Real Madrid are behind Vilanova, says Florentino Perez

Florentino Perez - Real Madrid

Florentino Perez – Real Madrid

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has sent his best wishes to Tito Vilanova after the Barcelona coach suffered a relapse from the tumour from which he suffered last season.


It was confirmed on Wednesday that the 44-year-old was suffering from the disease once more, and he underwent successful surgery on Wednesday.

“It is a very sad day and everyone is shocked,” Perez told reporters.

“The whole of Real Madrid – not just me, but the coach, the players and all the fans want to wish him well.

“I also want to send my best wishes to his family. Tito – you can fight this battle, you must win and you will win,” the 65-year-old added.

Perez went on to talk about his side’s fortunes over the past year, both on and off the football pitch.

“Real Madrid have had a good past year,” he continued. “We reached the semi-finals of the European Cup and won the Liga, breaking all the records.

“But at Madrid that is not enough. We have to win everything. The club has economic and institutional strength. This year has been especially hard, more than any other I’ve known – and football is not immune.

“But Madrid are also doing well in terms of income.”

Word on the Tweet: Stars react to the Champions League and Europa League draws

It’s been an exciting day in the world of European football as they draws have been made for the knockout rounds of the Champions League and Europa League.

Manchester United will face Real Madrid in the tie of the round while Arsenal have a tough game against Bayern Munich and Celtic play Juventus.

In the Europa League, Chelsea have drawn Sparta Prague while Tottenham will face Lyon. Liverpool have been handed a tricky tie with Zenit St Petersburg and Newcastle will have to travel to the Ukraine to take on Metalist.

Players from across the continent have been reacting to those exciting fixtures and if that’s not enough for you we’ve got Christmas pranks at Cardiff and Kevin-Prince Boateng discussing the end of the world in the Word on the Tweet

“Oh yes, Madrid!! What a great couple a games that’ll be!! @Cristiano see u soon bro!!”

Rio Ferdinand can’t contain his excitement as Manchester United are pitted against Real Madrid and former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.


“Boooooom…..absolute beauty of a tie…very tough but then they all potentially were..brings back great memories.”

Celtic boss Neil Lennon steals a catchphrase straight from Goal towers as he expresses his delight over his side’s tie with Juventus.

“United or Madrid.. Who do I want to win? Played my heart out for them both. Proud to have played for both. #impossible #MayTheBestTeamWin.”

Ruud van Nistelrooy is in a pickle as he can’t quite figure out who to support in the game between Manchester United and Real Madrid.

“We will play against Milan! It will be a great qualifying round! #ChampionsLeague.”

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas states the obvious and tell us who his side are playing, but gets it slightly wrong in calling it the qualifying round. Thanks Cesc, what would we do without you!

“Delighted with the draw. Just can’t wait now!”

Celtic midfielder Kris Commons is already counting down the days to their clash with Juventus.

“Manchester United in drawing Real Madrid showing, once again, how important it is to win your group…Oh wait a minute.”

Gary Lineker gets facetious as, despite winning their group, Manchester United are handed one of the toughest ties of the round.

“Not an easy draw but a trip to Lyon should be good fun for our fans #RoadToAmsterdam”

Gareth Bale thinks Tottenham supporters might enjoy the trip to Lyon a bit more than the players.


“I don’t mind the rain. I don’t mind the cold. I don’t mind the wind. But I hate 3 of them invited at the same time. Glaglagla.”

Sunderland striker Louis Saha cannot get to grips with the weather in the North East. It doesn’t get any better in summer either, Louis!

“Christmas dinner time at the stadium… And time for the young lads to sing!!!!!!”

Cardiff City defender Andrew Taylor is taking delight in making the club’s younger players to humiliate themselves. Who said Christmas was about good will to all?

“Tough draw but very motivated to play against Bayern Munich!!Looking forward to a great Champions League night at the Emirates!!!”

Mikel Arteta reacts to the news that Arsenal will be playing the mighty Bundesliga champions and last year’s defeated finalists.

