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Chelsea draw Real Madrid in Champions Lge

Defending champions Chelsea have drawn 13-time European Cup champions Real Madrid in the most fascinating of the Champions League quarter-finals.

The first pairing drawn at UEFA headquarters on Friday sent Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti back to the London club where he won a league and cup double a year before being fired by then-owner Roman Abramovich.

In a turbulent time for Chelsea, Abramovich, a Russian billionaire with ties to Vladimir Putin, has given up control of the club before having his assets in Britain frozen this month in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

All three English clubs have avoided each other in the draw, as did all three Spanish teams.

Manchester City will play Atletico Madrid, Liverpool were drawn to face Benfica and Bayern Munich will play Villarreal.

The semi-final draw was also made, with Manchester City or Atletico playing either Chelsea or Real Madrid, while Benfica or Liverpool will face Villarreal or Bayern.

Villarreal are the only team left in the draw who have never reached the final.

The first legs of the quarter-finals will be played on April 5 or 6, with the return games the following week.

The semifinals will be played between April 26 and May 4 with the final scheduled for May 28 at Stade de France in the Paris suburbs.

In the Europa League quarter-finals, Barcelona have been paired with Eintracht Frankfurt as they continue their bid to win Europe’s second-tier event for the first time.

Barca have five titles in the Champions Cup/League and four from the former Cup Winners’ Cup but they’ve never won the UEFA Cup/Europa League.

The winners will face either West Ham or Olympique Lyon, who will meet in the last-eight, in the semi-finals.

Italy’s Atalanta face German opposition again in RB Leipzig after knocking out Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16.

The winners of that tie will then play either Braga or Rangers, who contest the remaining quarter-final.

The Europa Conference League draw paired Bodo/Glimt against Roma, the winners of which will play either Leicester or PSV Eindhoven.

Feyenoord will play Slavia Prague with the winners to meet either Marseille or PAOK.

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