Luis Enrique thrilled to avoid Arsenal and Man City in Champions League | Football

The Spaniard returns to his homeland to face old club Barcelona (Picture: Getty)

Luis Enrique is looking forward to taking on old club Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions league and has conceded that Paris Saint-Germain have avoided the tougher half of the draw.

Friday’s ceremony saw the four bookies’ favourites to win the competition all placed in the same side of the draw, with Premier League leaders Arsenal taking on Bayern Munich and reigning champions Manchester City facing La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

PSG, who knocked out Real Sociedad in the last 16, will take on Barca while Atletico Madrid, who are fourth in La Liga, will take on Borussia Dortmund, who are fifth in the Bundesliga.

Although Luis Enrique anticipates a stern test against his old club, he is happy to have avoided the more fearsome teams left in the competition and feels PSG’s half of the draw is wide open.

Asked what he made of the draw, the Spanish coach said: ‘We were lucky because we’re returning to Spain and me to Barcelona, the city where I spent the majority of my sporting career.

‘We knew that the competition was going to present us with a very high-level team, with a lot of individual quality.

‘There are two parts to the draw. We are in the part of the draw – with Barca, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund – where all four of us have a chance of going to the final, it’s great.

‘But we will have to demonstrate [that we have the quality to reach the final] on the pitch.

Fc Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain - Uefa Champions League Round of 16 : Second Leg

Barca beat PSG 6-5 on aggregate in 2017 (Picture: Getty)

‘In the other half of the draw, there are the favourites with Real Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Arsenal. It’s probably the most difficult part of the two halves.’

Asked about Barca’s famous comeback against PSG in 2017, when he was in the Camp Nou dugout, and whether he will be revisiting the greatest moment of his career, Luis Enrique replied: ‘No, because we did not use it to win another Champions League! Juve came out on top against us [in the quarter-final].

‘But no, it’s not the most important match of my career. And, of course, everyone remembers the comeback but, to have a comeback, you have to remember that there was a pre-comeback, a 4-0 defeat at the Parc des Princes. I remember it very well too. It’s part of the story.’

While Barcelona avoided the stacked half of the Champions League draw, Xavi believes his side have been handed an enormous test against PSG – and his old manager.

‘I know Luis Enrique, his staff and part of the squad very well,’ said the departing Barca boss on Saturday.

‘We have the hope of playing a good quarter-final match. It is time to dream and show that we can compete against one of the best teams in Europe.

‘Maybe they are favourites, but they are not a forgiving rival. We have more Champions League titles than them, but their economic power is in a different situation.

‘With enthusiasm and desire, they are not going to beat us. We will have to show it on the pitch, [because] it is very easy to talk. A decisive moment of the season is coming.’

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