Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are all backing Real Madrid to win the Champions League this season.
The Spanish club won the title last year with a 4-1 victory over Juventus in Cardiff and progressed to the quarter-finals on Tuesday after seeing off Paris Saint-Germain.
Real’s domestic form has been ordinary this term, with Zinedine Zidane’s side slipping 15 points adrift of Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table.
But the team continue to impress in Europe and are destined to defend the Champions League trophy, according to three of the biggest pundits in the game, who were talking to BT Sport.
Who will win the Champions League?
‘Real Madrid, simply because of the experience and the Ronaldo factor.’
‘Liverpool have a chance but Real are rightly favourites.’
‘I have to agree but it is still very hard to predict.’
Manchester City and Juventus joined Liverpool and Real Madrid in the draw for the next round on Wednesday night as they saw off Basel and Tottenham respectively.
Pep Guardiola’s City side, who are 16 points clear in the Premier League, won the first leg 4-0 but suffered a shock defeat at the Etihad despite Gabriel Jesus’ early opener.
Speaking after the underwhelming display, Guardiola said: ‘I’m so happy to be in the quarter-finals because it’s quite new for us. ‘Tonight, we forgot to attack in the second half. We have to pass the ball to attack, not pass to pass. We forgot to try to go through and make a moment, runs in behind.
‘Some players were tired. When you make changes, your level isn’t the same. Congratulations to Basel.
It’s not a problem to concede those two goals.’ Spurs, meanwhile, suffered heartbreak at Wembley as two goals in three minutes saw Italian giants Juventus progress with a 4-3 aggregate win.
Mauricio Pochettino felt Tottenham were the better side over the course of the two legs but conceded that ‘two big mistakes’ cost his team a place in the last-eight. ‘In less than three minutes we conceded two goals – two big mistakes – and that is why we are out,’ he said. ‘In both legs we deserved more. I feel proud.
‘We played fantastic football until that first goal and we dominated. Of course we are very disappointed but it is part of growing. We will keep going. But we are very disappointed.’
Premier League clubs Manchester United and Chelsea could join Real, Liverpool, Juventus and City in the quarter-final draw next week. Jose Mourinho’s United face Sevilla at Old Trafford, having drawn 0-0 in Spain last month, while Chelsea head to the Nou Camp to take on Barcelona