern is every team’s nightmare opponent. They are the most dominant team in Europe. What they did to Lazio in the first leg of the Round of 16 was scary. Real Madrid is better than Lazio, sure, but they also have weaknesses that Bayern can exploit. Now, Bayern’s defense has its own question marks, but with Manuel Neuer in goal, Robert Lewandowski scoring at a higher rate than anyone on this planet, and a midfield or Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka, this team more than makes up for their relatively minor weaknesses. They are the defending champs for a reason.

6. Manchester City

Manchester City have been the best team in Europe for the 2020-2021 season. This team has an embarrassment of riches at Pep Guardiola’s disposal, and they make it look easy out there. Players like Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are true artists of the game, and the defense has become one of the world’s best since signing Ruben Dias. City put on a clinic to knock Real out of the Round of 16 last year, and getting revenge would not be easy for Los Merengues.

More from The Real Champs

5. PSG

PSG have been quite poor in Ligue 1 lately, and it seems like they’ve taken a step back under Mauricio Pochettino as compared to Thomas Tuchel. There is an adjustment period, and the recent loss to Nantes was a reminder of that. Even so, PSG have as much star power as any team in Europe, and they have the competition’s biggest gem standing in Kylian Mbappe. He had Barcelona on skates in the first leg, and I fear what he could do to Lucas Vazquez if Dani Carvajal is not fit.

4. Chelsea

Before Thomas Tuchel became Chelsea’s manager, I would not have been afraid of the Blues at all. But now that they have hired Tuchel, this team looks legit. They wiped Atletico Madrid off the floor, and while I know Real Madrid are a significantly better Champions League side than Los Rojiblancos, that is still sufficient cause for concern. Under Tuchel, Chelsea are great defensively, and by the time Real would face the Blues, their attack would likely be much-improved, too. Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, and Kai Havertz are all world-class under competent coaching. And Tuchel, as we saw last season, has what it takes to guide a team to the final. That said, PSG, City, and Bayern are more proven, so I can’t consider Chelsea tougher competition than them.

3. Borussia Dortmund

Top Bundesliga teams are extremely difficult in this competition, especially for La Liga sides. Real Madrid are better-equipped to face an intense, hard-running team like BVB than a La Liga counterpart like, say, Sevilla, but Dortmund would still be tricky opponents. The margin for error against a player like Erling Haaland is extremely low. Dortmund’s midfield could be ripped to shreds by Real’s, but what if Real’s attack sputters and they get caught on the counter by the likes of Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho? Still, Real have more quality than Dortmund, especially in the middle of the park and defensively, so they’d be the favorites.

2. Liverpool

It’s amazing to think that Liverpool no longer scare most teams in Europe after winning the Champions League in the 2018-2019 season and dominating the Premier League last year. There are serious doubts about their ability to even make the competition next season, as their defense has been left in shambles by injury. No match against a Jurgen Klopp side with superstar Mohamed Salah in the lineup is a walk in the park, and the Reds are going all-in on the Champions League right now. But their defensive and midfield quality is even worse than Dortmund’s. Their attack isn’t better either, to be honest.

Next. The 5 players Real Madrid should have never sold. dark

1. FC Porto

Porto showed the world they are a force to be reckoned with and a real sleeper in the tournament when they knocked out Juventus. But while they dominated Juve in the first leg, they were honestly lucky to make it out on away goals. Porto have a sturdy defense led by Pepe, though they are vulnerable on the wings. Their striker duo and midfield duo are both highly underrated, but you’d expect Real Madrid to be able to handle them with the likes of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, and Raphael Varane in their ranks.