Real Madrid CF will not be short of motivation when they host holders FC Bayern München in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final. If the prize of a first final since 2002 were not enough, they also have the opportunity to avenge their defeat by Bayern in the 2011/12 semi-finals.
The presence of former FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola in the visitors’ dugout adds an extra dimension to this meeting of European heavyweights. Guardiola got the better of Madrid at this stage in 2011 but the home team will hope for a different outcome as they look to end a run of three consecutive semi-final losses.
Between them the clubs have 14 European Cups. Bayern, five-time winners, are seeking to become the first side to retain the title since AC Milan managed the feat in 1989 and 1990 with a team featuring Carlo Ancelotti, now Madrid coach. Madrid, for their part, are bidding to secure ‘La Décima’ – their tenth European crown – after last lifting the trophy 12 years ago.