Schalke coach Jens Keller has said facing Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League is ‘fantastic’, with Julian Draxler and Benedikt Howedes excited at the prospect.
The Spanish side will travel to the Veltins Arena on February 26th with the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu scheduled for March 18th.
“It’s a great draw for us and our fans,” a positive Keller told the press.
“It’s a fantastic challenge for our players to play against the most famous club in the world with players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas and Gareth Bale. We are really looking forward to it.”
Schalke Captain Benedikt Howedes believes his side can cause an upset, despite the ominous task laid ahead of them.
“I am pleased with the draw of Real Madrid,” he said. “It is too bad that Sami Khedira can not be there due to his injury.
“To play at the Bernabeu is something completely new for me. Even if Real are the absolute favourites, I see an outside chance for us.”
German under-21 Julian Draxler has been linked with a host of clubs in recent months, including Los Blancos, and believes that playing against Carlo Ancelotti’s men in Madrid will be the fulfilment of a dream.
“This pairing is a real Champions League highlight,” the 20-year-old declared. “It has always been my dream to play once against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
“It could not have been much more difficult a draw but we will face the task at hand. I look forward to the two games.”
Follow Louis Gibberd-Thomas on Twitter: @mercutio156