Posted on December 21, 2007
Roma admitted their delight after being drawn against nine-times winners Real Madrid in the first knockout round of the Champions League.
And the Serie A high-flyers will be hoping for a similar result to the 2002/03 campaign where they earned a memorable 1-0 victory in the Bernabeu during the group stages.
“(Coach Luciano) Spalletti wanted Real Madrid,” Roma sporting director Antonio Tempestilli told Gazzetta’s website. “We have landed a very strong opponent, but they can be beaten.
“We hope to go into the clash with a full squad. Then the best team will win.”
The Giallorossi and the Spanish giants have enjoyed similar European campaigns this season, with both sides taking 11 points in the group stages.
Last time they met in the Champions league, in the 2004-05 group stages, Roma were humiliated 4-2 away and 3-0 in the Italian capital, finishing rock bottom of the group with just a solitary point.
But Tempestilli is confident of a better result this time around.
“Facing each other will be two squads capable of offering high-quality football,” he added.
“I have faith, we’ll see who goes into the match in better physical condition.
“They told me that Mijatovic (Real Madrid sporting director Predrag Mijatovic) didn’t smile much when Real Madrid drew Roma.”