Real Madrid have been matched up with Liverpool in the last-16 of the Champions League but Florentino Perez had some choice words about the Reds ahead of the draw in Nyon on Monday morning
Real Madrid have been drawn against Liverpool in the Champions League last 16 – just weeks after Florentino Perez complained the two teams have not played each other enough.
Perez pointed to the lack of meetings between Liverpool and Real Madrid in the Champions League as a reason why football needs a European Super League. The two historic clubs have met only nine times and will now face a 10th encounter in this year’s Champions League.
The 75-year-old was a huge driving force behind the now failed reformation of European football. As it stands, his side Real Madrid have still not officially pulled out of the plans.
Perez has made a number of statements in an effort to revive the push for The Super League and has now pointed to the repetitive nature of the competition as a positive – Los Blancos’ limited meetings with Liverpool used as a prime example.
Speaking in October, Perez said: “(In men’s tennis, Rafael) Nadal and (Roger) Federer played each other 40 times in 15 years. So far, Nadal and (Novak) Djokovic have faced each other 59 times in 16 years.
“Is this boring? These historic clashes have grown tennis as a whole. In football the figures are staggering. It turns out we have played Liverpool, a historic team with six European Cups, only nine times in 67 years. And only three times in Madrid.”
In an ironic twist of fate, the Champions League draw has now thrown up what Perez complained it has not done enough with the two teams facing a mouth-watering repeat of last year’s final.
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The Reds will certainly be aiming to earn revenge having been on the losing side the last time they came together in Paris last season. Vinicius Jr’s solitary strike was enough for Real Madrid to claim the title.
Despite their success in the Champions League, Perez has remained a vocal driving force for a major reform to European football.
“To fix a problem, you have to first recognise that you have a problem,” he added. “Our beloved sport is sick. It’s losing its leadership as a global sport.
“We mustn’t be confused by the impact of Real Madrid ’s (Champions League) run (last season) when we were involved in seven games of the highest intensity and interest.
“That’s why we believe European competitions must change, to offer fans top-level games year-round between the strongest teams, with the best players competing. The Super League format will never be an obstacle stopping a constructive and free dialogue to address the very serious problems in European football. Problems that we must urgently solve.”
The Champions League last-16 first legs are scheduled to take place on 14-15 and 21-22 February, with the second legs taking place a month later on 7-8 and 14-15 March.