SNEIJDER PROUD OF GALA

The former Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder has said that he is extremely proud of the spirit within Galatasaray after the Turkish club managed to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions league. The 28-year-old Dutchman was an influential part of the Galatasaray team that managed a 4-3 aggregate win over Schalke on Tuesday night. Galatasaray came into the encounter trailing Schalke on away goals following the 1-1 draw in the first leg. Schalke were also on a great run of form that had seen them win consecutive matches in the Bundesliga. Until the final few minutes of the match, it looks like Schalke would be going through into the quarter-finals if they got a goal.

The match was evenly poised 2-2 going into the final few seconds of the encounter. However, a goal from Bulut in the fifth minute of injury time completely changed the encounter, as it left Schalke needing two more goals in order to progress. Hamit Altıntop and Yılmaz were the scorers for Galatasaray, as they managed to come from a goal down. Neustädter had given Schalke the lead in the 18th minute. A goal from Michel Bastos in the second half of the match appeared to give Schalke hope that they can qualify.

"We are in the last eight and that is already a big thing. We did a great job and now we have to see. We have to wait for the draw. It will be difficult. But it is a pleasure to be in the last eight," said the former Inter Milan midfielder, who won this competition with the Italian club back in 2010. The Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim has said that he is extremely happy that his team is one amongst the eight best teams in Europe. Galatasaray could play against the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

DROGBA BID

The Turkish club Galatasaray have made an official bid for the former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who is currently playing for the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

It is expected that Drogba will be joining the Turkish club on a season-long loan deal, which could be converted into a permanent one in the summer. Drogba is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, and he has found several interested parties even at 34 years of age. There have been suggestions that his former club Chelsea even tried to get him back before the bid from Galatasaray.

GALA CAN PROGRESS

Galatasaray have a greater chance of progression into the quarter-final stage of the Champions League according to the goalkeeper of the Turkish club, Fernando Muslera. Galatasaray have been one of the surprise package is in the Champions League this season, as they have progressed to the last 16 stage despite being in a group containing the likes of Manchester United.

They will be facing Schalke in the first knockout stages. The 2-1 win over Braga in the final group match helped Galatasaray secure this tie against the German club. Even though there have been suggestions that Galatasaray have been handed a relatively easy draw, Muslera said that there are no easy games in this tournament.

The 26-year-old, though, feels that his team has a slightly better capability of playing in the quarter-final stage of the competition because the two teams do not have a lot of difference. The home leg will be extremely crucial for Galatasaray in their hopes of progression. Despite qualifying into the knockout stages not as the group winners, Galatasaray have been handed a relatively easy draw. Their group stage opponents Manchester United, on the other hand, will be facing one of the toughest matches in the draw – Real Madrid. Galatasaray are currently top of the Turkish league with a three-point advantage.

"Our priority was to qualify from the group stage. We drew an easier team compared to the other teams like Barcelona. Of course it is still a hard game. But the teams are head-to-head I think," said the 26-year-old Galatasaray goalkeeper. The first leg of the knockout stages will be played in the second week of February, while the return leg will be in the first week of March. Despite being relatively young, Muslera has been a first-team regular for Galatasaray and has made 16 appearances so far this campaign.

TERIM DELIGHTED

The Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim has said that he is extremely delighted with the performance of his players after they managed a stunning 1-0 win over Manchester United, who are one of the favourites to win the trophy this season.

Admittedly, it was a Manchester United line-up that did not feature the numerous star performers like Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. Due to the fact that Manchester United had already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition, the manager Sir Alex Ferguson decided to rest a number of players with a view of keeping them fresh for the Premier league match this weekend.

Galatasaray is one of the toughest places to visit in Europe, and the youngsters selected by Ferguson were not able to cope with the pressure of the home fans. Burak Yilmaz scored the only goal of the game in the 53rd minute. Manchester United have had a lot of comeback victories this season, but like in the match against Norwich, they left themselves with too much to do at the end. As a result, Galatasaray have given themselves a fighting chance to progress into the last 16 stage of the tournament. This is a victory that has helped taken Galatasaray into the second position in the table behind United.

"The guys played fantastic. They played with sacrifice and were able to meet expectations with their fighting spirit. I congratulate them from the heart. If they had not played like this, it wouldn’t have been possible to defeat Manchester United," said the Galatasaray manager after the match. Achieving a good result in the Champions League is an extremely important prospect for Galatasaray this season due to the troubles off the pitch. They are currently top of the Turkish league with two point separating them and second placed Fenerbahce.

BERBS MOVE CLOSER

Dimitar Berbatov looks closer towards a move away from Manchester United after it was revealed that Turkish club Galatasaray are interested in securing his services, while they are extremely close towards agreeing a deal with Manchester United.

The £ 5 million transfer fee demanded by the English club has been the major deterrent factor in a number of clubs prevented signing Dimitar Berbatov, though bookmakers such as Youwin still expect the Bulgarian to move on before the season starts.

REBUILD THE DUTCH SIDE

The Dutch international and the former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt has said that it is time that the Dutch national team was rebuilt in order to be competitive once again.

