Schalke can beat Madrid, says Huntelaar

The Netherlands international is optimistic about his side's chances of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals, although he realises they face a tough task
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is eagerly anticipating the Champions League round of 16 tie against Real Madrid and is confident Schalke can spring a surprise against the Liga leaders.

The Gelsenkirchen side finished second in the group phase behind Chelsea to book their ticket for the knockout stages, and Huntelaar is determined to make it to the quarter-finals, although he acknowledges that Madrid start the tie as the favourites.

"I think that Real Madrid are the favourites, but we play the first leg at home and we are going to come out fighting," the Dutchman told Marca.

"Beating Madrid is not impossible, But that said, they are clearly the favourites to win this tie and even to win the Champions League."

Huntelaar scored eight goals in 20 La Liga appearances for Madrid in 2008-09 and he has fond memories of his time at the Santiago Bernabeu side.

"It's a special game in many ways. Madrid are a great club with some fantastic people and I used to play there…. I very much look forward to playing against them," he continued.

"It was very special to score goals for Real Madrid, especially in front of the home crowd at the Bernabeu."

The first leg of the round of 16 tie takes place at the Veltins Arena on Wednesday.