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Real, Barça, Juve?

‘Whoever we get, it’ll be tough’

Not for the first time, this year’s Champions League semi-finals feature some very familiar faces indeed. Apart from FC Bayern, the line-up for the last four comprises holders Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Juventus. The draw for the matches to decide which two clubs travel to Berlin for the final takes place from midday CET on Friday at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

“Whoever we get now, it’ll be even harder,” warned Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in the wake of FCB’s thrilling quarter-final victory over Porto. “There’s no team we’d prefer to face, but we may also not be the team anyone wants to play,” Rummenigge continued. “If we want to get to the final in Berlin, we have to beat the best teams. We don’t care who we play, because it’ll be tough in any case,” added Bayern star Thiago following his superb display against Porto.

FCB are in the last four for the fourth season in a row, a new club record. Real Madrid have now made the semis for the fifth consecutive year after defeating cross-town rivals Atlético 1-0 on aggregate in the re-run of last season’s final. Cristiano Ronaldo and Co are bidding to become the first team ever to retain Europe’s premier club trophy. Barça eased past French champions Paris Saint-Germain 5-1 on aggregate and remain in with a chance of a second treble to go with a previous triple triumph in 2009.

After a lengthy absence, Italy’s most successful club Juventus are back in the last four. The men from Turin beat AS Monaco 1-0 at home and secured a goalless draw in the last eight return to book a semi-final berth for the first time since 2002/03.

The last four ties will be played on 5/6 May and 12/13 May. The final at Berlin Olympiastadion is on 6 June 2015.