In the Champions League quarter-final draw, it was revealed that Tottenham Hotspur would face yet another European giant having already faced AC Milan and Inter Milan. Having exceeded expectations by making it to the quarter-finals, Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is relishing the draw with Real Madrid claiming it to be the perfect tie for the club in their debut Champions League season.
Redknapp said, You want to play in these games. You want to manage in these games and the fans want to go and see these games. It couldn't be better. It's a fantastic draw. What a game to look forward to against one of the greatest clubs in world football. To play Real Madrid at this stage of the Champions League is fantastic for us and we're all looking forward to it.
It's going to be a difficult game, obviously. They are a great side. But you have to look forward to games like this. These are the great days in your life and great days in Tottenham's history. We'll go there and give it a real go. It's an exciting game. You couldn't have a more exciting or tougher game.
I've said all along that the two Spanish clubs were, for me, the favorites to win it. We've drawn Real Madrid who are pushing Barcelona all the way for the championship with big players and a fantastic manager. In my opinion, he's one of the all-time greats. But we've got a chance against anyone. We feel we can play against anyone and give them a game. We're looking forward to it.
The game holds special significance for Spurs midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart, who moved to the London club in the summer from Real Madrid after failing to make the mark with the Spanish giants.
I was happy when the draw was made, he told the Spurs' official website. I had hoped this would happen because it will be fantastic to go back to Madrid. I have a lot of friends there and it will be great to see them all. It's a big game, first leg away which is good for us, so I'm happy.
For me, it's the biggest club in the world. Of course Barcelona are the best team in the world at this moment, but you can feel the history and how big the club is when you arrive at the stadium.
The Bernabeu is fantastic. It's a great pitch, the stadium holds 90,000 and it's a fantastic feeling to play there. I played there for two years and had a great time there, so it's a dream to be going back.
Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, who is accustomed to trips to the White Hart Lane during his time as manager of Chelsea, heaped praise on his Tottenham counterpart Harry Redknapp for his role in Spurs' success and added that it would be a tough tie.
He said, ''I'm very happy to play them, not because I think it's going to be easy - because I don't think it will be - but because I get to go back to London, to an English stadium and I get to see Harry and I can congratulate him for the great job he's done.''
''I left England in 2007/8 and Spurs were not in the UEFA Cup, they were not even finishing in the first six of the Premier League. 'Martin Jol started the good work and Harry has continued it in amazing ways. I'm so happy for that. He's a friend, one of the few really good friends I made in England.
''What they've done is brilliant. They beat Inter, then they played the team who have won the European Cup the second highest number of times, AC Milan, and now they play Real Madrid, the champion of champions, who have won nine European Cups.
''It will be difficult. I know the mentality of the English teams, the way they play at home, and the character they have of playing with all their heart in every minute of every game. They have beaten Inter, knocked out Milan and are having a very good Premier League season.''