PARIS (AFP) - Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc admitted that Barcelona are the bogeyman club everyone will be keen to avoid in Friday's Champions League draw for the last eight.
Defending champions Barcelona are the only team left to fly the Spanish flag in Europe and they showed their class with a 4-0 destruction of Stuttgart on Wednesday, giving them a 5-1 win on aggregate.
They will be counting on the magical skills of Lionel Messi to lead them to the Champions League final at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium of arch rivals Real Madrid, and thus become the first team to defend the title since the competition's inception in 1993.
The Catalans go into Friday's quarter-final draw in Nyon, Switzerland along with 2008 winners and last season's runners-up Manchester United, Arsenal, Inter Milan, Lyon, Bordeaux, CSKA Moscow and Bayern Munich.
France find themselves with two teams in the final eight for the first time since 2004 with Bordeaux and Lyon.
And Blanc said he, for one, wanted to avoid the Spaniards after his side squeezed into the quarter-finals after a tense 2-0 victory over Greek club Olympiakos at home for a 3-1 aggregate victory midweek.
Asked if he was hoping to draw CSKA Moscow, Blanc said: "It would show a lack of respect for Moscow to say that. This team achieved a super match against Sevilla.
"But I'd like to avoid Barcelona because I think they're the bogeyman of this competition even if I saw a superb team on Tuesday evening - Inter Milan."
Barcelona and Manchester United, both three-time winners, and Inter Milan, two-time champions, are the rivals the other clubs will be hoping to avoid.
Barca president Joan Laporta said his side were feeling increasingly confident, but taking it one match at a time.
"We are on the right path," said Laporta.
"We have very difficult opponents ahead of us. We cannot think about the final, on Friday we will know who we will face and we will continue working as we have until now. They will be some hard-fought quarter-finals."
As Barcelona can count on Messi, Manchester United's not-so-secret weapon is Wayne Rooney, who reached 30 goals for the season as they marched into the last eight with a clinical 4-0 demolition of AC Milan.
Rooney added to his double in the 3-2 first leg victory in Milan with another brace at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan were also impressive as they beat his old side Chelsea 2-1 in Italy and 1-0 in London to seal their quarter-final berth.
German giants Bayern Munich scraped past Fiorentina in the last 16.
Having won the first leg 2-1 in Munich thanks to a controversial goal from Miroslav Klose, Bayern went through on the away goals rule in Fiorentina after Arjen Robben and captain Mark van Bommel scored in Tuesday's 3-2 defeat.
"Maybe we'll avoid the really top teams at this stage," said Bayern's Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger.
"We're delighted to be through, as that was our target. Let's see what happens in the draw."
Bayern could face United for the first time in eight years.
Lyon complete the line-up after they saw off Real Madrid to deprive Cristiano Ronaldo of the chance to return to Old Trafford.
|Sarri talks up Balotelli to Napoli|
|Everton need time and changes, says Koeman|
|Ancelotti lauds Muller after Bayern win|
|Sterling: I have more freedom under Guardiola|
|Mourinho: Maybe no Premier League title for United this season|
|Bayern laid down a marker - Rummenigge|
|Conte ´maybe the best in the world´ - Guardiola|
|Pioli laments Inter´s ´step backwards´|
|Ronaldo and Mourinho ´fully compliant´ with tax obligations, insists Gestifute|
|Napoli 3 Inter 0: Pioli dealt emphatic first Serie A defeat|
|Mainz 1 Bayern Munich 3: Lewandowski double inspires champions|
|´I have found my luck at Leipzig´ - Hasenhuttl dismisses Arsenal talk|
|Messi better to watch than Ronaldo, says Saviola|
|´I don´t care about age´ - Klopp committed to promoting youngsters|
|Koeman: Ibrahimovic was fantastic at 19|
|Pulis not letting court decision tarnish Palace memories|
