- “…It Will Be Very, Very Difficult” Choupo-Moting
BY EYONGETA JOMIA
Friday, March, 19, saw the complete draws of the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland. The African players still in the competition now know their opponents.
The biggest set of Africans plays for the five-time Champions, Liverpool FC under German Coach Jurgen Klopp. They include injured Cameroonian defender Joel Matip, Egyptian forward Mohammed Salah, Guinean midfielder Naby Keita and Senegalese forward Sadio Mane. Liverpool was paired to compete against 13 times champions Real of Madrid.
For one man, this game will be of prime importance. Former Paris Saint-Germain forward, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting now in Bayern will have to face his former team-mates. He describes the match as a very difficult game for him but sees it as an important game. “This is really a special match for me. It will be very, very difficult. The whole world saw in the final that PSG was a strong team. They will be very motivated, but so will we….Some guys on the team have already talked to me and I’ve already received some messages from Paris.”
Choupo Moting reacts to Champions League draw
The 31-year-old Cameroon forward was on the losing side when Bayern defeated Paris Saint-Germain with a goal from Kingsley Coman. He has scored two goals in five games in this competition of the UEFA champions’ league for Bayern. The Senegalese midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye and Cameroon-France player Kylian Mbappe side will host Bayern Munich.
Manchester City of Algerian winger Ryad Mahrez will take on 1997 winners, Borussia Dortmund of potential Cameroon international forward Youssoufa Moukoko. Two-time winners, FC Porto of Malian forward Moussa Marega will welcome 2012 champions, Chelsea.
It should be noted that this game of European giants has 18 trophies in the competition between them.
The Complete Fixtures:
• Manchester City vs Dortmund
• FC Porto vs Chelsea
• Bayern vs Paris Saint-Germain
• Real Madrid vs Liverpool
The first leg games will be played on the 6th and 7th of April 2021, while the return leg games come up on the 13th and 14th of April.
The draws were not limited to the Champions League only. Europa League’s quarterfinal draws were also made known. The Europa League quarterfinal draws also delivered big games too, AFC Ajax was drawn against AS Roma, arguably the pick of the ties there.
Underdogs Granada got Manchester United at home for the first leg, while Slavia Prague drew Arsenal away, and Dinamo Zagreb’s reward for dumping out Tottenham Hotspur was Europa League specialist, Unai Emery’s Villarreal.
The winner of Granada against United could face Ajax or Roma while Dinamo or Villarreal will come up against Arsenal or Slavia on the side of the draw that will ultimately produce the home team for the final.
Europa League quarterfinal draw
- Granada CF vs. Manchester United
- Arsenal vs. Slavia Prague
- AFC Ajax vs. AS Roma
- Dinamo Zagreb vs. Villarreal CF
Europa League semifinal draw
- Granada CF or Manchester United vs. AFC Ajax or AS Roma
- Dinamo Zagreb or Villarreal CF vs. Arsenal or Slavia Prague