“Good Morning…so tomorrow it’s the end of the world???what u all think about that??”

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng knows how to cheer everyone up before Christmas as he predicts the Mayans may be just be right about their doomsday prophecy on Friday.

Ancelotti: PSG can win if we play our best football

Paris Saint-Germain trainer Carlo Ancelotti says his team can progress from the last 16 of the Champions League if they play their best football against Valencia.

THE DRAW IN FULL

Galatasaray v FC Schalke

Celtic v Juventus

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Shakhtar v Borussia Dortmund

AC Milan v Barcelona

Real Madrid v Manchester United

Valencia v Paris Saint-Germain

FC Porto v Malaga

First legs will be played on either February 12/13 or19/20, with the return legs on March 5/6 or 12/13.

The former AC Milan and Juventus coach also added that he was glad to have avoided Spanish champions Real Madrid in the draw.

“The most dangerous team was Real,” the 53-year-old told reporters.

“Valencia have some problems, although they have a good history with the competition. But Valencia seems less dangerous than Real and it is normal. But we have to play the two games.

“The objective is to get to the quarter-finals. I won’t say it’s a good draw, it’s a Champions league draw. We can win if we play our best football,” he added.

Valencia qualified second in Group F, level on points with Bayern Munich, whilst PSG beat Porto to the summit of Group A with a 2-1 win over the Portuguese champions in their final match of the group stage.

Van Nistelrooy torn between Manchester United & Real Madrid after Champions League draw

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy says it is “impossible” to choose between the two sides after they were paired together in the Champions League last 16 draw.

The undoubted glamour tie of the round will see Cristiano Ronaldo return to Old Trafford for the first time as a player since his departure in 2009, with the first leg on February 13 at Bernabeu before the second leg at Old Trafford on March 5.

THE DRAW IN FULL

Galatasaray v Schalke

Celtic v Juventus

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Shakhtar v Borussia Dortmund

AC Milan v Barcelona

Real Madrid v Manchester United

Valencia v Paris Saint-Germain

Porto v Malaga

First legs will be played on either February 12/13 or19/20, with the return legs on March 5/6 or 12/13.

The 36-year-old played under Sir Alex Ferguson for five years between 2001-06, scoring 150 goals for the club across all competitions, before moving to Real Madrid and winning La Liga twice within two seasons.

“United or Madrid… Who do I want to win? Played my heart out for them both. Proud to have played for both. #impossible #MayTheBestTeamWin,” Van Nistrelrooy tweeted.

Despite the stature of the two sides, their domestic campaigns are not identical; United are currently top of the Premier League table, six points clear ahead of nearest rivals Manchester City, while Real Madrid sit 13 points behind Barcelona in third.

Club secretary John Alexander hails Manchester United vs Real Madrid as 'stand out tie'

Manchester United club secretary John Alexander has labelled the Red Devils’ draw with Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 as the “stand out tie”.


Alexander admits that there are other teams they would have liked to have faced in this stage, but despite that, the draw has provided a mouth-watering fixture.

THE DRAW IN FULL

Galatasaray v Schalke

Celtic v Juventus

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Shakhtar v Borussia Dortmund

AC Milan v Barcelona

Real Madrid v Manchester United

Valencia v Paris Saint-Germain

Porto v Malaga

First legs will be played on either February 12/13 or19/20, with the return legs on March 5/6 or 12/13.

“It’s the game that everybody wanted to see, but no-one wanted to see – they wanted to save it for later in the competition,” Alexander told Sky Sports News after the draw.

“But out of several stand out ties I think this is the one.”

Real Madrid have progressed in three out of four European cup ties against Manchester United as both clubs aim to get a step closer to the Wembley final.

“Given the traditions of the two clubs in the competition, they’re both incredibly successful,” Alexander added. “And of course the past history.

“Of course, if history has anything in our favour, our one victory against Real Madrid in this competition was in the year when we won the final at Wembley, so let’s hope that’s a lucky omen for this year.”

The first leg is to be played at the Bernabeu on February 13, whilst the second, which will see the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford, will be played on March 5.