Wolfsburg's Draxler relishing facing Ronaldo

 04 Apr 2016 - 14:30

Wolfsburg's Draxler relishing facing Ronaldo
 


Berlin: Wolfsburg's Germany midfielder Julian Draxler says facing superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is any footballer's dream ahead of Wednesday's Champions League home quarter-final, first-leg, clash against Real Madrid.

"You can only be impressed with Cristiano Ronaldo," Draxler told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

"I feel a tremendous anticipation. I think there is nothing better than playing in the Champions League quarterfinals against Real Madrid."

When he was younger, the 22-year-old Draxler used to watch videos of Ronaldo to improve his game.

Now the Germany star will once again face the three-times world player of the year.

Draxler was impressed with Ronaldo's winning goal in Real's 2-1 victory over Barcelona in Spain's El Clasico on Saturday.

He hopes Wolfsburg can get a result at the Volkswagen Arena to put then in a good position for the return at the Bernabeu on April 12.

"We hope that we can keep them at bay as much as possible in the two games. At the end of the day, it's about Wolfsburg v Real Madrid, not Wolfsburg against Ronaldo," said Draxler.

He has plenty of experience of facing Real's star-studded team which will include the likes of Wales forward Gareth Bale and Draxler's Die Mannschaft team-mate Toni Kroos.

Two years ago, Draxler was in the Schalke team which was hammered 6-1 by Real in Gelsenkirchen's Veltins Arena in the Champions League.

They then lost the return 3-1 at the Bernabeu for a 9-2 aggregate defeat in the last 16 as Madrid went onto win the Champions League title and claim their tenth European crown.

"I am pretty sure that we can get a good result in our own stadium," said Draxler.

"We need to have due respect, but not be afraid of Real Madrid.

"We need to be physically robust, 100 percent mentally there, be compact at the back and sting them on counter-attacks."

Wolfsburg have never got this far in the Champions League and will need an outstanding display against Real to give them hope for the return leg.

The German Cup holders are eighth in Germany's top flight and winless in their last three games since beating Gent at home in the last 16 to reach the quarterfinals.

Last Friday's 3-0 league defeat at Bayer Leverkusen did little to boost confidence.

"The bottom line is we are not acting like a Champions League team in the Bundesliga," Wolfsburg's director of sport Klaus Allofs told magazine Kicker.

"This match coming up is for some players something extraordinary and you don't know if you will experience it again.

"So you have to enjoy it and make sure we do a few things well again.

"I don't fear that we will play again like we did in Leverkusen."

AFP