By Tom Finn
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has issued a warning to all his players telling them that the real Champions League starts now after the Blues easily cruised past Sporting Lisbon 3-1 to make it to the knockout stage of the competition.
The Blues must now wait for Mondays Champions League draw in Nyon, Switzerland to learn their fate as to whether they will face Juventus, Basle, Bayer Leverkusen, Paris St Germain or Shakhtar Donetsk in their first last 16 match.
“I don’t think any of the big teams is out of the Champions League now. Maybe Liverpool,” Mourinho told talkSPORT.
“But all the teams that want to win the competition, they’re all in the competition.
“Everybody’s there, so the Champions League starts now.
“What can we do? I don’t know. Last year we were close and we didn’t have the team playing at such a high level as we do this season so we can dream we will do it.
“But let’s see if the sharks let us, because there are a few sharks in the ocean.”
“The draw is the draw,” the boss said. “We have five possible opponents.
“I’m happy [Manchester] City and Arsenal went through. I’m not happy they finished second because they blocked two other possible opponents.
“Paris would be good, because it’s easy to travel for us, for the fans. It would be good, but we can’t decide the draw.
“The hardest? Everyone is hard. You think Basle is easy? We lost twice against them last year. They beat Liverpool and three years ago they beat Manchester United.
“Leverkusen, Shakhtar… I don’t think there are any easy teams at that moment.”