It was not long ago that the Dutch national team along with the players like Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben reached the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Since then, they have not been at their best in the subsequent matches or at the major tournaments. They were recently knocked out of the Euro 2012 in the group stages, which has raised a lot of doubts about the ability of the team to perform at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The 31-year-old Dirk Kuyt has said that it is about time the Dutch national team brought in a number of young players who will refresh the team. Dirk Kuyt is seeking a new challenge in Turkish football after moving to the Turkish giant Fenerbache for around £ 1 million in the summer transfer window. The club has already secured the signing of the Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles for around £ 10 million due to the presence of Dirk Kuyt. The striker has expressed his confidence that Louis van Gaal will be able to do the rebuilding job with the Dutch national team.

"The fear of our opponents is gone, we have to rebuild. It is good that the expectations for the next World Cup are still to reach the semi-finals. The Netherlands go to each tournament with the idea that we want to win, otherwise I'd rather just stay at home. I thought all the conversations we had in the three days around the Belgium game were very important. They have given me the feeling that everyone is serious to make something out of it," said Dirk Kuyt.

GALA WILL BREAK HOODOO

The Galatasaray manager Faith Terim has said that he is confident that the Turkish club can finally break the hoodoo of not being able to get past the group stages of the Champions League. Galatasaray have been grown in confidence in recent seasons, but that is yet to be demonstrated by the success in the European competitions.

The Turkish club now have a much superior squad than in previous seasons, which has led to the manager Faith Terim believing that they will finally be able to qualify from the group stages of the competition. The draw for the 2012 Champions League group stages was recently concluded in Monaco.

Galatasaray have been given a significantly easier draw when compared with the rest of the teams, as they are in the same group containing Manchester United, CFR Cluj, and Braga. Only Manchester United will represent a significant threat to the Turkish champions in their efforts to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League. This is also the first time Galatasaray will be playing in the Champions League after a gap of four seasons, which has seen the club develop tremendously both on and off the field according to the manager Faith Terim.

"Let this be a good campaign for the entire Galatasaray community. Europe missed Turkey, and so too Galatasaray. I hope it will be a long European adventure. Manchester United are a team who everybody must respect. Many years ago, Galatasaray enjoyed victory over Manchester United. I hope we can repeat that. Braga have done well in recent years. Football is a serious business and we shouldn’t underestimate anybody," said the Galatasaray manager Faith Terim after the draw was concluded. Galatasaray's first match in the group stages will be against Manchester United on September 19, a match they will be playing at Old Trafford.

GALA GO COLD ON BERBS

Turkish club Galatasaray have given the Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov a major blow in his hopes of moving away from Old Trafford after they have said that they will not be making any before the Bulgarian international, according to the Man Utd news website.

The 31-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford after falling down the pecking order following the arrival of players like Hernandez and Danny Welbeck. The former Tottenham striker was on £ 31 million signing back in 2008, but it is thought that Manchester United will be willing to listen to offers as little as £ 5 million. Even then, Galatasaray have revealed that they will not be making any bid for the striker.

Dimitar Berbatov has already said on numerous occasions that he would like to leave the club, while manager Sir Alex Ferguson has also conceded defeat in his attempts to keep the player at the club. Berbatov was linked with a return to Bayern Leverkusen a few months ago, but the German club have also moved themselves clear of the negotiations for the player. This comes as a major disappointment for the Bulgarian international, who was influential for Manchester United only a few seasons ago.

"There have been some reports in the media that Dimitar Berbatov will be transferred to our club. The club would like to declare that there is no transfer and no attempt has been made in that regard," said a statement on the official website of the Turkish club. Dimitar Berbatov has only one year left on his current deal and it is thought that the £ 5 million fee demanded by Manchester United has been viewed as excessive by many clubs. Still, there are plenty of options for the 31-year-old to move away from the Manchester club in search of regular football.

8 Best Moments from Day 12

We pick our highlights of another thrilling evening in Group D...

1. Tipster of the day
Iain Macintosh was in incredible tipping form as he paired a 1-0 England win prediction with Wayne Rooney open the scoring – perfection.

2. Unconvincing performance of the day (I)

MELO TRANSFER STALLS

Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo's chances of joining Juventus in the summer look to be in doubt after it was revealed that the proposed move could still fall through due to the match fixing saga in Turkey, which also involves Galatasaray.

Galatasaray won the Turkish league this season after a spectacular performance in most of the matches. Felipe Melo has once again rediscovered his form that made him one of the coveted players in Europe. As a result, it is thought that Italian Champions Juventus are interested in bringing him back to Italy. He has spent the season on loan from Juventus this season.

He has been a huge hit in Turkey, which has raised speculation that Galatasaray will make an unbelievable offer for the midfielder. However, it was recently revealed that the Brazilian will be returning back to Juventus following the end of the season.

He could be viewed as the perfect replacement for Andrea Pirlo in the next few seasons. It is thought that Galatasaray are willing to pay as much as £ 8 million for the player, but Juventus are extremely steadfast on their opinion that their valuation of £ 10 million for the 28-year-old is correct.

Meanwhile, Galatasaray are also close to securing the signature of Real Madrid midfielder Hamit Altintop. He moved to Real Madrid in the summer, but has grown frustrated about life at the Santiago Bernebeu after getting only limited opportunities in the first team. He signed from Bayern Munich in the summer, but is ready to come back to his homeland.

"Negotiations are ongoing. I can say it's going well. I hope this transfer will be concluded by the weekend," said his agent when asked about the possibility of his client signing for the Turkish giants in the upcoming transfer window.

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