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Friday, December 19, 2008
Exit would be a disaster for Chelsea - Ranieri

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri has sought to put the pressure on Chelsea after his side were drawn against his former club in the last 16 of the Champions League, saying it would be a "disaster'' if the Londoners failed to progress.

Ranieri spent four seasons at Stamford Bridge, memorably helping them the the semi-finals of the competition in 2004, before Blues owner Roman Abramovich decided to replace him with Jose Mourinho that summer.

After after the draw in Nyon, Ranieri said: "I can't say that I'm happy. But it's a beautiful tie, a fascinating one and we will have to be in top form.

"Chelsea is a team that is constructed to win the Champions League and for Abramovich not to win it, it would be a disaster.

"For our part, we will try to stop Chelsea from reaching the top of the world which is where Abramovich has programmed them to arrive to.

"They are one of the favourites to win the tournament and last year they only lost the trophy on penalties.

"It's a difficult but a stimulating tie for us but I don't think they will be happy to be facing us.''

Despite his departure, the Rome-born tactician still has found memories of Chelsea.

"You cannot forget four years at a club,'' he said. "I don't think Chelsea forget either.''

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