Andrea Pirlo believes Manchester City and Juventus are the favourites to win the Champions League this season. City take on Tottenham in the quarter-finals, while Juventus were handed Ajax in their last-eight tie. Barcelona drew Manchester United and the winner of that tie will play either Liverpool or Porto in the semi-final.
Pirlo, who won the trophy twice with AC Milan, thinks his former side Juventus are the strongest team left. ‘Juve played a perfect game against Atletico Madrid,’ Pirlo told La Gazzetta Dello Sport. ‘Big clubs must prepare games in every single detail and they are strong enough to win provided that they won’t play like they did in Madrid.
‘I think Juventus are stronger than Barcelona while Man City can be more challenging.’ Liverpool reached the final of the Champions League last season, but will face a tough task to repeat the achievement this year. Beat Porto and the Reds will have to take on either Barcelona or Premier League rivals United in the semi-final. Juventus and City could play each other in the semi-finals.
Cristiano Ronaldo allayed fears he could miss the first leg against Ajax after going off injured playing for Portugal. The hat-trick hero of Juventus’ comeback against Atletico Madrid said he expected to miss just two weeks of action. ‘I’m not worried, I know my body,’ Ronaldo said after the game. ‘I should be back in one or two weeks.’