Jose Mourinho said he hopes to avoid the "emotional difficulty" of facing former clubs Inter Milan or Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals after steering Real Madrid to the last eight for the first time in seven seasons.
Press Pass Extra: UCL quarters decided
Friday's draw will reveal who Madrid will meet next and with no seedings from the quarter-finals onward, there is a two-in-seven chance Mourinho will be lumped with one of Inter, with whom he won the title last year, or Chelsea.
If Madrid are to continue to progress after their 4-1 aggregate victory over Lyon, secured with a 3-0 second leg win in Spain on Wednesday night, the chances of meeting a club "in my heart" increase for Mourinho but it's a scenario he would like to avoid.
"I prefer to avoid Inter and Chelsea because, emotionally, it's difficult to play against ex-teams,'' Mourinho said. "If we get them, we get them. We're professionals. If I have to face those who were my people, I will do it, but I will be obliged to prepare myself more psychologically than against other teams that aren't in my heart.''
Mourinho also won the Champions League with Porto prior to his Chelsea days and he can look to the fact his resume is littered with Europe's biggest clubs with pride. His fantastic record in Europe was one of the reasons Real brought in the coach and it has paid dividends as they finally got past the hurdle that has felled them each season since 2004 thanks to goals from Marcelo, Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria at the Bernabeu.
Mourinho was happy with his team's performance but played down the fact Madrid had finally reached the last eight after years of disappointment.
"Lyon are a good team, one of the best in this year's Champions League, but we deserved to win. We played a very complete game and we are in the quarter-finals,'' Mourinho said. "I'm happy and quite relaxed because it's normal that we've qualified for the quarters. Some day we had to get through - what wasn't normal was Madrid not getting through. Not getting through would have been a failure because Madrid always think about going further than the last 16. We're going in the right direction and the titles are going to arrive.''
Madrid had to wait until eight minutes before half-time to make the breakthrough against Lyon, when full-back Marcelo scored a fine goal. The home side then dominated the second period, and further goals from in-form striker Benzema - who took his tally to nine in seven goals after netting against his former club - and Di Maria sealed a convincing triumph.
Lyon coach Claude Puel felt Madrid were deserved winners, saying: "I think we did things well in the first half, especially in attack, and we had a certain amount of possession. We played quite well and seemed to be quite dangerous. However, we gave them too many opportunities, too many easy balls.
"In the second half, the second goal was very bad for us. We gave Real Madrid a big gift with that, and from that moment on we didn't have many opportunities. We didn't know how to improve our level of play. We came up against a very good team and all I can do is congratulate Real Madrid because they deserved the win.''
Regarding Madrid's chances of going all the way, Puel said: "I would say that Real Madrid can make it to the end. They have high individual quality, very good players with good acceleration, and if they carry on playing so strong in defence they have every chance to get to the final stages, but the path ahead is very long.''