Spirits are high in Cyprus as APOEL FC prepares itself psychologically for the toughest task of its history, the task of facing the queen of European football, Spain’s Real Madrid, at Pancyprian Gymnastic Association (GSP) stadium in Nicosia, tonight for the quarter-finals of the prestigious Champions League tournament. The game that starts at 9:45 pm will be broadcasted live to more than 80 countries all over the world- in Cyprus it will be broadcasted from Sigma TV.
Teams like Manchester United, Arsenal and Inter are out of the tournament and the mere presence of a Cypriot team in this game is a fairytale come true so the Athletic Football Club of the Greeks of Nicosia (APOEL) can be proud, no matter what happens tonight.
Real Madrid’s budget for 2011-2012 season is 450 million Euros, on the other hand Apoel’s doesn’t even come close to 10. As the Independent wrote “(it) might stretch to Ronaldo's left foot.”
Phivos Erotokritou, Apoel’s president said that "Sometimes enthusiasm and will to win can bridge the gap” and the teams coach Ivan Yiovanovic said that his dream is to eliminate Real, but "surely we have to play the perfect game and even that, we don't know if it will give us the result we want."
Cypriot sides have faced Real Madrid FC just twice in the past, losing one 12-0 and the other 14-1 on aggregate. APOEL FC have been to Madrid before, playing against Atlético in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2009/10, managing a goalless draw and a 1-1 draw in Nicosia.
Real Madrid Club de Futbol, commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. It was founded in 1902 as Madrid Football Club and has traditionally worn a white home kit since. The word Real is Spanish for royal and was bestowed to the club by King Alfonso XIII in 1920 together with the royal crown in the emblem. The club established itself as a major force in both Spanish and European football during the 1950s.
Unlike most European football clubs, Real Madrid's members have owned and operated the club since its inception. The club is the richest football club in terms of annual revenue, generating €438.6 million in 2011 and the second most valuable, worth €1.4 billion. The team has played its home matches in the 85,454-capacity Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in downtown Madrid since 1947.
It is one of three clubs to have never been relegated from the top flight of Spanish football, along with Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona. Domestically, Real Madrid has won a record 31 La Liga titles, 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Supercopas de España, 1Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la Liga. Internationally it has won a record nine European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles and a record three Intercontinental Cups, as well as two UEFA Cups, and one UEFA Super Cup. (Wikipedia)
The final will be held on May 19th in Munich.
The other games for the quarter- finals of the UEFA Champions League are:
APOEL(CYP) v Real Madrid(ESP)
Marseille(FRA) v Bayern(GER)
Benfica(POR) v Chelsea(ENG)
Milan(ITA) v Barcelona(ESP)