|Carroll to make West Ham return against Arsenal|
|Real Madrid must win LaLiga and end Barca dominance - Roberto Carlos|
|Barcelona v Real Madrid: Zidane´s men eye LaLiga supremacy|
|Costa discipline issues in the past - Conte|
|A-League review: Melbourne Victory held by Perth Glory|
|I deserve criticism if Dortmund´s players do - Tuchel|
|Emery wants Cavani to dethrone Ibrahimovic|
|Martial is happy again, says Mourinho|
|Guardiola wary of Costa and Pedro|
|Messi, Ronaldo and Griezmann to battle it out for FIFA award|
|Conte reveals admiration for Guardiola philosophy|
|Mourinho: Schweinsteiger can stay at Man Utd|
|Conte: It is a pity Chelsea sold De Bruyne|
|Carrasco now competing with Griezmann and Gameiro - Simeone|
|Luis Enrique: Clasico not decisive in title race|
|Barcelona have no weaknesses - Zidane|
|Zidane: Ronaldo´s hunger for success key for Real Madrid|
|Barcelona midfielder Iniesta back for Clasico|
|Higuain does not need Dybala to score - Allegri|
|Summerbee: Chelsea blew it with De Bruyne|
|Ranieri, Zidane and Santos up for FIFA coach award|
|Chelsea paid me £50,000 to prevent child abuse revelations - Johnson|
|Vertonghen signs new Tottenham deal|
|Klopp hopeful on Lallana and Firmino|
|Ozil: Arsenal can win Champions League with a bit of luck|
|Sturridge exit a non-story, says Klopp|
|Debuchy out for up to six weeks|
|Pardew ready to turn around slumping Palace|
|Arsenal will not sign Cazorla replacement - Wenger|
|Courtois not getting carried away over Chelsea form|
|CAS to rule on Blatter case on Monday|
|Ozil refuses to rule out Real Madrid return|
|Sterling: I am keeping away from certain stuff I was doing last year|
|Leverkusen´s Volland out until 2017|
|Aloisi rules out Roar swoop for Keane|
|Pele reflects on ´sad moment´ of Chapecoense tragedy|
|Southgate urges downtime responsibility from England|
|Ranieri: Leicester signings not to blame for poor form|
|Sky is the limit for ´special´ Donnarumma, says Hart|
|Southgate drops Rashford Euro U21s hint|
|Chapecoense will rebuild with the world´s support, says vice-president|
|Toure can win Premier League for Manchester City - Hart|
|Only a matter of time until Balotelli gets Italy call - Zola|
|Ter Stegen can become new Valdes at Barca - Zambrotta|
|´Exceptional´ Costa just like Drogba, says Zola|
|Ronaldinho could play for Chapecoense|
|Garcia extends Manchester City deal|
|Injured Cazorla to miss another three months|
|Schmeichel has a gentle handshake, not like Wasilewski! - Ranieri|
|Lloris to follow Kane and pen new Spurs deal|
|Puel: I replaced Koeman to give Southampton youngsters a chance|
|Barcelona could have signed Ronaldo for €17million before Real Madrid move|
|Ancelotti keen for Lahm to carry on playing|
|Leipzig will last the pace in title race, says Ancelotti|
|If Bayern lose I´ll cry and miss El Clasico! - Ancelotti|
|No Europe could give Conte edge over Guardiola - Summerbee|
|Southgate keeps Rooney as captain but calls for leaders to emerge|
|Real Madrid dominate FIFA FIFPro World11 nominations|
|Sigurdsson: Kane will be Spurs´ main man for years to come|
|Ronaldo can beat Messi to next two Ballons d´Or - even if he loses the Clasico|
|No break clause in Southgate´s England contract|
|Kane signs new contract with Tottenham|
|Phelan hopeful on Hernandez and Maloney for Boro trip|
|Pioli not entertaining Messi to Inter possibility|
|Conte doing a remarkable job at Chelsea - Zola|
|Nesta amazed by ´special´ Totti|
|Elneny sick in Saints loss - Wenger|
|Atletico Nacional supporters pay tribute to Chapecoense air crash victims|
|Enzo Zidane targets more opportunities after ´special´ debut goal|
|Mkhitaryan excited by United display|
|Toronto FC 5 Montreal Impact 2 (aet, 7-5 agg): Hosts storm to maiden MLS Cup berth|
|Emotional Cavani brings up 100 amid Chapecoense tributes|
|Barca did not take Hercules lightly, insists Luis Enrique|
|Emery feels PSG are slowly making progress|
|Barcelona do not need to be scared, insists Rafinha|
|Simeone wants consistency from Gaitan|
|Wenger blasts sloppy Arsenal after Southampton loss|